Evolution and Creationism in the Public Schools

A Handbook for Educators, Parents and Community Leaders


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About the Book

In United States public schools, the content being taught in all subjects is determined by specialists who have the expertise necessary for the task. Parents don’t insist on their opinions being part of curricular decisions. History, mathematics and literature classes, for example, generally enjoy full acceptance by parents and others. The science curriculum, however, is unique in that it has faced long-time opposition that shows little sign of lessening. Most notably, a controversy has arisen around biological evolution.
Part history and part handbook, this carefully neutral work examines the origins of the opposition to biological evolution, its long and deep-seated history, and the reasons why it hasn’t been resolved. Key terms—including creationism, evolution, intelligent design, and theory, among others—are defined at length, and erroneous understandings are addressed. Solutions are suggested so that the energies of school administrators and teachers may focus on their main task, the improvement of learning. State-by-state science standards are covered, and several models for biological science curricula are offered. Presented in a highly readable style, this study is intended for use by students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders alike, as well as others interested in the controversy.

About the Author(s)

Angus M. Gunn, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, has written numerous books—as well as articles and media productions—on such topics as education, geography and environmental science. A native of Scotland, he lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Angus M. Gunn
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: diagrams, tables, glossary, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2002-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2717-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

List of Figures and Charts      xi

Introduction      1

1. Defining Terms      9

2. The Historical Roots of Creationism      35

3. The Impact of Science      61

4. How Do Organisms Evolve?      85

5. Genesis and Science       105

6. Science Standards State by State      125

7. The Evolution of Intelligent Design      145

8. Models of Biological Science Curricula      161

Appendix: Five Common Questions      175

Glossary      177

Bibliography      181

Index      185