ResearchBlogging.orgA new paper by Kevin Padian of UC Berkeley is just out in Comptes Rendus Biologies, a French peer reviewed journal, on American creationism.

Padian summarizes the history of creationism in the US. From the abstract:

The history of anti-evolutionism in the United States begins only in the early decades of the 20th century but has evolved considerably since then. Various versions of the movement (“equal time” for creationism, “creation science”, “intelligent design”) have developed over time, but they have made few positive contributions to serious discourse about science and religion. Their main goal has been to try to stop the teaching of evolution. The most recent version of creationism, “intelligent design” (ID), has little in common with William Paley’s 18th-century version: ID posits an interventionist Deity who regularly interferes in natural processes to produce complex biological structures and functions. The 2005 “intelligent design” trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, destroyed any pretensions that the movement had to scientific integrity. However, anti-evolutionists continue to foment discord at local levels, where opposition to the teaching of evolution can be presented without strong resistance. Scientists can best demonstrate their concern by becoming involved in federal, state, and local administrative processes that determine curricula and develop and adopt textbooks and other instructional materials.

The author concludes that the anti-evolution movement will not likely be deterred by the results of the Kitzmiller decision in Dover. He outlines current creationists strategies, such as the “Academic Freedom” approach and the “critical thinking” gambit.

As evolutionary biology in all its forms continues to bring forth amazing new insights from the origin of whales to the evolution of microbial resistance, one would think that the anti-evolutionists would have less to cling to each year, and that they would give up their arguments as disproven misapprehensions. They will not, despite recent victories against ID as science and the lunacy of “creation science”. Creationists reject the notion of a rational universe because they believe that evolution depends upon the dominance of “random processes” that allow no divine direction or teleological goal. This is the core of the resistance to evolution in America, and it will not go away anytime soon.

Resist the resistance!

Thanks to Kevin for sending me the paper!

K PADIAN (2008). The evolution of creationists in the United States: Where are they now, and where are they going? Comptes Rendus Biologies DOI: 10.1016/j.crvi.2008.07.004


  1. #1 Romeo Vitelli
    December 3, 2008

    If you can prove that creationists evolved, doesn’t that win the argument for evolution?

  2. #2 clinteas
    December 3, 2008

    Looks like an interesting read,but 31.50 USD ? I dont think so…

  3. #3 Badger3k
    December 3, 2008

    It does look interesting, but hopefully it might make it’s way to an educational journal (or even, say the American Biology Teacher… :) ). This would be a good read for anybody teaching science in American schools. Maybe you could ask him if he will/did try to get it published here?

  4. #4 K.
    December 3, 2008

    Indeed, $31.50 is a steep price to pay. It does sound like a good read, though; unfortunately, the cdesign proponentsists aren’t going to disappear any time soon, and this is a good start to tracking them.

  5. #5 Kevin Z
    December 3, 2008

    Perhaps everyone should email Kevin Padian to request the article be put up on his website:

  6. #6 Virgil Samms
    December 3, 2008

    My site of employment seems to have access to that journal. Lucky me.

  7. #7 James Brennan
    December 3, 2008

    I got the whole article by clicking on the link in the citation at the end of GLs post.