A life science teacher should not have to know about creationism to teach evolution, other than to the extent that you may cover the history of evolutionary biology, and begin in the days before science took center stage and natural philosophy was dragged off with one of those big vaudeville hooks. But, unfortunately, you do have to know something about it, about how to recognize it, how to argue with it, and about the legal and professional context of managing creationism among your students, your peers, and your bosses. One of the most important resources a life science teacher or an administrator overseeing science teaching, or for that matter a parent with a kid in school, can use is Eugenie Scott’s book, Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction Second Edition.
This is the newly revamped edition of Genie Scott’s essential reference supporting the Evolutionist Perspective in the so called “debate” over creationism vs. evolution. The original version of this book was excellent, but this updated version is essential. There is quite a bit of new information in this volume reflecting the fact that quite a few things have happened since the publication of the prior edition.
Scott’s book provides both an overview of the basic evolutionary biology that is under attack by creationists and the creationist arguments themselves. The discussion of the creationist arguments and how to deal with them is especially important, as it is written from the perspective of a very experienced individual, and in in the most useful possible way for a teacher or school administrator.
From the press release:
What’s going on here? Why is the United States the only country where teaching evolution is so controversial? Why are scientists so sure that evolution is good science? Are people of faith truly unable to accept the central principle of modern biology? Is it really “fair” for creationism to be taught alongside evolution? What have the courts said? And will attacks on evolution ultimately undermine not only American education but American competitiveness?
These and many other questions are answered in the 2nd edition of Evolution vs. Creationism, Dr. Eugenie Scott’s lucid and comprehensive look at this ongoing debate. Dr. Scott, one of the leading promoters and defenders of teaching evolution in the schools, dissects these ever-changing efforts to undermine science education. Praised for its balance and comprehensiveness, the book places the issues in today’s headlines into historical, cultural, religious, educational, and scientific perspective as no other book does.
At some levels, the tactics used by creationists to force the teaching of religion in public schools are always the same, but pragmatically they change enough that one must always adjust the counter tactics. The revised edition of Evolution vs. Creationism is updated to take into account recent adjustments to the Intelligent Design strategy. Also, there are always new challenges, court decisions, and other legally relevant outcomes all across the country, and this new volume covers several things that have happened since the first edition.
Just as important are the resources outlined in the book are updated and expanded. If you are a school administrator, teacher, or parent with a child in a public school you need this book as a basic reference. A typical chapter may have legal cases and references for handy reference:
The book has a foreword by Judge John Jones, the federal judge who presided over the Dover case, which in turn is fully covered in Genie’s new book. One gets the impression that Judge Jones was just a little smitten with Genie. In fact, it is rather remarkable that he agreed to write this second foreword (the other is by Nils Eldgridge, by the way). Obviously, Genie Scott is capable of making things happen.
This book is essential for anyone involved in this debate.
PART I: Science, Evolution, Religion, and Creationism
CHAPTER 1. Science: Truth Without Certainty
CHAPTER 2. Evolution
CHAPTER 3. Beliefs: Religion, Creationism, and Naturalism
PART II: A History of the Creationism/Evolution Controversy
CHAPTER 4. Before Darwin to the Twentieth Century
CHAPTER 5. Eliminating Evolution, Inventing Creation Science
CHAPTER 6. Neocreationism
CHAPTER 7. Testing Intelligent Design and Evidence Against Evolution in
PART III: Selections from the Literature
CHAPTER 8. Cosmology, Astronomy, Geology
CHAPTER 9. Patterns and Processes of Biological Evolution
CHAPTER 10. Legal Issues
CHAPTER 11. Educational Issues
CHAPTER 12. Issues Concerning Religion
CHAPTER 13. The Nature of Science
CHAPTER 14. Evolution and Creationism in the Media and Public Opinion
You can read additional reviews here.
You can now download a PDF version of Genie Scott’s book, Evolution vs. Creationism, 2nd edition, here.