Evolution vsCreationismAn IntroductionSecond Edition Eugenie C Scott
What do you know about the evolution/creationism controversy? • What do you think are the main obstacles teachers have to teaching evolution in the classroom? • What questions do you have about the controversy? discuss with your partner
Divided into 3 parts • Part 1: Science, Evolution, Religion, and Creationism • Part 2: A History of the Creationism/Evolution Controversy • Part 3: Selections from the Literature
The Pillars of Creationism • Evolution is a Theory in Crisis • evolution is “shaky science” • Evolution and Religion are Incompatible • Common ancestry • Natural selection • “Balancing” Evolution (Fairness) • Reflects American cultural values of hearing all the facts.
The Nature of Science – Truth without certainty Ways of Knowing about the natural world: • Authority • Revelation • Logic • Science
“…I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life – so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop to meet girls…” • What are some examples of concepts and theories for each of these circles?
Facts, Hypotheses, Laws, and Theories • In what order do you think the general public lists these? • In what order do you think scientists would arrange this list? Most Important Facts Laws Theories Hypotheses Theories Laws Hypotheses Facts Least Important
What is a Theory? How do the words differ in everyday language and scientific language?
Is evolution testable? Cartoon found on creationist blog, “Words of Comfort”
Compare Methodological Naturalism Philosophical Naturalism Attempt to explain natural phenomena using natural causes Concerned with rules of conduct, ethics, and morals Material causes are sufficient to explain natural phenomena God does not exist • Attempt to explain natural phenomena using natural causes
In the beginning • People thought the world was static (stable, largely unchanging). • As people observed more, they realized this was not so. • And the new world wasn’t in the bible…
Explorations in Geology processes like sedimenation and erosion • Existence of fossils • Accepted by most, even clergy • If earth was changing, why not other aspects of nature?
Enter Darwin • Had a probabilistic approach to science, which was uncommon • Lead work to be denounced as speculative
2 main reasons Christians reject Evolution • Conflicts with biblical realism • Issues with design and purpose
American Anitevolutionism Evolved in response to legislation • Worked to remove evolution from classroom and textbooks • Creation science and “equal time” • Repackaging creation science
Eliminating Evolution • Fundamentalist movement gains steam • Natural selection and WWI • Scopes trial • Evolution absent from textbooks and therefore classrooms
Creation Science • It’s Sputnik’s fault • Equal time • Henry H Morris – father of creation science movement • States there are only 2 views, so arguments against evolution are for creationism
Creation Science • Everything created in 6 24-hour days • Thousands of years old • The Genesis Flood can explain most geological features • All can be supported by facts and theories of science
Equal time • Takes advantage of American ideals of fairness and equality and individuality • McLean v Arkansas • Louisiana Equal Time Law • Both determined unconstitutional
Neocreationsim • Newest strategy to combat newest legal rulings • Package creationism under different guises • Avoid creation science terminology • Development of creation science-like alternatives to evolution
Intelligent Design • Things with irreducible complexity must be by the hand of some ‘intelligence’ • The Design Inference – to determine which is by intelligent creator • Hostile to methodological naturalism and propose theistic science
What are the biggest obstacles to teaching evolution in schools? • What are some possible solutions? Discuss with your partner