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Evolution and Religion in American Education

Evolution and Religion in American Education shines a light into one of America's dark educational corners, exposing the regressive pedagogy that can invade science classrooms when school boards and state overseers take their eyes off the ball. It sets out to examine the development of college students' attitudes towards biological evolution through their lives. The fascinating insights provided by interviewing students about their world views adds up to a compelling case for additional scrutiny of the way young people's educational experiences unfold as they consider-and indeed in some cases reject-one of science's strongest and most cogent theoretical constructs. Inevitably, open discussion and consideration of the theory of evolution can chip away at the mental framework constructed by Creationists, eroding the foundations of their faith. The conceptual battleground is so fraught with logical challenges to Creationist dogma that in a number of cases students' exposure to such dangerous ideas is actively prevented. This book provides a detailed map of this astonishing struggle in today's America-a struggle many had thought was done and dusted with the onset of the Enlightenment.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Darwin's Apocalypse.- Chapter 1: Evolution Education: A Lay of the Land.- Chapter 2: Evolution and the End of a World.- Chapter 3: Evolution and Religion.- Chapter 4: Evolution and the Structure of Worldview Change.- Chapter 5: Evolution, the University, and the Social Construction of Conflict.- Chapter 6: Evolution Education from Campus to Home.- Chapter 7: Darwin's Hammer and John Henry's Hammer.- Epilogue: How science's ideologues fail evolution, or: Richard Dawkins and the Madman.- References.


From the reviews: "Long's volume is an account of a single research project: an ethnographic study that looks in some detail at the teaching of, and reception to, a key scientific topic. ... There are chapters and passages that will largely be of interest to the scholar or graduate student ... . it has resonance for anyone teaching science in communities where some students may object to evolution ... . This is a good read on a complex and important topic." (Keith S. Taber, Teacher Development, February, 2014) "As those who teach evolution in public schools or at secular universities are well aware, it is a sharply polarizing topic. David E Long conducted ethnographic research as to why such polarization occurs, and in his Evolution and Religion in American Education he addresses a set of underlying challenges for those who teach evolution. ... strength of this book is Long's identification of a conceptual clash between competing epistemologies (systems of knowledge)." (Steve Watkins, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, September-October, 2012)

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