When Darwin Meets the Bible
by Larry Witham
Oxford University Press, 2002
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“Washington Times reporter Witham digs into the evolution-creation debate in contemporary America in this balanced and well-documented work of investigative journalism. Drawing upon more than 200 interviews with prominent scientists and theologians, the author charts the history of a debate that has been aggressively waged in the arena of public opinion, but with modest attention to facts. Both camps are divided across a full spectrum of dissent, and the waters are further muddied by relativist attitudes among the educated public that call into question the validity of scientific progress. Witham explores the points of political contact where evolution and creation clash, such as in public schools and colleges, the political arena and the shrines to each respectively, the churches and natural history museums. His analysis of press coverage from the Scopes trial in 1925 to the antievolutionary vote of the Kansas state school board in 1999 reveals that science-and with it the facts-typically takes a back seat in public debates to politics and emotionality.”
“The details of the news, Witham writes, get swamped by the "meaning" of the news, which becomes framed, to cite one of his sources, within the drama of "intolerance." The author looks toward a future where the Christian right is less rural and more suburban and educated, while the Darwinist view is by no means assured of dominance. Witham's impeccable reportage, his erudite analysis and his ability to synthesize complex and nuanced strains of thought all make this book an invaluable roadmap of the evolution-creation controversy in America.”
-- Publishers Weekly, Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved.