Since the publiction of Charles Darwin's On the Origins of Species in 1859, the conflict between creationist and evolutionist has proven one of the most enduring and volitile schisms in American life. Like any long lived ideological war, this one has seen its high profile clashes, such as the epic scopes Monkey trial or the 1999 endorsment of creationism by a Kansas school board and the decades of steady, grinding bourder skirmishes. And yet, even as generations of Americans have fought and refought the same battles, the contours of the debate have in recent years shifted dramatically. Tracking the dizzying heights and opportunistic political lows of this controversity, Where Darwin Meets the Bible takes us to the very epecenter of the conflict. Drawing on dozens of interviews and eyewitness accounts, and ranging across the country, from California to New York, from Illinois to Tennessee, Larry Witham travels to America's churches, schools, universities, museums and government agencies to present creationists and evolutionists in thier own unfiltered voices.
We meet leading creationists such as Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson; evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins and Ernst Mayr and theistic scientists who descride how they reconcile God and Nature. All the while, Witham like any engagging guide fleshes out his tour with compelling naritive and anecdotes, noting, for instance, that even as Americans hold science in the highest esteem, when asked to choose the most important book in history, they pick the Bible twenty to one over the On the Origins of Species. Today, Biblical literalism is tempered by the intelligent Design movement, which finds eveidence of God's presence in nature's patterns. The once dominant "young earth" school has been replaced by a creationism that invokes mathematics and biochemistry, conscripting the language of science to advance the creationist cause. Evolutionary scientists meanwhile, though perpetually striving for innovation, hesitate to point out gaps in their theories for fear that such self scrutiny will serve as fodder for anti evolution propaganda.
In an age marked both by a rising religious tide and daily scientific breakthroughs that increasingly define our lifes, Larry Witham has given us the standard account of this lasting conflict.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc