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Law, Darwinism, and Public Education: The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design Paperback – December 24, 2002
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I am not persuaded by the arguments for intelligent design theory as an alternative to Darwinian biology. But I am persuaded by Beckwith's book that introducing such arguments into public school science classes would not be unconstitutional. He shows how allowing students to study the debate between intelligent design explanations and scientific naturalism could promote the freedom of thought favored by the American constitutional framers. (Arnhart, Larry)
Beckwith's book is not only comprehensive and up-to-date, but it clearly explains both sides of the debate over how the origins issue should be presented in public schools. It should be required reading for anyone who makes science education policy. (David DeWolf)
Beckwith's book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the fundamental legal issues in the 'creation versus evolution' debate. (Robert Kaita)
Beckwith makes a compelling case that Intelligent Design is not the same as animal creationism. Beckwith persuasively argues that presentation of Intelligent Design in public schools would not impermissibly 'establish' religion. (The Harvard Law Review)
Frank Beckwith's gift for restating difficult legal problems in straightforward and understandable terms will prove deeply influential as the debate over intelligent design shifts to the courts. (William A. Dembski)
Suffice it to say that [Beckwith's] case is extremely thorough and abundantly documented (although not intimidating to readers lacking extensive knowledge in this area). Law, Darwinism, and Public Education is both a winsome defense of ID as legitimate science and a practical manual for writing and defending laws for the introduction of ID into public school curricula. When the history of the ID movement is written, this book may be esteemed as one of ID's most important and decisive strategic assets. But whatever its historical fate, it is an appropriate text for courses in public policy, apologetics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science. All those interested in ID should put it at the top of their 'must-read' list. (Philosophia Christi)
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a must have for anybody who thinks that students are only better educated when they are taught to think critically, and evaluate competing ideas. A quick reading, along with a few marked pages, will easily put you at the forefront of this debate. You'd add a lot to the often confused debates over the legalilty of discussing alternatives to Darwinism. And very likely, your school board, teachers & students will be grateful for the clear, informed rationality you'll gain from this book.
What makes this book such a gratifying read is that Beckwith is so good at clearly defining what he means and then, in a Socratic fashion, presenting arguments and counter-arguments.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in law and religion
For all the hoopla, it's pretty much a law book, but not as boring as you'd think. It's highly footnoted and Beckwith's presentation of the constitutional issues is worth the price of the book.
Beckwith is only saying that if the criterion of teaching stuff in science class is Overton's criterion, then Overton's criterion could not be taught in science class, which means that a teacher could not tell her students why she is excluding creationism if she were asked.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, I am an atheist. Second, I am an atheist who believes that given the right conditions, the theory of intelligent design would pass constitutional muster. Read morePublished on April 24, 2008 by Kevin Currie-Knight
Legal scholar Francis J. Beckwith recounts the legal history of court battles over the teaching of biological origins. Read morePublished on June 21, 2006 by Discovery Reviewer
Francis Beckwith's LAW, DARWINISM, AND PUBLIC EDUCATION does an excellent job of sorting through and analyzing the relevant court cases and legal arguments concerning the teaching... Read morePublished on November 11, 2004 by Paul Copan
Next to sex education, evolution is the most controversial school subject. This book makes the modest argument that an idea called "Intelligent Design" should be taught in public... Read morePublished on June 28, 2004 by Joseph R. McFaul
I've read virtually all of the law reviews written on the constitutional status of presenting alternative theories to evolution in the publics school classroom. Read morePublished on May 10, 2004
Too many people reviewing this book don't get it. The Daubert case flap is an illustration. Beckwith does not say whether he agrees or disagrees with Daubert. Read morePublished on May 9, 2004
I don't agree with Beckwith. I don't believe that ID is even permissible to teach in public schools if it is the only option to evolution offered (which is the same position as... Read morePublished on May 6, 2004 by McGill Downville
For those interested in examining the complex constitutional questions that touch on religion and science in public schools, this is a must read.Published on May 6, 2004