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Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools Paperback – October 15, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It was not until 1968, some 43 years after the famous Scopes trial, that the U.S. Supreme Court declared bans on the teaching of evolution to be unconstitutional. But that long-sought ruling hasn't ended the debate as Christian conservatives mount ever more aggressive efforts to have creationism taught alongside evolution. Scott and Branch, directors of a nonprofit that defends the teaching of evolution in public schools, offer a collection of lively and informative essays on the conflict between the teaching of science and religion in American schools. Following a brief history of the efforts by Christian groups to develop a biblically based countertheory to evolution, contributors detail the religious, legal, and pedagogical issues raised by efforts to replace science with religion and the ultimate cost to children poorly educated in the sciences in an increasingly competitive and technological world market. Cautioning against public complacency in the face of mounting creationism campaigns, contributors detail recent efforts to defend the teaching of evolution. Readers concerned about the teaching of "intelligent design" will appreciate this resource. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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"An excellent resource for understanding and dealing with the challenges posed by the proponents of intelligent design." (VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates))
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807032786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807032787
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What I liked:

The book is a readable, concise summary of the history of anti-evolution activism in the US, and its particular interest in public school science class to peddle its pseudoscience. Other books may be more detailed and technical, but if they predate Kitzmiller v. Dover, they may miss key information. In particular, the "evolution" of the movement, has produced a dominant "species," misleadingly called "Teach the Controversy," which is scripture-free, designer-free, and even lacks a proposed alternate account of species origin. It has nothing to offer but misrepresentations of evolution, the same misrepresentations that are the basis of classic "scientific" creationism and Intelligent Design (ID). Because anti-science activists of all stripes keep changing their tactics instead of conceding, the authors rightly warn that recent court victories are no reason to be any less vigilant.

The authors make it clear that opposition to ID/creationism is not opposition to religion, and that many critics of ID/creationism are devout theists who consider it not only bad science but also bad theology. It's sad that anyone still needs to be reminded of that, but it must be done because anti-evolutionists insist on pretending otherwise. Their scams depend on it.

What I didn't like:

In an effort to be concise, the book unfortunately reinforces the typical misconception that YEC is the only version of creationism other than ID and "Teach the Controversy." It can only help to remind the reader that there are actually many mutually contradictory creationist accounts (e.g. OEC, non-Biblical).
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"Not In Our Classrooms" is a concise (152 pages) and thorough collection of essays explaining why pseudoscience based on religious beliefs has no place in public science education. Eugenie Scott begins by showing the ironic evolution of creationism to "intelligent design" within the fundamentalist community, but the book does not concern itself merely with court defeats incurred by the religious right in the U.S. Including writings from theologians like Ted Peters and noted science writers Nick Matzke, Glenn Branch and Dr. Paul Gross, "Not In Our Classrooms" ends on a positive note, showing how citizens can become involved in protecting the integrity of science education in public schools.
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Format: Paperback
Eugenie Scott and her colleague Glenn Branch - who are both from the National Center for Science Education - deserve ample praise for editing this terse, yet quite insightful, primer that explains what "Intelligent Design" is, and why it shouldn't be taught in our schools. Scott, Branch and several other writers ranging from other scientists to educators and lawyers, not only review the history of the so-called "Intelligent Design" movement from both a legal and educational perspective, but also demonstrate that this "scientific" idea is not scientific, but rather, a cleverly designed revision of "scientific creationism" which thinly disguises its religious origins. In short, "Intelligent Design" is nothing more than a Fundamentalist Protestant Christian religious idea masquerading as science, and one that is still receiving ample financial and intellectual support from the Seattle, Washington-based Discovery Institute. This terse book remains timely and important, inspite of the harsh verdict rendered against Intelligent Design by Republican Federal Judge John Jones in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education trial (He ruled that "Intelligent Design" was a religious doctrine masquerading as science.), because staunch advocates like fellow Amazon.com customer reviewer "The Professor", Michael Behe and William Dembski refuse to acknowledge the intellectual bankruptcy of their pseudoscientific idea (Moreover, distinguished conservative pundits like Charles Krauthammer and George Will echoed Judge Jones' ruling, by concurring with him in published newspaper columns, noting that "Intelligent Design" wasn't scientific.).Read more ›
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This book is a useful tool for anyone with a child in school who wants to make sure they are being taught science rather than religion. It explores the history of the creationism/evolution debate, shows the legal cases relevant, and explains what issues the creationists/ID folks keep bringing up. Most of them are laughable, but I'm glad to know about them before I get sprung with them at a PTA meeting. It's sad how well-informed we have to be to beat the ill- and misinformed. I majored in biology as an undergrad and took a class in evolution. Despite that, many of the arguments brought up by the I.D. camp were new to me, so I was glad to read about them in full before hearing about them in a debate.
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Format: Paperback
The orthodox fundamentalist Christians have a problem. If the story of the creation of the Universe as described in Genesis isn't exactly to the letter accurate, then that begins to open to question anything else that is written in the Bible. As such they cannot accept evolution. They have to believe that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago, the dinosaur bones were just put there as a test of faith. The red shift of the light of distant galaxies comes from light that God generated out there somewhere, and not possibly from a universe that's more than 6,000 years old.

If the story in Genesis is wrong, then there may be other errors in the bible. Perhaps it is not the inerrant word of God (even though it was written in a far away language - Aramaic - and translated many times, usually by people with ulterior motives). And if there are other errors, then personal salvation, heaven, and all the rest may be wrong.

There seems to be no way these people can be convinced that perhaps the story in Genesis is allegory. That a day (24 hours of dark and light) had no meaning before there was light, that it could have been an awfully long time, perhaps 13.5 billion years. What's the word for day in Aramaic anyway?

There doesn't seem to be a way to convince these people that there is enough mystery in the universe, enough room for God, without a literal interpretation. What, for instance, was going on a second or two before the big bang?

Oh well, the fundamentalists must keep trying to impose their view. In turn, we must keep showing that there are scientific proofs which perhaps reflect the way God set up the rules of the universe.

This book deals with the current way the arguments against evolution are going.
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