- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: NYU Press (May 23, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1479827134
- ISBN-13: 978-1479827138
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paranoid Science: The Christian Right's War on Reality Hardcover – May 23, 2017
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“Particularly in today’s America, where science, religion, and politics seem so inflammatory, Alumkal’s calm voice of reason has much to offer. Recommended for all libraries.”-Catholic Library World
"Alumkal shows that hostility toward science -- including a kind of fearful contempt toward scientists -- is fairly palpable."-Inside Higher Ed
"Particularly in today's America, where science, religion, and politics seem so inflammatory, Alumkal's calm voice of reason has much to offer."-Catholic Library World
“Alumkal’s book is troubling and eye-opening.”-Church & State
"Through extensive research, Alumkal provides a rich, nuanced, and detailed view of mid-20th-century American evangelicalism’s right-wing political expression and its often dangerous impact on science in the service of the common good. His conclusions indicate that when such a powerful paranoia cannot be deescalated, it must be contained. Education and persuasion are the tools for change, and Alumkal’s book succeeds in both respects."-Publishers Weekly
“This is a volume for those who seek a better understanding of the US’s contemporary cultural conflict.”-Choice
"Paranoid Science is a reliable and insightful guide to the fever swamps of evangelical science denial. A gripping, disturbing, and important contribution." -Glenn Branch,Deputy Director, National Center for Science Education
About the Author
Antony Alumkal is Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of Asian American Evangelical Churches: Race, Ethnicity, and Assimilation in the Second Generation.
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Liked next least: The often cumbersome academic approach to the work, like a thesis that is only supposed to be understood by a select elite.
Liked most: Quantifying one person's disdain for Evangelicals, however poorly camouflaged as an unbiased work.
The title panders to those who slavishly want to believe the lie that being against Darwinism is the same thing as denying reality. So right off the bat, the title is guilty of the fallacy of stating an unproven (and oft-disproved) theory as being true.
Then the summary starts off with characterizing the conflict as being "high-profile clashes with science" by the Christian Right. No. That's throwing more of the three B's at the reader. The clash is between bad science masquerading as truth vs actual science. The scientific arguments against Darwinism are fundamental and overwhelming. The arguments in favor of it are a mountainous house of cards propped up, not with good science but rather with a zealous desire to believe in it at all costs.
The summary continues to mischaracterize the issue by saying that the book provides a "comprehensive background on the war on science." The thousands of creation scientists and ID scientists would, I think, take great offense at that statement. It's not a war on science. It's a war against the non-science of Darwinism.
The summary finishes by again characterizing the issue as the war on reality, again tacitly promoting the idea that Darwinism is proven reality. Just about nothing could be further from the truth.
Furthermore, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued government-wide religious liberty guidance on October 6, 2017, granting deference to First Amendment freedoms. The 25-page memo outlined 20 principles that convey the Justice Department’s view that religious freedom protections Americans have under federal law also apply to colleges. “Except in the narrowest of circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law,” Sessions wrote. “Therefore, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting, and programming.” Last spring, in response to situations like what occurred at Evergreen State College, located in Olympia, Washington, a professor wrote a paper directed to students that was signed by 15 highly accomplished scholars who teach at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard. The paper was published as advice for young conservatives headed off to college, most of which are today dominated by far-left liberals, posits that self-discipline and even courage are required for survival in college. In short, the advice is “Think for yourself.” It continued, stressing that “The vice of conformism is a temptation for all faculty and students, they argue, due to a climate rife with group think, where it is “all-too-easy to allow your views and outlook to be shaped by dominant opinion” on a campus or in academia generally.… “the tyranny of public opinion” doesn’t merely discourage students from dissenting from prevailing views: “the central point of a college education is to seek truth and to learn the skills and acquire the virtues necessary to be a lifelong truth-seeker,” and “open-mindedness, critical thinking, and debate are essential to discovering the truth.” Professor Alumkal describes these thoughts signed by 15 highly accomplished scholars who teach at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard as Paranoid.