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Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution 3rd Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195154719
ISBN-10: 0195154711
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Larson...ably illuminates the legal and constitutional issues...yet he is admirably aware that what transpires in state houses and law courts usually reflects larger social forces." ---The New Republic


"The main contribution of the book is that it traces clearly the legal controversies surrounding evolution and creationism in American high schools, but readers will also enjoy a vivid retelling of personal credos, political machinations, pedagogical developments, and other historical circumstances surrounding the vicissitudes of 'public science' in the schools."---Science


"The publication in 1985 of an important study of the persistent controversy over the theory of evolution by Edward J. Larson received scant attention in several major historical journals....Whatever the reasons for this oversight, Larson, fortuneatly, has expanded the original edition....Larson's study is written in clear, crisp prose that makes complex legal issues easily comprehensible to the nonspecialist....Few will be so naive as to believe that the court decisions of the 1980s have laid to rest the creationist-evolutionist debate." ---Isis


"The merging of several disciplines in a single scholar proves unusually rewarding to the treatment of creationism in American education. Whatever the outcome of the current cases...the need for a scholarly assessment of antecedents and prospects in this area has never been clearer." ---Journal of Law and Religion


About the Author


Edward J. Larson is the Richard B. Russell Professor of History and Professor of Law, University of Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (January 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195154711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195154719
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,014,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Larson's book is excellent. It focuses only on the legal history
of 20th Century Creationism. The book was
quite objective and thorough and it is hard to discerne the
author's position on the matter, although one suspects he may
not be sympathetic to the Creationist cause since he is familiar
with their sometimes devious and irrational strategies for
manipulating public opinion, the courts and state legislatures
to "overrule" the scientific community in the matter of evolution.
He succeeds in amply illustrating his main thesis, namely
that the response of the courts to Creationism has been profoundly
influenced by public opinion. Well written and recently revised to
bring it up to date.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution by Edward J. Larson is the definitive history of the ongoing American argument of the place of religion and science in the public schools. The author does a superb job in giving the reader the history of biology texts from the 19th century into the 20th century. The book traces the history of legislation and court cases in the ongoing controversy of the place of evolution and creation science in American education. I read this book after I read Larson's later work, Summer Of The Gods. In this earlier work Edward J. Larson is even handed and objective. He presents the facts and history of each court case in understandable terms. This book shows how both sides are really the same, fundementalists, unwilling, really, to listen to what the other side has to say. Anyone interested in this aspect of American history can do no better than to consult Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution by Edward J. Larson.

This is an issue that will not go away, despite the hopes of both sides in this fight. In light of the pending Dover, PA court case it is a good idea to keep any of Larson's books handy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A most extensively informed and knowledgeable author writes a splendid historical account regarding the legal battles arising from the public teaching of Darwinism vs creation/Intelligent design.

After reading this book I now wonder why the only perceived alternative that the public and educators have considered regarding any inconclusive evidence pertaining to the origin of mankind in the
evolution theory is the biblical account. I view this either/or approach as a detriment to education as well as limiting and confining research, causing the acceptance of macroevolution to be as faith based as any dogmatic re!igious belief.
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