Even in a world where secular scientific discoveries and assumptions have come to dominate the lives of so many people, science cannot be said to have rendered religion obsolete. Since the nineteenth century, one particular debate has been of central importance in apparent conflicts between science and religion: that of evolutionist versus creationist views on human origins. This book presents both the history and the contemporary dimensions of disputes over the emergence of our species. It focuses on the ways in which conservative Protestants have either opposed or attempted to appropriate the languages and methods of secular scientists in defence of a Genesis-based account of the origins of life. Leading authorities on creationism and creation science are brought together from such disciplines as anthropology, sociology, religious studies, history and philosophy. This is the first book to attempt a comprehensive comparative survey of creationist movements around the English-speaking world. A central question addressed by the contributors is why anti-evolutionist ideas appear to flourish in some social and cultural contexts, but are ridiculed in others.
Contents: Preface, Christopher Toumey; Introduction: The cultures of creationism: shifting boundaries of belief, knowledge and nationhood, Simon Coleman and Leslie Carlin; The context of creationism in Darwin's England, David Knight; Creationist discourse and the management of political-legal argumentation: comparing Britain and the USA, Simon Locke; Creationism, American-style: ideology, tactics and rhetoric in a social movement, Francis Harrold, Raymond Eve and John Taylor; Creationism in Canada, John Barker; Creationists and their critics in Australia: an autonomous culture or 'the USA with kangaroos'?, Ronald L. Numbers; Anti-evolutionism in the Antipodes: from protesting evolution to promoting creationism in New Zealand, Ronald L. Numbers and John Stenhouse; The politics of indigenous 'creationism' in Australia, Robert Layton; Creationism among young people in Kenya and in Britain, Peter Fulljames and Leslie Francis; The new creationism: its philosophical dimension, Michael Ruse; Index.