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Denying Evolution : Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science

Denying Evolution : Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0878936595

Cover of Denying Evolution : Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science 02 (ISBN 978-0878936595)
ISBN13: 978-0878936595
ISBN10: 0878936599
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Sinauer Associates, Inc.
Published: 2002
International: No

List price: $40.50

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Denying Evolution : Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0878936595

Massimo Pigliucci

ISBN13: 978-0878936595
ISBN10: 0878936599
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Published: 2002
International: No
Summary

Denying Evolution aims at taking a fresh look at the evolution-creation controversy. It presents a truly "balanced" treatment, not in the sense of treating creationism as a legitimate scientific theory (it demonstrably is not), but in the sense of dividing the blame for the controversy equally between creationists and scientists -- the former for subscribing to various forms of anti-intellectualism, the latter for discounting science education and presenting science as scientism to the public and the media. The central part of the book focuses on a series of creationist fallacies (aimed at showing errors of thought, not at deriding) and of mistakes by scientists and science educators. The last part of the book discusses long-term solutions to the problem, from better science teaching at all levels to the necessity of widespread understanding of how the brain works and why people have difficulties with critical thinking.

Table of Contents

Introduction -- How Did I Get into This Mess?

1. Where Did the Controversy Come From?

Opposition in Darwin's Time
Darwin Comes to America
The Scopes Trial
Creationist Legal Defeats after Scopes


2. Evolution-Creationism 101

The Multiple Forms of Creationism
"Scientific Creationism"
The Intelligent Design Movement
What Evolution Is and Is Not


3. One Side of the Coin: The Dangers of Anti-intellectualism

Forms of anti-intellectualism:
Anti-rationalism
Anti-elitism
Unreflective Instrumentalism
Unreflective Hedonism
Post-modernism


4. The Other Side of the Coin: The Problem with Scientism

Weinberg's "Against Philosophy" and Other Forms of Scientism
The Opposite Extreme: Houston Smith's Anti-science Ideology
The Scientific Method and Its Limits
Logical Positivism as the Quintessence of Scientism
Science as a Social Process
The Philosophical Assumptions of the Scientific Method
The Principle of Consilience of Evidence


5. Creationist Fallacies

"Science Must Be Ethical"
"Scientific Discussion Is a Sign of Crisis"
"It's 'Just' a Theory"
"Natural Means Random"
"The World Can Be Understood by Common Sense"
"We Win by Default"
"Living Organisms Are Obviously Supernaturally Designed"
"It's a Debate about Origins"
"Science Is an Arbitrary Assemblage of Facts"
"Education Must Be Democratic"
"Science Is a Religion"


6. Some Major Recurring Points in the Controversy

The Second Principle of Thermodynamics
The Origin of Life
The Cambrian Explosion
"There Are No Intermediate Fossils"


7. Scientific Fallacies

The Big One: The Rationalistic Fallacy
There Are Plenty of Things We Don't Understand about Evolution
Science Does Not Understand Well Other Components of the "Origins" Question
Hoaxes and Frauds
Science is Not Simple To Teach


8. What do we do about it?

The Icons of Evolution
Get Out of the Ivory Tower, or It Will Crumble
Teaching Science to Science Teachers
Hands On and Brains Off?
The Paradox of Science Education and Paranormal Belief
The Neurobiology of Learning


Conclusion: The Controversy That Never Ends

Appendix A. Hume on Intelligent Design: Excerpt and Commentary from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Appendix B. William Jennings Bryan's Last Speech

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