From Genesis to Genetics

From Genesis to Genetics: The Case of Evolution and Creationism

John A. Moore
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Pages: 239
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp6n0
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  • Book Info
    From Genesis to Genetics
    Book Description:

    The clash between evolution and creationism is one of the most hotly contested topics in education today. This book, written by one of America's most distinguished science educators, provides essential background information on this difficult and important controversy. Giving a sweeping and balanced historical look at both schools of thought, John A. Moore shows that faith can exist alongside science, that both are essential to human happiness and fulfillment, but that we must support the teaching of science and the scientific method in our nation's schools. This highly informative book will be an invaluable aid for parents, teachers, and lawmakers, as well as for anyone who wants a better understanding of this debate. From Genesis to Genetics shows us why we must free both science and religion to do the good work for which each is uniquely qualified. Using accessible language, Moore describes in depth these two schools of thought. He begins with an analysis of the Genesis story, examines other ancient creation myths, and provides a nuanced discussion of the history of biblical interpretation. After looking at the tenets and historical context of creationism, he presents the history of evolutionary thought, explaining how it was developed, what it means, and why it is such a powerful theory. Moore goes on to discuss the relationship of nineteenth-century religion to Darwinism, examine the historic Scopes trial, and take us up to the current controversy over what to teach in schools. Most important, this book also explores options for avoiding confrontations over this issue in the future. Thoughtfully and powerfully advocating that the teaching of science be kept separate from the teaching of religion, Moore asks us to recognize that a vigorous and effective scientific community is essential to our nation's health, to our leadership role in the world, and to the preservation of a healthy environment.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93078-0
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. ONE When Worlds Collide
    (pp. 1-19)

    In July 1996 a nearly complete human skeleton was found by two college students on the bank of the Columbia River near the town of Kennewick, Washington. Human remains so encountered are always of concern—“Who was it?” and “Who did it?”—so the students called the police. In an effort to answer those two questions the police turned the bones over to the local coroner. Burial grounds of Native Americans are sometimes encountered in that part of the Northwest, and the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act, passed in 1990, required that any such remains be returned for...

  7. TWO Creation according to Genesis
    (pp. 20-53)

    Belief in a creation of some sort is not unique to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Most societies believe that the world and its living inhabitants have not existed forever, but rather that everything was created by some deity or supernatural force in the remote past. Many different scenarios for the mode of creation can be found; each one is usually restricted to a single culture and even to a period in history. A culture’s explanation of creation becomes part of its sacred beliefs.

    The Old Testament of the Christian tradition consists of the sacred scriptures of the Jewish people. The antecedents...

  8. THREE Creationists Meet Mr. Darwin, 1859
    (pp. 54-90)

    During the nineteenth century, theologians and biblical scholars became engaged in serious study of the antecedents of the Bible as we know it, comparing the various ancient texts from which it evolved, seeking to understand the apparent contradictions, and attempting to identify those texts that might have been closest to the original. While these scholars were busy studying “the Word” to illuminate God’s great act of creation, other pious Christians were studying “the Work” itself—the many species of living creatures—in order to worship God better through a deeper appreciation of His handiwork. These religious students of nature called...

  9. FOUR Making the Case for Evoluation
    (pp. 91-115)

    Imagine yourself living in the two decades after the publication of theOrigin.You have read Darwin’s book as well as reviews, heard several lectures on the subject, and possibly even attended the Oxford debate between Wilberforce and Huxley. If you were not a scientist and were unfamiliar with the workings of scientific procedures, you might be somewhat puzzled and feel unsatisfied with the data available to Darwin and other naturalists that were regarded as “proofs” of evolution. You might have thought that evolution meant the conversion of one species into another, as the title of Darwin’s book suggested; yet...

  10. FIVE Twentieth-Century Evidence
    (pp. 116-146)

    Darwin’s magisterial assembling of the indirect evidence for evolution was convincing to many scientists almost from the publication of theOrigin,and by the end of a decade to nearly all. However, his hypothesis for themechanismof evolutionary change, namely, inherited variations acted upon by natural selection in a finite environment, was not so convincing. A major reason for this was the near total lack of information in Darwin's time about the origin of variation and the workings of inheritance.

    In the last half of the nineteenth century it was not clear whether or not inheritance is a constant...

  11. SIX Evolution on Trial, 1925
    (pp. 147-166)

    In the nineteenth century the United States witnessed a great ferment in Christianity that resulted in many schisms that persisted into the twentieth century. The religious climate was very different from that in most nations of Western Europe, which had established or dominant religions, such as the Episcopal (Anglican) Church in England and the Roman Catholic Church in France, Italy, and Spain. In the United States, some of the sects took an extreme fundamentalist position and insisted on the inerrancy of the Bible. One of the founding fathers of American fundamentalism was the evangelist Dwight L. Moody, whose position was...

  12. SEVEN The Rise of “Creation Science,” 1963
    (pp. 167-191)

    The reappearance of evolution in biology courses proved to be a stimulus for creationists, and their voices and activities increased. At first, only a few creationists were actively involved outside their community, but they proved to be skillful, determined, and effective. For example, the efforts largely of one couple in Texas were sufficient to make the adoption of biology books that discussed evolution extremely difficult in that state.

    The major voices for creationism were those of ten men with advanced university degrees who in 1963 formed the Creation Research Society and later, in 1972, founded the Institute for Creation Research,...

  13. EIGHT Where Does This Leave Us?
    (pp. 192-206)

    Western civilization has developed two major ways of accounting for the diverse species of creatures alive today. The oldest, and probably the one most widely accepted in the United States, is based on a literal interpretation of Genesis, the first book in the Judeo-Christian Bible, which dates to a few centuries B.C. This is the familiar story of God’s creation of the universe, our solar system with its sun and orbiting planets, and living creatures—all in six days. Strict creationists date these events to no more than 10,000 years ago. According to this account, a second dramatic influence on...

  14. SUGGESTED READING
    (pp. 207-210)
  15. REFERENCES
    (pp. 211-220)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 221-223)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 224-226)