Intelligently Designed

Intelligently Designed: How Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Intelligently Designed
    Book Description:

    This volume examines how Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths, or SOLHOT, a radical youth intervention, provides a space for the creative performance and expression of Black girlhood and how this creativity informs other realizations about Black girlhood and womanhood. Founded in 2006 and co-organized by the author, SOLHOT is an intergenerational collective organizing effort that celebrates and recognizes Black girls as producers of culture and knowledge. Girls discuss diverse expressions of Black girlhood, critique the issues that are important to them, and create art that keeps their lived experiences at its center. Drawing directly from her experiences in SOLHOT, Ruth Nicole Brown argues that when Black girls reflect on their own lives, they articulate radically unique ideas about their lived experiences. She documents the creative potential of Black girls and women who are working together to advance original theories, practices, and performances that affirm complexity, interrogate power, and produce humanizing representation of Black girls' lives. Emotionally and intellectually powerful, this book expands on the work of Black feminists and feminists of color and breaks intriguing new ground in Black feminist thought and methodology.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09530-6
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Creationism’s Political Genesis
    (pp. 1-13)

    After World War I, divisions that had been boiling below the surface of a modernizing, but still agrarian, nation erupted. For some, the war showed what could happen in an industrial world gone mad. For others, the currents of disruptive new knowledge confirmed that some people would be left behind in their shells of quaint tradition. A Tennessee town became the period’s most garish exemplar of divergent worldviews.

    This is a history of creationism not just as a science-religion issue, but as a political movement that skillfully engaged the press with a campaign grounded in American myths. Contemporary creationism’s political...

  5. 1 The Genesis of Young-Earth Creationism
    (pp. 14-29)

    Antievolutionism did not spontaneously generate itself in 1925, the year of the Scopes trial, though one might think so in reading press accounts of subsequent innumerable cases involving teaching evolution in public schools.¹ All of them seem to be “Scopes 2.” There is justification for the now clichéd label attached to cases involving religious objections to teaching evolution in public schools. This is a result of the Scopes trial—the first one—having become more than cultural shorthand for the evolution-religion issue. The case also became a template for subsequent clashes over the irreconcilable issue. That template includes

    Public schools...

  6. 2 The Contrarian and the Commoner: Darrow and Bryan
    (pp. 30-50)

    Bryan and Darrow inhabited one of those peculiar moments in history when two individuals really did personify two major, antagonistic streams of thought in American society. Both had made their reputations in progressive causes, allied with the Democratic Party. But they saw different avenues to reform. Bryan believed religion informed all walks of life, including politics and science.¹ Darrow saw education, including science, and modernist thought as the way of changing an unjust society and improving the lot of the underclass.² Religion, he believed, too often was an impediment to enlightenment and just as corrupt as a capitalistic system that...

  7. 3 From the Scopes Trial to Darwin on Trial
    (pp. 51-72)

    Bryan’s death threw fundamentalism into some disarray.¹ The movement lost focus, but not energy, as creationists reorganized, established publications, and took advantage of new media platforms—radio in the 1930s and television in the 1950s. The loss of Bryan’s leadership meant reorganizing and rethinking his progressive politics and liberal interpretation, by literalist standards, of scripture in which “days” could mean “ages.” During the next few years, several individuals campaigned to become Bryan’s successor. His friend George F. Washburn founded the Bible Crusaders of America to lead people “Back to Christ, the Bible, and the Constitution.” Another evangelist, Paul Rood, in...

  8. 4 Intelligent Design and Resurgent Creationism
    (pp. 73-96)

    Defining “creationism” had become even more problematic by the 1990s. The term could encompass the traditional “young-Earthers,” who believed life and Earth were created spontaneously less than 10,000 years ago and that humans came into being in their present form. The term also could include those who accepted an old Earth, thereby accommodating geologic facts. Political expediency, though, favored a broader definition in order to win a larger constituency. Up to this point, politics had lagged behind religion as a motivating force.¹ That, too, was changing, as creationists were turning to more overtly political goals, which could be seen in...

  9. 5 Science on Trial: The Ghost of Bryan
    (pp. 97-113)

    Bryan’s twenty-first-century resurrection occurred in two places in the heartland. The first was Kansas, just south of his native Nebraska, the second a small town in Pennsylvania. In both cases, Bryanesque rhetoric permeated fervent appeals to individual rights and democratic principles.¹ One side fumed for science and against theocracy. The other side railed about the assault on religion and bemoaned the abandonment of sacred traditions.

    “There are two worldviews that are in conflict.” The line could have come straight out of the Scopes trial, from either Bryan or Darrow. But it was October 2005, and it was the New York...

  10. 6 Into the Mainstream
    (pp. 114-131)

    Dover’s “Scopes 2” and Kansas’s design debacle were signal events, showcasing phenomena that no longer represented a mere oddity in American culture. Though creationists lost in Dover and Kansas, the events reflected a movement that had crept from an intellectual backwater to the political mainstream.¹ Before 2005, the teaching of evolution already was designated marginal to failing in half of the states, as numerous legislatures and local school boards avoided, disclaimed, and renounced evolution. A 2001 report on teaching evolution showed a “passable C” average across all states, of which nineteen had less-than-passable standards. Of those “failing” states, large percentages...

  11. 7 Creationism’s Web: In the Museum, On the Net, at the Movies
    (pp. 132-151)

    By the end of the twentieth century, the Scopes trial was no longer a humiliation for creationists but an indignation.¹ The problem, according to creationists, had been to make any compromise with literalism’s naysayers. Creationists recast and remythologized Scopes as a lesson, their defining moment in the fight against evolution. They turned to a media and political arsenal—web sites, magazines, museums, institutes and lobbyists—to rewrite history as well as the rules of science.

    The creationist showpiece, the $27 million Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, portrayed the Scopes trial as a seminal moment in modernist history. Though in agreement...

  12. 8 Legacy
    (pp. 152-168)

    The Scopes trial was the first public performance of modern America’s science-versus-religion drama.¹ Its high visibility and dramatic quality gave it a special place in the subsequent fight because the trial defined terms and tactics that have endured into the twenty-first century for the antievolution movement. Creationists still use Bryan’s arguments against evolution and his appeals to American myths and democratic values. His lessons in practical politics and using the press to promote one’s agenda have not been lost on the modern antievolution movement. First, putting the fight in court meant a public argument. Even without the impetus of sensation...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 169-192)
  14. Index
    (pp. 193-200)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 201-204)