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The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything:…
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The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design,…

by Gordy Slack

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A well written account of the Dover, PA school Board's attempt to force Intelligent Design to be taught in the schools. The court case is covered in detail and the writing style is fluid and entertaining enough to make all the tedious court battles interesting to read. Provides insight into school board member's, students, parents, and teachers, thoughts about what was happening in their town. While the author maintains throughout the book his strong belief that science must be taught, he provides fair treatment to the people in the book who do not share his views. ( )
1 vote iread2much | Apr 14, 2010 |
A science reporter's breezy account of the clown show that was the 2005 Dover trial.

New information not in the news at the time:
- the Discovery Institute really IS funded by RW millionaires, working toward the explicit goal of stopping scientific progress.
- the creationists on the Dover school board LIED at their depositions. (Amusingly, Slack ties this to the Straussian/ conservative "Noble Lies". Uh-huh.)
- various parents who signed on as plaintiffs received death threats from their xtian neighbors. Death threats!

Much of the rest of the sad story could be gleaned from a reading of PZ Meyers: e.g., the 'wedge' document that a) makes the DI's goals explicit and b) shows them to be liars, busy hiding their true purpose.

I was broadly familiar with the story from the coverage in the scientific press, and from a quick skim of the decision; the book was a quick but useful overview, well worth the couple of hours invested.

I notice that back when I was studying this stuff, it was still called "Creationism" - I seem to have missed the entire rise and fall of the "Creation Science" stage that preceded its current "ID" stage. There's foreshadowings that the thrice-defeated creationists will be back, now calling their lies "Sudden Emergence".

Hard to believe that anybody still goes through these motions in a post-Scopes world. ( )
7 vote AsYouKnow_Bob | Jul 30, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0787987867, Paperback)

A compelling eyewitness account of the recent courtroom drama in Dover, Pennsylvania that put evolution on trial.

Journalist Gordy Slack offers a riveting, personal, and often amusing first-hand account that details six weeks of some of the most widely ranging, fascinating, and just plain surreal testimony in U.S. legal history—a battle between hard science and religious conservatives wishing to promote a new version of creationism in schools.

During the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Areas School Board trial,  the members of the local school board defended their decision to require teachers to present intelligent design  alongside evolution as an explanation for the origins and diversity of life on earth. The trial revealed much more than a disagreement about how to approach science education. It showed two essentially different and conflicting views of the world and the lengths some people will go to promote their own. The ruling by George W. Bush-appointed Judge John Jones III was unexpected in its stridency: Not only did he conclude that intelligent design was religion and not science and therefore had no place in a science classroom, he scolded the school board for wasting public time and money.

A sophisticated examination of the deep cultural, religious, and political tensions that continue to divide America, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is also journalist Gordy Slack’s personal and engaging story of the high drama and unforgettable characters on both sides of the courtroom controversy. 
Gordy Slack (Oakland, CA) has been writing about science and evolutionary biology for 15 years. He is a regular commentator on KQED, an affiliate of NPR, and his articles have appeared in Mother Jones, Salon.com, Wired, California Wild, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:12 -0400)

"The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is a compelling eyewitness account of the recent courtroom drama in Dover, Pennsylvania, that put evolution and intelligent design on trial. Journalist Gordy Slack offers a personal, and often amusing first-hand account that details six weeks of some of the most widely ranging, fascinating, and just plain surreal testimony in U.S. legal history - a battle between hard science and religious conservatives wishing to promote a new version of creationism in schools."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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