The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA

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John Wiley & Sons, May 22, 2007 - Religion - 256 pages
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.

 

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User Review  - iread2much - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

The battle over the meaning of everything: evolution, intelligent design, and a school board in Dover, PA

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

First, there was the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925; then, in 2005, Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District. The names are different, and some strategies have changed, but it is the same cultural ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

PROLOGUE
v
CHAPTER 1 THE TAKEOVER
1
CHAPTER 2 THE TRAIN TO DOVER
16
CHAPTER 3 THE THEORY IS NOT A FACT
23
CHAPTER 4 ASSEMBLING GOLIATH
43
CHAPTER 5 THOMAS MORE AND ID LITE
61
CHAPTER 6 ID HEAVY AND THE WEDGE
74
CHAPTER 7 DOWN BY LAW
85
CHAPTER 11 LIARS FOR CHRIST
144
CHAPTER 12 THE UNRAVELING
158
CHAPTER 13 THE FORTIETH DAY
170
CHAPTER 14 THE PEOPLES COURT AND THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN JONES
182
CHAPTER 15 AFTERWORD
199
NOTES
209
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
219
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
223

CHAPTER 8 SEARCH AND REPLACE
98
CHAPTER 9 THE VARIETIES OF MATERIALISTIC EXPERIENCE
109
CHAPTER 10 THE FLAGELLAR FANDANGO
124

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About the author (2007)

Gordy Slack is a science writer whose articles have appeared in Mother Jones, Wired, The Scientist, and Salon.com. He is a former senior editor of California Wild, the science and natural history magazine published by the California Academy of Sciences, and a frequent contributor to San Francisco's KQED radio. His writing often focuses on evolutionary biology and the relationship between science and religion.

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