Scene of the Crime

Edward J. Larson

in Trial and Error

Third edition

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154719
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849505 | DOI:
Scene of the Crime

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This chapter provides some historical background by examining evolutionary teaching in America during the years leading up to the anti-evolution crusade. It reviews the treatment of evolution in the textbooks of the period, starting with the gradual incorporation of evolution into high-school texts during the late 19th century and continuing through the increasingly dogmatic presentation of that doctrine during the early 20th century. It identifies exactly what crusaders were fighting against and explores the timing of their drive. Before the Scopes trial and the half-decade of anti-evolution legislative activity, the offending doctrine entered science textbooks without organized opposition. This process reflected tendencies within the American scientific community, where evolution had replaced creation as the dominant view shortly after Charles Darwin published his theory in 1859.

Keywords: anti-evolution crusade; science textbooks; Charles Darwin; Origin of Species; evolution theory

Chapter.  7418 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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