Home » American Scientific Affiliation, Books of interest, Darwinism, Intelligent Design, News » Moran’s history of the Darwin vs. design culture wars mostly leaves OUT both ASA and ID?

Moran’s history of the Darwin vs. design culture wars mostly leaves OUT both ASA and ID?

American Genesis: The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science

Wow. Recently, we noted Jeffrey P. Moran’s book, American Genesis The Antievolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science (Oxford University Press, 2012): Here’s a review by Mark A. Kalthoff at the Gospel Coalition notes the book’s errors and omissions, including,

Such confusion becomes risible when it comes to the history of American creationism and the evangelical Christian engagement with evolution. Moran wrongly identifies the Scofield Reference Bible as the source of the “day-age” theory of creation in which the Genesis days “might correspond to epochs of thousands of years.” To the contrary, the Scofield Bible was the source of the “Gap Theory,” which Moran tries to explain, but clearly doesn’t understand and gets wrong, too (101). Although he cites the authoritative history of creationism by Ronald Numbers, it seems Moran has not read the book, for if he had, he would never have claimed that young earth creationists had achieved “triumph among their compatriots in the American Scientific Affiliation,” the principal and longest-lasting group of evangelical Christian scientists, whose repudiation of young-earth flood geology actually prompted Morris and Whitcomb to flee the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) and launch the independent movement of modern creation-science (102).

Unconscionable Omission

Which brings one to the glaring omissions. Moran’s mistaken reference to the ASA as the locus of young-earth “triumph” is the book’s only mention of the ASA, one of the most important organizations in the post-Scopes evolution controversies. Such an omission is unconscionable in view of the final chapter’s professed objective to discuss the creation-evolution struggle in view of science education, the concern has that animated the ASA from its 1941 founding to the present day. When, in 1984, the National Academy of Sciences distributed to American teachers more than 40,000 copies of its touted booklet, Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Science, the ASA responded with a similarly formatted volume, Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy: A View from the American Scientific Affiliation. It was an evangelical publishing effort positioned to stake out an orthodox middle ground between young-earth creation science and atheistic evolution.

The story is fascinating and important, but it is entirely absent from Moran’s book, as are, for another example, many of the lead players in the Intelligent Design movement like Stephen Meyer, Jonathan Wells, Michael Denton, Paul Nelson, et al. In fact, rather than acknowledging that the Fellows of the Discovery Institute number into the scores, Moran lets stand the gross underestimate of “seven or eight” offered to him by one prominent evolutionist and opponent of ID (148).

So the author was phoning in the story from Pitcairn Island? Aw, basically, the book is just not a useful reference, not if it leaves out stuff as critical as that.

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4 Responses to Moran’s history of the Darwin vs. design culture wars mostly leaves OUT both ASA and ID?

  1. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t determine if the book actually intended to cover the history up to the present time; the title, to me, suggests otherwise – “from Scopes to Creation Science” — could a sequel covering ID be possible?

  2. Well, having just read the review, there’s no refuge in the possibility that it wasn’t supposed to cover things up to the present day… I guess you don’t have to do research to publish books these days.

  3. Evolution activists tend to become very emotional and obsessive when addressing the matter of origins, so it is not wise to expect an open-minded, measured analysis of ID from them. Thorton’s sometimes barely coherent posts reveal the id (not ID) they all share. It’s basically a war between ID and id.

  4. The book probably tries to attack YEC and is afraid of the ID folk because of their degrees.
    YEC is always attacked as anti science and pro-dumb and they can” at all get away with this with the power and influence and science revolution that ID folks have contributed.
    Its good to see another book about the origin struggles in the Anglo-American civilization as all publicity is good publicity to the side that is right.

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