The Mythmaker's Magic: Behind the Illusion of Creation Science

The Mythmaker's Magic: Behind the Illusion of Creation Science

The Mythmaker's Magic: Behind the Illusion of Creation Science

The Mythmaker's Magic: Behind the Illusion of Creation Science

Synopsis

This amusing, acerbic collection of essays examines every facet of the evolution/creationism controversy. Delos B. McKown exposes the ambiguous standing of "creation science" in public education, its roots in American fundamentalism, its incompatibility with scientific inquiry, and the clever rhetorical ploys "scientific creationists" use to cover their tracks. Although the "scientific creationists" try to impose a pure myth upon our public schools in the guise of respectable science, theirs is a curious kind of reasoning having ominous consequences for any society hoping to ground its educational system on modern scientific knowledge and methodology and on open, free investigation of problems and issues. McKown takes the "scientific creationists" world view seriously. In those instances where they would like to escape a literal reading of the Bible and slip into parable or allegory to avoid embarrassment, he makes them take their scriptures straight. Moreover, McKown puts them to rout with a perfectly biblical bit of theology that he calls "Three-World Creationism". The Mythmaker's Magic puts "scientific creationism" into its proper historical perspective, shows what its legal and constitutional strengths are, and suggests what may be done to thwart, if not to destroy, its malignant influence in public education. For all those who want to actively combat the dangerous spread of "scientific creationism" in public education, this powerful book can serve as both a beacon and a guide.

Excerpt

There was once a wag who said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the people of the world into two kinds and those who do not. For the purposes of this book, I am going to help confirm the wag's witty view by dividing the world's people into two kinds: those who tend to base their beliefs on facts or who are willing to modify their beliefs to conform to facts, once these become known, and those who acquire their beliefs dogmatically or who alter or dismiss facts to fit their preexisting faith. Broadly speaking this book is for those who fit the first group but is about those who belong to the second group, or, more precisely, to a particular subdivision thereof.

Throughout this book I have aimed at the kind of intelligent, reasonably open-minded, public-spirited people who serve on the nation's school boards; also at the nation's science teachers, particularly in the public schools; and, last but not least, at scientists in general, whether engaged in education or not. Nobody, of course, is forbidden (by the author at least) to read this book, and others not envisioned as belonging to the targeted groups may find it valuable. the parents of school children come to mind as do all citizens who want high quality science instruction offered in the public schools.

This book is about those who are pleased to call themselves "Scientific Creationists." These people are but a species of the religious genus whose members I shall, henceforth, call Fundagelicals. This term is not meant to be funny (though chuckles need not be suppressed) but is, rather, intended as a shorthand way of referring to Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and . . .

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