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A preview of Berkman and Plutzer

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer's Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The excerpt is taken from chapter 2 — "The Public Speaks: 'Teach Both'" — and discusses "more than a quarter century of surveys of the American public concerning evolution." Berkman and Plutzer summarize, "the majority of Americans favor teaching students a biblical perspective on the origins of life on earth. For most, creationism should be taught alongside evolutionary biology ... However, a fairly sizable minority say they want biblical perspectives to supplant scientific treatments of the origin of species."

Endorsing the book, Francisco J. Ayala wrote, "Who should determine whether evolution is taught in the schools and how it is taught? Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms is a thorough investigation of the relative roles played by school boards and the political process, by scientists, and by school teachers. You may be surprised by the answers." And NCSE's Glenn Branch described Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms as "[a] tour de force," adding, "Berkman and Plutzer's analysis of who really decides what is taught about evolution in America's public schools is incisive and insightful, thorough and thoughtful. ... required reading for anyone who wants to understand the evolution wars."