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Darwin: Demon or Revolutionary?
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
February 16, 2012
University of Kentucky
Although Charles Darwin is recognized internationally as the founding father of evolutionary biology and one of the world's most influential scientists, in the creationist world, Darwin's ideas and Darwin as scientist and scholar are routinely denigrated. Three basic themes characterize this demonization: Darwin is presented as an incompetent, or lazy, or plagiarizing scientist; secondly, as the atheist founder of a materialist science (evolution) dedicated to undermining Christianity; and third, as the proponent of toxic social beliefs such as racism. (This would certainly come as a surprise to the quiet Englishman who regularly donated to the American abolition movement, and who almost got himself thrown off the Beagle over an argument with Fitzroy over the evils of slavery). Of course, the actual Darwin contrasts strikingly with these mischaracterizations -- but the mischaracterizations serve to promote an overall anti-evolutionary agenda that survey research has shown has been embraced by a surprisingly large percentage of Americans.
Kentucky Section of the
American Institute for Professional Geologists
Kentucky Paleontological Society
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