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Trial and Error - The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution Edward J. Larson Oxford University Press 1989 pp. 243 This is a history of the legal debate over the teaching of evolution and creation in the United States. It begins with the introduction of evolutionary ideas into botany and zoology textbooks towards the end of the 19th Century (there were no complaints about this for thirty years). It then discusses the rise of fundamentalism and the beginnings of opposition to the teaching of evolution, culminating in the passing of anti-evolution laws in several states and the drama of the Scopes trial in the 20s. The final chapters deal with the successful overturning of all anti-evolution statutes in the 60s and 70s and the final rejection by the Supreme court of attempts to get "creation science" equal time in schools. I learned a lot from from this book about the separation of church and state in the US, and about the parts of the American constitution that mandate it. My feelings about this, like so many other similar aspects of American modern history, are best summed up with: Thank God for the ACLU, without whom most of the constitution would probably be ignored by the bigots who find it inconvenient. 9/1/92

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