Even in the 1920s, the Christian fundamentalists associated with William Jennings Bryan’s crusade to eradicate Darwinism from the schools and churches of America readily accepted the paleontological evidence for the antiquity of life on earth. It was not until the coming of “scientific creationism” in the 1960s and 1970s that large numbers of antievolutionists began insisting on the recent appearance of life and assigning most of the geological column to the year of Noah’s flood. During more recent decades a new, nonbiblical, form of opposition to evolution has arisen under the banner of “intelligent design,” which seeks to “reclaim science in the name of God” and to change the very rules governing the practice of science.
Reception to follow.
Sponsored by the CofC Departments of History and Religious Studies
Dr. Ronald L. Numbers is Hilldale Professor of History emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. He has authored or edited 27 books, including The Creationists (Harvard 2006) and Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Harvard 2009). He is currently editing the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science.