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Intelligently DesignedHow Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution$
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Edward Caudill

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038013

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038013.001.0001

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Creationism’s Political Genesis

Creationism’s Political Genesis

(p.1) Introduction Creationism’s Political Genesis
Intelligently Designed

Edward Caudill

University of Illinois Press

This book traces the history of creationism not only as a science–religion issue, but also as a political movement that skillfully engaged the press with a campaign against evolution grounded in American myths. It examines how the Scopes trial, and more specifically the ideas of its primary combatants, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, became the template—politically, scientifically, theologically—for all subsequent evolution–religion clashes. It shows how creationists harnessed the power of mass media to legitimize their antievolution rhetoric, allowing them to win over a large proportion of the populace. By appealing to individual rights of freedom of expression and freedom of religion, the heroism of rebellion, the virtue of individualism, and the allure of the “frontier” whether geographic or scientific, twentieth-century creationists were able to find their way into the political mainstream as they continue to attack modernism and evolution.

Keywords:   creationism, evolution, Scopes trial, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, mass media, antievolution, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, modernism

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