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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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Into the Mainstream

Into the Mainstream

(p.114) 6 Into the Mainstream
Intelligently Designed

Edward Caudill

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how creationists were able to work their way into the political mainstream that allowed them to carve a prominent place on the national agenda from the mid-1990s to about 2005. Although the creationists lost in Dover and Kansas, the events reflected a movement that had crept from an intellectual backwater to the center of U.S, politics. Before 2005, the teaching of evolution already was designated marginal to failing in half of the states, as various legislatures and local school boards avoided, disclaimed, and renounced evolution. This chapter first considers the creationists' participation in a May 2000 congressional briefing on intelligent design before discussing how creationism became an issue in the 1996 and 2008 presidential elections and in the Republicans' presidential candidacy in 2012. It also looks at President George W. Bush's endorsement of creationism via “teach the controversy” in 2005 and the backlash against creationism in less conventional mass media. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the institutionalization of creationism led by the Discovery Institute.

Keywords:   creationism, evolution, Discovery Institute, intelligent design, George W. Bush, mass media, presidential elections, politics, Republicans, teach the controversy

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