American Genesis by Jeffrey P. Moran
The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



The question of teaching evolution in the public schools is a continuing and frequently heated political issue in America. From Tennessee's Scopes Trial in 1925 to recent battles that have erupted in Louisiana, Kansas, Ohio, and countless other localities, the critics and supporters of evolution have fought nonstop over the role of science and religion in American public life.

In American Genesis, Jeffrey P. Moran explores the ways in which the evolution debate has reverberated beyond the confines of state legislatures and courthouses. Using extensive research in newspapers, periodicals, and archives, Moran shows that social forces such as gender, regionalism, and race have intersected with the debate over evolution in ways that shed light on modern American culture. He investigates, for instance, how antievolutionism deepened the cultural divisions between North and South--northerners embraced evolution as a sign of sectional enlightenment, while southerners defined themselves as the standard bearers of true Christianity. Evolution debates also exposed a deep gulf between conservative Black Christians and secular intellectuals such as W. E. B. DuBois. Moran also explores the ways in which the struggle has played out in the universities, on the internet, and even within the evangelical community. Throughout, he shows that evolution has served as a weapon, as an enforcer of identity, and as a polarizing force both within and without the churches.

America has both the most advanced scientific infrastructure as well as the highest rate of church adherence among developed nations, and the issues raised in the evolution controversies touch the heart of our national identity. American Genesis makes an important contribution to our understanding of the impact of this contentious issue, revealing how its tendrils have stretched out to touch virtually every corner of our lives.

About Jeffrey P. Moran

See more books from this Author
Jeffrey P. Moran is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas. He is the author of Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the Twentieth Century and The Scopes Trial: A Brief History with Documents.
Published March 5, 2012 by Oxford University Press. 216 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Science & Math.

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Genesis

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Moran examines how evolution threatened not just the “young earthers” who accepted Genesis as history but also those who believed in the divinity of Jesus.

Jan 15 2012 | Read Full Review of American Genesis: The Evoluti...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Eschewing the broad-brush strokes in which the antievolution movement is generally characterized, Moran explores the cultural dynamics informing the almost century-old debate, documenting the formative role religious Southern women, who viewed themselves as “active agents of morality,” played...

Jan 23 2012 | Read Full Review of American Genesis: The Evoluti...

The Gospel Coalition

Although he cites the authoritative history of creationism by Ronald Numbers, it seems Moran has not read the book, for if he had, he would never have claimed that young earth creationists had achieved “triumph among their compatriots in the American Scientific Affiliation,” the principal and...

| Read Full Review of American Genesis: The Evoluti...

Rate this book!

Add Review