Abusing Science

Abusing Science : The Case Against Creationism

3.88 (111 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Abusing Science is a manual for intellectual self-defense, the most complete available for presenting the case against Creationist pseudo-science. It is also a lucid exposition of the nature and methods of genuine science. The book begins with a concise introduction to evolutionary theory for non-scientists and closes with a rebuttal of the charge that this theory undermines religious and moral values. It will astonish many readers that this case must still be made in the 1980s, but since it must, Philip Kitcher makes it irresistibly and forcefully.

Not long ago, a federal court struck down an Arkansas law requiring that scientific Creationism be taught in high school science classes. Contemporary Creationists may have lost one legal battle, but their cause continues to thrive. Their efforts are directed not only at state legislatures but at local school boards and textbook publishers. As Kitcher argues in this rigorous but highly readable book, the integrity of science is under attack. The methods of inquiry used in evolutionary biology are those which are used throughout the sciences. Moreover, modern biology is intertwined with other fields of science--physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology. Creationists hope to persuade the public that education in science should be torn apart to make room for a literal reading of Genesis.

Abusing Science refutes the popular complaint that the scientific establishment is dogmatic and intolerant, denying academic freedom to the unorthodox. It examines Creationist claims seriously and systematically, one by one, showing clearly just why they are at best misguided, at worst ludicrous.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 213 pages
  • 149 x 229 x 11mm | 318g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 026261037X
  • 9780262610377
  • 1,115,545

Review Text

A marvelously lucid summary of the evidence for evolution and the overwhelming case against its enemies.... As a philosopher concerned with the way science operates, Kitcher is good at showing how creationists distort Karl Popper's views on scientific method, and how they misuse such books as Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He is equally skillful at showing how creationists persist in quoting out of context Stephen Jay Gould and other 'punctuationists'... Martin Gardner, Discover


Such outfits as the Moral Majority and the Institute for Creation Research seem to have inherited the hot air waves, if not the wind. And this has alarmed Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of science at the University of Vermont, enough to give us this thoughtful and witty attack on 'scientific creationism'...Dr. Kitcher has mixed a great deal of cold logic and history into his case, thereby creating a book that is as valuable as it is fun to read for scientists and nonscientists alike.

James P. Sterba, The New York Times


With his book, Abusing Science, Kitcher...takes his place beside such eloquent champions of Darwin's theory as Thomas Huxley and Clarence Darrow.

Jill Sapinsley Mooney, San Francisco Chronicle
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Review quote

A marvelously lucid summary of the evidence for evolution and the overwhelming case against its enemies.... As a philosopher concerned with the way science operates, Kitcher is good at showing how creationists distort Karl Popper's views on scientific method, and how they misuse such books as Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He is equally skillful at showing how creationists persist in quoting out of context Stephen Jay Gould and other 'punctuationists'...--Martin Gardner, Discover--


Such outfits as the Moral Majority and the Institute for Creation Research seem to have inherited the hot air waves, if not the wind. And this has alarmed Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of science at the University of Vermont, enough to give us this thoughtful and witty attack on 'scientific creationism'...Dr. Kitcher has mixed a great deal of cold logic and history into his case, thereby creating a book that is as valuable as it is fun to read for scientists and nonscientists alike.--James P. Sterba, The New York Times--


With his book, Abusing Science, Kitcher...takes his place beside such eloquent champions of Darwin's theory as Thomas Huxley and Clarence Darrow.--Jill Sapinsley Mooney, San Francisco Chronicle--
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About Philip Kitcher

Philip Kitcher is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and Director of its Center for the Philosophy of Science. Kitcher is the author of a searching book on "Scientific" Creationism, Abusing Science, published by The MIT Press in 1982.
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Rating details

111 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 24% (27)
4 50% (55)
3 18% (20)
2 6% (7)
1 2% (2)
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