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For decades, the creationist movement was primarily fixed in the United States. Then, in the 1970s, American creationists found their ideas welcomed abroad, first in Australia and New Zealand, then in Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, and elsewhere – including Europe, where creationism plays an expanding role in public debates about science policy and school curricula.
In this, the first comprehensive history of creationism in Europe, leading historians, philosophers, and scientists narrate the rise of – and response to – scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent design, and organized anti-evolutionism in countries and religions throughout Europe. Creationism in Europe provides a unique map of creationism in Europe, plotting the surprising history of creationist activities and strategies there. Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames. Anti-evolution messages gained such widespread approval, in fact, that in 2007 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a Resolution advising member states to "defend and promote scientific knowledge" and "firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution."
Creationism in Europe offers a discerning introduction to the cultural history of modern Europe, the variety of world views in Europe, and the interplay of science and religion in a global context. It will be of interest to students and scholars in the history and philosophy of science, religious studies, and evolutionary theory, as well as policymakers and educators concerned about the spread of creationism in our time.
Stefaan Blancke is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy and Moral Science at Ghent University. Hans Henrik Hjermitslev is an assistant professor of social science at University College South Denmark. Peter C. Kjærgaard is a professor of evolutionary studies and director of the Centre for Biocultural History at Aarhus University.
"A valuable overview of creationist efforts and activities in Europe through historical or journalistic narratives. Each chapter tells us more than we knew before."
– Edward J. Larson, Pepperdine University, author of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion
"Except for polls and repeated warnings from European scientists about the invasion of American-style creationism, we know virtually nothing about the cultural origins and meanings of antievolution sentiment in Europe. But now the historiographical desert disappears with the appearance of this extraordinary collection of original essays. I welcome this pioneering book with the greatest of enthusiasm."
– Ronald L. Numbers, author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, from the foreword