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The neo-Darwinists generally maintain a gradualist outlook, whereas the others allow for more rapid evolutionary change, but change that is still exclusively based on efficient causality.The most important vehicle for evolution is thought to be natural selection acting on variations within the population.
A Brief History of the Controversy At the beginning of this century, some American citizens organized themselves against the teaching of Darwin's theory of natural selection, a move reflecting our society's changing social and educational traditions.
For the first time, children were required to attend school well into their teens.
Biblical literalists like the "creationists." "Creation scientists" believe, as a matter of religious conviction, that the earth was created by direct action from God in one week about 4000 B. Sedimentary rocks and the fossil record were formed, according to this view, during the flood of Noah's day.
Biblical literalists represent one expression of the catastrophist school of thought.
But in response to the Soviet Union's launching of Sputnik in the late 1950s, the United States Congress began pouring money into science education at all levels.
Science curricula were drawn up as models of what the public schools should teach their students, and Darwinism was included as the foundation of high school biology.
We must begin by identifying the participants, most of whom believe (often correctly) that the other groups have misrepresented them.
The different participants in the current clash might be roughly grouped together as follows: 1. Humans were created specially by God and with a spirit that all other animals lack.
Such a discussion should give all participants a legitimate place to stand - if only for the purpose of recognizing Americas long-standing pluralism, or diversity, and thereby enhancing potential intellectual arguments to be considered in the future.
We will consider our society's divisive debate about these matters because it brings us to the heart of what scientific work is and how it affects other areas of our lives.