The Struggle Over Teaching Evolution

Feb 15, 2012

From the Scopes trial of the 1920s to intelligent design today,  teaching evolution remains a most divisive issue in America.   Across the battlegrounds of pulpits, classrooms and courtrooms, opposing forces have struggled with what the curriculum should include.

Today Steve Kraske talks with KU history professor Jeffrey Moran, author of American Genesis: The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science.  Together they explore why this has remained a hot-button issue for more than 80 years.  They discuss from where the opposition to Darwin's theory being included in lesson plans comes and if instructing students about it is part of a broader push to reduce the importance of religion in American life.

Jeffrey P. Moran is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas.  A Ph.D. graduate of Harvard, Moran is the author of "Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century" and of "The Scopes Trial: A Brief History with Documents." He has published articles in the Journal of American History, Southern Studies, and Reviews in American History, and recently published pieces in the Journal of American History and the Journal of Southern History on the issues of race and evolution during the Scopes trial.  Dr. Moran was awarded the Organization of American Historians' Louis Peltzer Prize in 1996.  His latest book is "American Genesis: The Evolution Controversies from Scopes to Creation Science"  about the social context of the antievolution impulse in modern America for Oxford University Press.