40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, Oxycontin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania by Matthew Chapman

40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, Oxycontin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in…

byMatthew Chapman

Kobo ebook | October 13, 2009

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In this fascinating story of evolution, religion, politics, and personalities, Matthew Chapman captures the story behind the headlines in the debate over God and science in America.

Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education, decided in late 2005, pitted the teaching of intelligent design (sometimes known as "creationism in a lab coat") against the teaching of evolution. Matthew Chapman, the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, spent several months covering the trial from beginning to end. Through his in-depth encounters with the participants—creationists, preachers, teachers, scientists on both sides of the issue, lawyers, theologians, the judge, and the eleven parents who resisted the fundamentalist proponents of intelligent design—Chapman tells a sometimes terrifying, often hilarious, and above all moving story of ordinary people doing battle in America over the place of religion and science in modern life.

Title:40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, Oxycontin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 13, 2009Publisher:HarperCollins E-BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061870625

ISBN - 13:9780061870620

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A delightfully cynical look at an important case I found this both very easy to read and insightful into the thinking and actions of the fundamentalist Christian right wing in the U.S. with respect to one of the key principles of science: evolution. I disagree with the other reviewer concerning its bias. When dealing with extremists, any critique sounds biased. The people trying to force new-look creationism, that is the oxymoronic Intelligent Design, were schoolyard bullies who had the determination born of willful ignorance. The aim of the book was to put a human face on the struggle, and it was successful in that purpose. It helped me understand why it is that people so deliberately choose an anti-science path.
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting if Superemely Biased Chapman's Book, 40 Days and 40 Nights, provides an engaging look at the Kitzmiller vs Dover trial in which 11 parents sued the Dover School Board in a case of Darwinism vs Intelligent Design. The book's tight prose and the author's sharp wit make the book a quick read. I was however, slightly disappointed to find that the book turned out to be exactly what the author promised it wouldn't be in the first chapter: a supremely biased coverage of a century old controversy. The book started off fairly neutral but as both it and the trial progressed, the attacks ad hominen started settling in. The defense became the school yard bullies, part of an ignorant and anti-knowledge population bend on taking over the world. One of the things that really hit me while reading this book was just how different Americans really are from Canadians when it comes to religion. Being agnostic like Chapman, I dislike any type of radical religion but otherwise have no problem with religion in general. Chapmen on the other hand, manages to make even agnosticism an extreme belief. He is so passionate that he suggests the existence a "vast right-wing" take over of the country by teenagers who are passionate about religion. Having normal kids "busy having sex and doing drugs" is not a good thing (and not exactly what America needs right now). The fact that sometimes religion allows teens to become less near sighted is a good thing. The whole book has a very distinct extreme left-wing feel but hey, a biased coverage is almost always more interesting to read than a fair one. A controversial book on a controversial topic. After reading it I decided that I liked the book but probably wouldn't get along very well with the author.
Date published: 2008-02-06