Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom

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9780813049434: Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom
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For nearly a century, Florida has been a key battleground for the teaching of evolution in public schools. Before he successfully prosecuted Tennessee teacher John Scopes in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, William Jennings Bryan was a prominent anti-evolution agitator in Florida. More than ninety years later, tensions still run high on both sides of the issue, erupting regularly and sometimes spectacularly.

Florida is a bellwether in the creationism versus evolution debate because it reflects the makeup of the country as a whole. With its lively mix of young and old, liberal and conservative, rich and poor, Florida is an agglomeration of national opinions; more purple than red or blue. Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of the intense conflicts over teaching evolution in Florida, revealing how not just this state, but the entire country has been Going Ape over this hot-button issue.

These seemingly ceaseless battles feature some of the most colorful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that invariably descends on their small towns. Yet the majority of participants have been average people, and Haught expertly portrays the sense of moral duty that drives their passions, regardless of their position on the issue.

Personally involved in the Florida evolution dispute since 2006 as a founding board member of Florida Citizens for Science, Haught is uniquely poised to present this dramatic conflict from an insider’s point-of-view. His eye for rich detail enlivens this engrossing saga as it stretches across the decades of the twentieth century and into the present. Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbors and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education.

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About the Author:

Brandon Haught is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and current biology teacher at University High School, Orange City. He is a founding board member and volunteer communications director for Florida Citizens for Science.

Review:

"Admirably impartial . . . [and] populated with colorful personalities: angry activists, ambitious politicians, harried teachers, torn and troubled school board members. [Going Ape is] a thorough treatment of creation-evolution debates taking place in settings that scholars have studied too little."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"A born storyteller, Haught offers interesting, lively, and well-paced accounts of the events he describes, providing a satisfying survey of controversy with deep historical roots that continues to affect science education even today."--Evolution: Education and Outreach
"Going Ape is informative, helping to put the nationwide exploits of the anti-evolutionists in perspective, and, as a bonus, it is enjoyable to read."--Reports of the National Center for Science Education
"This volume occupies a unique place in the burgeoning literature about evolution/creationism battles in the US....Recommended."--Choice
"An exhaustive history of the efforts in the Legislature and local school boards to stop or counter the teaching of evolution over the past 90 years."--Daytona Beach News-Journal
"As Haught follows the battle over evolution from churches to school boards to the Legislature, the book starts to feel like that dog-eared whodunit you drag out to read each summer vacation."--Tallahassee Democrat
"A meticulous account of the 90-year debate over the teaching of evolution in Florida’s public schools... full of high drama and raw emotion."--The Weekly Standard
"An excellent source on the intersection between science and Florida politics and how the debates have shaped education and the industry related to it."--Journal of Southern History

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Book Description University Press of Florida, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Before William Jennings Bryan successfully prosecuted John Scopes in the infamous Scopes "Monkey Trial," he was a prominent antievolution agitator in Florida.In Going Ape, Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of how the war over teaching evolution began and unfolded in Florida, one of the nation's bellwether states. This conflict still simmers just below the surface, waiting for the right moment to engulf the state.The saga opens with the first shouts of religious persecution and child endangerment in 1923 Tallahassee and continues today with forced delays and extra public hearings in state-level textbook adoptions. These ceaseless battles feature some of the most colourful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that descends into their small town. The majority of participants, however, have been, and still are, average people, and Haught expertly portrays these passionate citizens and the sense of moral duty that drives each of them.Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbours and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education. Seller Inventory # AAN9780813049434

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Book Description University Press of Florida, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Before William Jennings Bryan successfully prosecuted John Scopes in the infamous Scopes "Monkey Trial," he was a prominent antievolution agitator in Florida.In Going Ape, Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of how the war over teaching evolution began and unfolded in Florida, one of the nation's bellwether states. This conflict still simmers just below the surface, waiting for the right moment to engulf the state.The saga opens with the first shouts of religious persecution and child endangerment in 1923 Tallahassee and continues today with forced delays and extra public hearings in state-level textbook adoptions. These ceaseless battles feature some of the most colourful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that descends into their small town. The majority of participants, however, have been, and still are, average people, and Haught expertly portrays these passionate citizens and the sense of moral duty that drives each of them.Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbours and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education. Seller Inventory # AAN9780813049434

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