Secularism and Science in the 21st Century

by Ariela Keysar, Associate Research Professor of Public Policy and Law and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College, Hartford & Barry A. Kosmin, Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture and Research Professor, Public Policy and Law Program at Trinity College, Hartford

As this book went to press in early 2008, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was weighing a request by a Bible-based creationist institute to offer online master’s degrees in science education. The Institute for Creation Research aims to challenge the standard teachings of evolution and (according to its website) “equip current and future Christian leaders with practical tools to effectively influence their world with the truths of Scripture.” Its goal is to staff classrooms with science teachers sympathetic to religious fundamentalism, educators who believe in the Biblical account of the world’s creation. This is an open challenge to the normative model of Western science, which is based on the secular principles of free inquiry and empiricism.

Introduction: Secularism and Science in the 21st Century

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