Abusing Science is a manual for intellectual self-defense, the most complete available for presenting the case against Creationist pseudo-science. It is also a lucid exposition of the nature and methods of genuine science. The book begins with a concise introduction to evolutionary theory for non-scientists and closes with a rebuttal of the charge that this theory undermines religious and moral values. It will astonish many readers that this case must still be made in the 1980s, but since it must, Philip Kitcher makes it irresistibly and forcefully.
Not long ago, a federal court struck down an Arkansas law requiring that "scientific" Creationism be taught in high school science classes. Contemporary Creationists may have lost one legal battle, but their cause continues to thrive. Their efforts are directed not only at state legislatures but at local school boards and textbook publishers. As Kitcher argues in this rigorous but highly readable book, the integrity of science is under attack. The methods of inquiry used in evolutionary biology are those which are used throughout the sciences. Moreover, modern biology is intertwined with other fields of science--physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology. Creationists hope to persuade the public that education in science should be torn apart to make room for a literal reading of Genesis.
Abusing Science refutes the popular complaint that the scientific establishment is dogmatic and intolerant, denying "academic freedom" to the unorthodox. It examines Creationist claims seriously and systematically, one by one, showing clearly just why they are at best misguided, at worst ludicrous.
About the Author
Philip Kitcher is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and Director of its Center for the Philosophy of Science. Kitcher is the author of a searching book on "Scientific" Creationism, Abusing Science, published by The MIT Press in 1982.