Challenging Scientific Hegemony: the Counter-Hegemony of Saskatoon Creationists
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The Evolution-Creation controversy has existed ever since Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species in 1859. Over a century and a half later this controversy is still far from being resolved, either in North America or the rest of the world. One of the reasons for the longevity of this battle between these religious devotees and the scientific community over the legitimacy of biological evolution is the prevalence of misinformation, misleading historical narratives, inaccurate labels, and outright myths concerning the motivations, beliefs, and spread of religious opposition to the teaching of biological evolution. This research first seeks to identify and interpret the problematic misinformation which permeates the available literature on this controversy. Next, fresh insights are gained from the study of the often ignored regional and local creationist organizations and groups. Data from qualitative semi-structured interviews are utilized to understand both how and why creationist organizations and groups form, what beliefs they hold to, and what their goals are. The Evolution-Creation Controversy is interpreted and analysed utilizing a wide-variety of different theoretical perspectives such as: Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony, Stanley Cohn’s folk devil and moral panic, Thomas Gieryn’s public science and cultural cartography, as well as Pierre Bourdieu’s field, capital, and habitus. One of the main findings of this study is that antievolutionist creationist groups and organizations are not homogeneous, but often engage in infighting, with many factors that prevent them from collaborating with one another. The study also reveals that, even with respect to highly contested issues like the evolution-creation controversy, there can be desires and possibilities to create social space for more fruitful debate and discussion.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeDickinson, Harley; Klaassen, Frank; Thompson, John; Poudrier, Jennifer
Copyright DateAugust 2018