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Going ApeFlorida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom$
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Brandon Haught

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049434

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049434.001.0001

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“Un-American, Atheistic, Subversive, and Communistic”

“Un-American, Atheistic, Subversive, and Communistic”

(p.24) 2 “Un-American, Atheistic, Subversive, and Communistic”
Going Ape

Brandon Haught

University Press of Florida

From the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, the Florida Department of Education attempted to handle complaints surrounding the science vs. religion conflict in state classrooms by publishing official guidebooks for teachers. Then, the international race to space and an increasingly public awareness of the need for first-rate science and technology education prompted evolution's reinsertion into textbooks that had been without it for years. The first prominent protest in Florida over the new textbooks started in 1960s Miami but was unsuccessful. Then, one of the most determined anti-evolution crusaders in Florida history, Rev. Clarence E. Winslow, started actively campaigning against evolution. The conflict reappeared in the state legislature a few times during the 1960s but didn't get any traction. Nationally known creationists started making inroads into Florida with public debates and other events, including the 1970 publication of the book Order in Complexity by the Institute for Creation Research about the new concept of “scientific creationism.” Rev. Winslow asked Pinellas, Manatee, and Hillsborough county school boards to include the new book in their science classrooms. Hillsborough County was very receptive to creationism, and in 1980 the school board voted to make it a mandatory alternative to evolution. Manatee County followed suit.

Keywords:   crusaders, Hillsborough County, Institute for Creation Research, Manatee County, Pinellas County, Rev. Clarence E. Winslow, school boards, scientific creationism, textbook, public debate

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