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Evolution ChallengesIntegrating Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning about Evolution$
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Karl S. Rosengren, Sarah K. Brem, E. Margaret Evans, and Gale M. Sinatra

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730421.001.0001

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Why Don't Americans Accept Evolution as Much as People in Peer Nations Do? A Theory (Reinforced Theistic Manifest Destiny) and Some Pertinent Evidence

Why Don't Americans Accept Evolution as Much as People in Peer Nations Do? A Theory (Reinforced Theistic Manifest Destiny) and Some Pertinent Evidence

Chapter:
(p.233) 11 Why Don't Americans Accept Evolution as Much as People in Peer Nations Do? A Theory (Reinforced Theistic Manifest Destiny) and Some Pertinent Evidence
Source:
Evolution Challenges
Author(s):

Michael Andrew Ranney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730421.003.0011

Prior speculations about why Americans don't embrace evolution — as much as comparable nations’ residents do — are generally dated and not well assessed. Reinforced Theistic Manifest Destiny (RTMD), introduced in this chapter, represents a more obviously predictive theory that focuses on spiritually-linked feedback regarding the U.S.’s military (and industrial) prowess. RTMD joins analyses of (a) individuals’ motivations, emotions, and epistemologies, with (b) intra- and inter-national historical narratives. Many of RTMD’s empirical hypotheses are discussed and from the U.S. and Canada. The North American findings largely cohere with the relevant set of RTMD’s predictions, given the variety of associations observed among beliefs regarding afterlife, theism, nationalism, global warming, and the origins of species. These encouraging experimental and survey studies offer further implications regarding how evolution might be better conveyed in both formal and informal settings — and why we should teach evolution in the first place (e.g., preserving Earth’s biosphere).

Keywords:   evolution, origin of species, theism, nationalism, teaching evolution, evolutionary theory, manifest destiny, reinforced theistic manifest destiny

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