Darwin in France
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France might seem at first sight to be a country both widely accepting of Darwinism and immunised against creationism due to the prominent place occupied by science and secularism in the public domain. This book reports the findings of a sociological research project into how people understand these ideas, which reveals that in reality appearances are deceptive and this is a more complex issue than it might appear at first sight. In France, people generally agree with “Darwinism” or “evolution” but what ordinary people see as covered by these terms is very different from what scientists understand of the same concepts. Against all odds, what many French people think of as “evolution” in fact contains many creationist ideas, though they are unaware of it. However, this research shows that we should not overestimate the preciseness of their beliefs and the strength of their commitment to this issue. Their understanding of these ideas is in reality somewhat blurred, and often linked to a form of indifference, which invites both a critical re-examination of the views developed in cognitive science and the social sciences on the relationship between science and everyday knowledge.
About the Author:
His work deals with the links between biology and the social sciences in a number of areas; these include human–animal interaction involving dogs and monkeys in various cultures, cultural evolution, the eco-anthopological system of the Middle Atlas forest, and the reception of Darwinism (in France and Morocco). He teaches sociology and anthropology at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University.
CHAPTER 1: Evolution and the Diversity of Living Beings in Contemporary Biology
Summary and Discussion of Results