Theses and Dissertations, 1980-1989

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  • Things Made New: the Evolving Fundamentalism of Harry Rimmer, 1890-1952 by Roger Daniel Schultz. Dissertation (Ph.D.), University of Arkansas. 519 p.
    Harry Rimmer (1890-1952) was a national leader of American fundamentalism in the first half of the twentieth century. Associated with fundamentalism from its beginning, Rimmer remained committed to the "fundamentals" throughout his life, but eschewed the separatistic tendencies of some fundamentalists, encouraged conservative ecumenism, and was a harbinger of an emerging evangelicalism.

    Rimmer began his career has an itinerant evangelist, serving in skid row missions, logging camps, Indian missions, military camps, YMCA youth meetings, and citywide revival crusades. His message and style were typical of fundamentalist evangelists during the era of Billy Sunday; Rimmer used colorful and dramatic techniques for the purpose of "soul winning" and promoting civic morality.

    Rimmer changed the focus of his ministry during the twenties by increasingly emphasizing Bible and science themes. He launched a crusade against evolution by creating the Research Science Bureau, testifying in behalf of state anti-evolution laws, and appearing in conferences and highly publicized debates. Rimmer was a symbolic creationist, a scientific prophet, who paved the way for later creation-scientists, by doing first-hand research on scientific questions and opposing evolution for both religious and scientific reasons.

    Rimmer participated in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the thirties. Though he continued to contribute to the creationist cause, the new focus of his work was apologetics and the defense of the Bible. His efforts to change the national church were unsuccessful, but he significantly altered the theological complexion of the Duluth Presbytery.

    In the last years of his life Rimmer became an evangelical statesmen. Returning to an eclectic, itinerant ministry, he continued his popular conference ministry and student evangelism, started servicemen's centers during World War II, and traveled extensively in behalf of world missions. Rimmer's ministry had a prophetic dimension, as he emphasized eschatological themes, current events, and civic righteousness. He also became an advocate of conservative unity, by proclaiming broadly evangelical doctrines, emphasizing evangelical Christians, cooperative ventures and supporting organizations as the National Association of Evangelicals.
  • Creationism, Intellectual Origins, Cultural Context, and Theoretical Diversity by Tom McIver. Dissertation (Ph.D.), Department of Anthropology, University of California--Los Angeles. x, 316 p.
    A study of creationism as a belief system, examining the intellectual background and origins of creationist theory, its cultural context, including its relationship to other fundamentalist beliefs and to scientific theory, and its theoretical diversity. Given the presuppositions on which it is based, creationism forms a coherent, generally selfconsistent and logical system of belief, though contradicted by modern (evolutionist) science. Fundamentalist attitudes towards science and fundamentalist opposition to evolution are largely a consequence of particular religious beliefs and doctrines. Despite necessary agreement on core concepts (biblical inerrancy, supernatural creation by God), creationism is especially subject to diversification and proliferation of competing lowerlevel theories and subsidiary hypotheses. These theories differ widely regarding the extent and application of biblical literalism, the date of creation (the age of the earth and of mankind), the nature of the Genesis Flood, the relation of biblical truth to scientific evidence, underlying eschatological assumptions and doctrines, biblical hermeneutical principles, and attitudes regarding science and external evidence. Creationist theories are therefore continually elaborated on, diversifying and proliferating as a result of the development of their own cultural logic and as a response to evolutionist challenges and reactions.


  • People of the State : A Dramatic Reconstruction of the John T. Scopes Trial by Eugene T. Muto. Dissertation (Ph.D.), New York University. 338 p.



  • A Survey of Biology Teachers' Opinions About the Teaching of Evolutionary Theory and/or the Creation Model in the United States in Public and Private Schools by Frank E. Affannato. Thesis (Ph.D.), Department of Science Education, University of Iowa. 128 p.
    During the past ten or fifteen years much attention has been drawn to American public education by the persistant (sic) efforts of various creationist groups (such as the Creation Research Society, Creation-Science Research Center, and the Institute for Creation Research) to include the creation model in the high school biology curriculum (see Appendix A for a description of this model.) This crusade has been opposed by many state acadamies (sic) of science, teachers' organizations, and religious groups.

    It is of interest to note that in McLean v. Arkansas, the case that resulted in the Arkansas Creationism Act of 1981 (See Arkansas Creation Law in Appendix B) being declared unconstitutional, the plaintiffs;
    ...included the Arkansas Bishops of the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Churches, the principal official of the Presbyterian Churches in Arkansas, other United Methodist, Southern Baptist and Presbyterian clergy, as well as several persons who sue as parents and next friends of minor children attending Arkansas public schools. (Overton, 1982, p. 403.)
    "Thus there is opposition from religious and parental groups as well as scientific and educational groups. Despite efforts to block the inclusion of "scientific" creationism in high school science curricula, there have been a number of biology textbooks written recently with a definite creationist imprimatur and many established textbooks have mentioned the creation science model in later additions. Such additions are often accomplished with a diminution of the coverage of evolutionary theory. This has alarmed many legislators, religious groups, civil liberties groups, parents, and educators.


  • A Study of Creationist Pressure : Strategies Against Evolution Instruction in the Public Schools by Joanne D. Grine. Dissertation (Ph.D.), University of Pittsburgh. 270 p.


  • Public Science vs. Popular Opinion : The Creation-Evolution Legal Controversy by Edward J. Larson. Dissertation (Ph.D.), University of Wisconsin--Madison. 418 p.


  • Creationism vs. Evolution : a Study of the Opinions of Georgia Science Teachers by Paula G. Eglin. Dissertation (Ph.D.), Department of Educational Administration, Georgia State University. 155 p.
    The purpose of this study was to survey Georgia science teachers for opinions about teaching creationism and to analyze these opinions in terms of other attitudinal and biographic variables. The attitudes of teachers toward creationism might be expected to be related to religious convictions, activity of creationists in the community, science background, teaching experience, familiarity with creationist literature, and demographic variables. The study was also intended to document and seek reasons for teaching creationism in Georgia public schools.
  • A Sociological Account of Scientific Creationism : Science, True Science, Pseudoscience by Michael A. Cavanaugh. Dissertation (Ph.D.), University of Pittsburgh. 398 p.


  • The American Scientific Affiliation and the Creation Research Society : The Creation-Evolution Issue by William C. Duke, Jr. Dissertation (Ph.D.), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 218 p.
  • A Study of Major Court Cases and the Implications for Teaching the Origin of Man, 1925-1982 by Luanne Sparks. Dissertation (Ph.D.), East Texas State University. 155 p.

Additional Theses and Dissertations