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Scientific Controversies and Boundary Disputes: The Intelligent Design Movement Network

Coopersmith, Jared (2012) Scientific Controversies and Boundary Disputes: The Intelligent Design Movement Network. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Although anti-evolutionism has existed for well over a century, recent evolutionary critics have used non-theistic arguments to attempt to show that Darwinian evolution could not have produced some examples of biological complexity. Called “intelligent design” (ID) theory this movement claims to present genuine scientific facts that prove the inability of evolution to produce most biological structures, thus necessitating the infusion of ‘intelligently-designed’ structure or information into biological life. Despite claims of scientific legitimacy by the ID movement, evolutionary scientists, professional scientific associations, and scientific proponents have widely dismissed ID arguments as non-scientific reasoning dressed up in the terminology of science. Using Gieryn’s theory of boundary-work together with Frickel and Gross’ theory of scientific/intellectual movements (SIM), I examined the institutional relationship, if any, between science and the ID movement, using the inter-organizational network of ties between ID organizations and organizations representing other fields. I used several network theoretic measures to examine the extent of ties between the ID, creation science, and science fields. I found very sparse connections between ID and science, indicating strong institutional boundary- work by scientists. While there was some overlap between ID and creation science, I found considerable evidence that these two movements have distinct intellectual cultures. My findings suggest that, regardless of their origins, the intelligent design and creation science movements are two independent organizational communities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Coopersmith, Jaredjscst39@pitt.eduJSCST39
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDoreian, Patrick
Committee CoChairHashimoto, Akiko
Committee MemberFararo, Thomas
Committee MemberJones, Charles
Committee MemberMarx, John
Date: 13 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 January 2012
Approval Date: 13 June 2012
Submission Date: 16 February 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 282
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intelligent Design Social Network Analysis Scientific/Intellectual Movements Boundary-Work
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2012 20:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:56


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