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Gud, skapelsen och kvastfeningen: Utövandet av epistemisk auktoritet i 1953 års evolutionsdebatt
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine the enactment of epistemic authority by advocates of science and religion respectively in 1950s Sweden, an era of rapid secularization in regard to Swedish values and society. The study is based on a 1953 public debate about evolution and creationism, ignited by the discovery of a live coelacanth. Multiple secular media outlets as well as one faith- based newspaper participated in the debate and thus provide the source material, which in turn is analyzed with a method inspired by Foucault (1971). The theoretical framework is that of Gieryn’s cultural cartography (1999).

The study shows that faith-based actors arguing against the theory of evolution more often claim the authority and credibility of science than divine authority and/or biblical credibility in order to achieve their goal, even when addressing religious peers. The study also shows that secular media more often ridicule their religious counterparts than sincerely argue for science as a superior source of knowledge, revealing the apparently uncontested epistemic authority of science in 1950s Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 44 p.
Keyword [en]
creationism, evolution, secularization, epistemic authority, credibility contests, boundary-work
Keyword [sv]
skapelsetro, evolutionsteorin, sekularisering, epistemisk auktoritet
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-28434OAI: diva2:858700
Subject / course
History of Ideas
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-10-05 Created: 2015-10-03 Last updated: 2015-10-05Bibliographically approved

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