Controversies over Evolution Theory in the Science Monthly, 1970 2006

Author Info
Heng-An Chen
Department of History, National Cheng Kung University

Established in 1970, Science Monthly is the pioneering and longest-lived popular science magazine in Taiwan. This paper focuses on the articles in this publication that deal with the theory of evolution and its cultural and social influences. Articles published in the last thirty years were analyzed, leading to the identification of five major issues: the conflict between science and religion, how to translate "evolution" into Chinese, the history of biology as a new discipline, whether "the origin of species" has suffered an eclipse, and discussions around the book The Great Dying. This analysis also elaborates several points regarding scientists' efforts to popularize scientific knowledge in Taiwan. First, original papers were translated into Chinese about one or two years after their first publication. Second, Science Monthly provided enough fundamental information about evolution and the history of biology for further study. Third, not many authors and translators were interested in the popularization of evolution theory and related subjects. Fourth, discussions about scientific details were rare. Fifth, the cultural and social influences of evolution theory were most discussed. This study about Science Monthly's popularization of evolution theory could provide background for both further historical studies and as a case study for the further examination of the niche of science popularization in Taiwan.

Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, Number 5 (October 2007), 183-227.