This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

The new anti-science assault on US schools

In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education


Charles Darwin, circa 1854: 12 February, his birthday, is marked by International Darwin Day.
Photograph: Corbis

You might have thought it was all over after the 2005 decision by the US district court of Middle Pennsylvania (pdf), which ruled in the case of the Dover Area schools that teaching intelligent design is unconstitutional. You might have guessed that they wouldn't come back after the 1987 US supreme court decision in Edwards v Aguillard, which deemed the teaching of creationism in Louisiana schools unconstitutional. Or maybe you figured that the opponents of evolution had their Waterloo in the 1925 Scopes "monkey" trial in Tennessee.

They are back. There are six bills aimed at undermining the teaching of evolution before state legislatures this year: two each in New Hampshire and Missouri, one each in Indiana and Oklahoma. And it's only February.

For the most part, the authors of these bills are singing a song we've heard before. Jerry Bergevin, the Republican sponsor of one of the New Hampshire bills, says of evolution that "It's a worldview and it's godless." He blames the teaching of evolution for Nazism and Columbine. Josh Brecheen, the sponsor of the Oklahoma bill, wants to stop the teaching of "the religion of evolution." These legislators, and their colleagues in Missouri and Indiana, trot out the hoary line that evolution is "just a theory" and that real science means saying that every point of view is just as good as any other.

Read more

TAGGED: CREATIONISM, EDUCATION, EVOLUTION


RELATED CONTENT

James Shapiro goes after natural...

Jerry Coyne - Why Evolution Is True Comments

James Shapiro goes after natural selection again (twice) on HuffPo

Oklahoma high school valedictorian...

NBC Staff - NBCNews.com Comments

Oklahoma high school valedictorian denied diploma for using 'hell' in speech

U.S. Should Adopt Higher Standards for...

- - Scientific American Comments

Teachers, scientists and policymakers have drafted ambitious new education standards. All 50 states should adopt them

Delhi Charter School: Stop...

Petition - change.org Comments

Delhi Charter School: Stop Discriminating Against Pregnant Students!

Parents shun school religion

Jewel Topsfield - The Age Comments

The group representing parents in Victorian state schools has joined teachers in calling for controversial religious instruction classes to be scrapped during school hours.

Acid attacks, poison: What Afghan girls...

Allie Torgan - CNN Comments

There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations. The majority were attributed to armed groups opposed to girls' education.

MORE

MORE BY KATHERINE STEWART

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted abstinence-only sex education

Loretta Preska's judicial crusade to...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

US Catholic bishops' abuse of...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments


The US Conference of Catholic Bishops in session in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month. Photograph: Tami Chappell/Reuters

[Update] How Christian fundamentalists...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian 36 Comments

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

Tennessee Goes Monkey Again

Katherine Stewart - RichardDawkins.net 44 Comments

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Katherine Stewart - Ms. blog 36 Comments

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment