A new study says that a single county policy spawned at least 65 bills to promote creationism in American public schools. Nicholas J. Matzke, a phylogeneticist based at the Australian National University, traced the bills back to a 2006 Ouachita Parish, La., curriculum policy that encouraged teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”
On Dec. 20, 2005, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down an important ruling in a case challenging the teaching of “intelligent design” creationism in public schools.
In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones struck down a policy that had been approved by members of the school board in Dover, Pa., a small town of about 2,000 residents. His ruling was a slam dunk, making it clear that intelligent design (ID) is not science.
I am a native of Pennsylvania.
I’m proud of my home state. It has a fascinating history, beautiful mountains and some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. (I’ll grant that the weather could be better.)
It looks like Texas may be trying to put an end to its annual showdown over whether to add creationism to public school science textbooks.
A new procedural change does something fairly radical: It gives priority to qualified teachers on the external review panels that assist the book selection process.
We always like to report positives, and this week the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) delivered some very good news: legislation aimed at pushing creationism in public schools failed in eight states this year.
The bills ranged from subtly promoting so-called “academic freedom” to openly attacking evolution by offering “equal treatment” for creationism and “intelligent design.” They’re all bad ideas intended to inject religion into biology classes, and we’re very happy to see they failed.
Some people just don’t know when to give up. Take Springboro (Ohio) school board member Kelly Kohls. Kohls recently suggested that “intelligent design,” the current variation of creationism, be taught in her local public schools.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Kohls said, “Creationism is a significant part of the history of this country. It is an absolutely valid theory and to omit it means we are omitting part of the history of this country.”
A Louisiana high school senior is on a mission to save science education in his home state.
Zachary Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, wants to see the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act repealed, and he’s working with state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) to garner support for a bill she plans to introduce in April that will do just that.
One of his first stops to rally the troops was the Darwin Day event put on by the Louisiana chapter of Americans United last weekend at a Unitarian church in Baton Rouge.
We have some good news out of Louisiana today – news we can hardly believe.
By a vote of 8-4, the state’s Textbook/Media/Library Advisory Council voted to support biology textbooks that uphold sound science and do not allow fundamentalist religious concepts to interfere.
For once, Louisiana has provided a glimmer of hope that maybe it no longer wants to be a science-education laughing stock.
As we feared, Religious Right activists are moving to undermine Louisiana’s public school science curriculum.
When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law the “Science Education Act” in 2008, Americans United warned that it was merely another attempt for creationists to slip fundamentalist religion into biology classes.