Branch Weighs In The always excellent Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education has written this fine editorial for Seed Magazine. In it he discusses the recent attempts by ID folks to bully school boards into adopting a “Teach the Controversy” approach to biology. By this they mean that science teachers should introduce students to false and misleading information in the hopes of convincing them that evolution is a lot of nonsense. Here's an excerpt:
“Teach the controversy” was pioneered in the wake of the Supreme Court's 1987 decision in Edwards v. Aguillard. At issue in the case—between Edwin Edwards, the governor of Louisiana, and Don Aguillard, a science teacher who happened to be alphabetically first in the list of plaintiffs—was Louisiana's “Creationism Act,” which prohibited the teaching of evolution in the state's public schools unless it was accompanied by instruction in “creation science.” The Court ruled that teaching “creation science” in public schools is a form of religious advocacy and thus prohibited by the Constitution. The decision was a blow to creation scientists, who believe that evolution is impossible because living things reproduce “after their own kind,” as the Bible says. Regrouping, the Institute for Creation Research recommended that “school boards and teachers should be strongly encouraged at least to stress the scientific evidences and arguments against evolution in their classes... even if they don't wish to recognize these as evidences and arguments for creation.”
The latest incarnation of anti-evolutionism is intelligent design, which, say its advocates, is not traditional, Bible-based creationism. Rather, it claims that there is scientific evidence for the handiwork of a “designer” in the world, particularly in living things. By not basing their anti-evolutionism explicitly on the Bible, proponents of intelligent design hope to circumvent the decision in Edwards. Yet despite token references to the possibility of alien or time-traveling designers, it is clear they have God in mind.