Evolution in the News - October 2005
by Do-While Jones

Evolution in Court

It’s not just in Kansas anymore.

There are legal battles over evolution in Dover, Pennsylvania, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico. It is pretty much the same story everywhere. Sensible people merely want to include a factual warning statement advising the students that the theory of evolution is speculation that has serious scientific flaws. The “offensive” Dover statement is

Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves. As is true in any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. 1

We think that statement is very generous to the theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory is still being tested, and is still failing. Students need to be presented with all the evidence pertaining to the theory of evolution. But since the scientific evidence is strongly against the theory of evolution, evolutionists use a diversionary tactic to censor any mention of intelligent design. They drag religion into it.

This is obvious on the cable news shows. Larry King and a couple of other cable news hosts have had guests on their shows to debate evolution and intelligent design. It is always the same. They have someone from the Discovery Institute to represent intelligent design, and someone from the so-called National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The first question the host asks is, “Should religion be taught in public schools?” The ensuing argument, which consumes the short time allotted to the evolution segment, centers around whether or not evolution and intelligent design have religious aspects. The scientific bankruptcy of the theory of evolution is never addressed.

Two can play that game.

A California parent, Jeanne Caldwell, is filing a federal lawsuit today against officials of the National Science Foundation and the University of California at Berkeley for spending more than $500,000 of federal money on a website that encourages teachers to use religion to promote evolution in violation of the First Amendment.

The lawsuit alleges that the state and federal government are promoting religious beliefs to minor school children through the website in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The suit seeks injunctive relief to remove these government endorsed religious beliefs from the website.

The lawsuit also alleges that the website is being used to further the religious agenda of a private organization, the National Center for Science Education (NSCE), which has a “long history of religious advocacy” on the evolution issue. According to the suit, the NCSE, which helped design the website, provides religious “outreach” programs and “preaching” on evolution to churches, all aimed at convincing people of faith that there is no conflict between their religious beliefs and evolution.

“It turns out that the NCSE and its allies in the scientific and educational establishments don’t mind having religious beliefs discussed in science class, as long as those discussions are aimed at convincing students to convert to the religious beliefs favored by the NCSE”, added attorney Caldwell. “Their willingness to flagrantly violate students’ constitutionally protected religious freedoms in order to sell evolution to our children is the height of hypocrisy.” 2

Apparently, this press release comes from the plaintiff’s husband, who seems to be the lawyer involved in the case. It will be interesting to see what precedent this case might set. We’ll be following this case carefully.

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1 Kitzmiller court documents, initial complaint, http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/docket.htm
2 Press release, October 12, 2005, Larry Caldwell, lcaldwell@qsea.org