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Academic Freedom Under Attack in NCSE Letter Seeking to Limit Teaching of Evolution

Letter to governors urges them to outlaw “teaching the controversy” over Darwinian Evolution that clearly exists in science

SEATTLE – “Once again, academic freedom is under attack and an attempt is being made to censor scientific thought,” Robert Crowther, Director of Communications for the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute said today in response to a letter from the National Center for Science Education and others urging all 50 state governors to restrict teaching the controversies of Darwinian evolution. 

“We want students to learn more about evolution, not less, including the evidence for it as well as the scientific evidence against it,” added Crowther. 

“Over 400 accredited scientists from renowned universities and National Academies of Science worldwide have signed a statement of dissent against Darwin’s theory of evolution,” continued Crowther. “To try and censor their research and ideas is an outrageous violation of free speech and thought.”

The Scientific Dissent from Darwinism that scientists signed reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” It does not advocate any alternative theory.

This issue has been brought to the center of national attention this week as the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District opened in federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Monday. The ACLU is suing the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania for adopting a policy that requires students to listen to a three-paragraph statement about the theory of intelligent design. The ACLU alleges that the Dover policy violates the separation of church and state. 

Discovery Institute strongly disputes the ACLU‘s effort to make discussions of intelligent design illegal. At the same time, the Institute opposes on policy grounds the science education policy adopted by the Dover School District. Discovery holds that a curriculum that aims to provide students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian and chemical evolutionary theories (rather than teaching an alternative theory, such as intelligent design) represents a common sense approach that all reasonable citizens can agree on.

Click here to learn more about Discovery’s Free Speech on Evolution campaign.

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.