Topic

academic freedom

Seeking The Deity In The Details

Since the 17th century, philosophers have been finding signs of divinity hidden within nature, in the complex and beautiful forms that life assumes. Charles Darwin and his successors dismissed that notion, but in the last 10 years, the old argument has been born again under the rubric of "intelligent design" — an idea that melds theology with molecular biology and statistical theory. Known by the shorthand "ID," the concept drew scant attention from biologists for several years, until it became clear that the design movement was selling books and attracting attention as a more scientifically sophisticated alternative to biblical creationism. Now evolutionary scientists are starting to fight back, debating the ID proponents and writing their own books in response. Read More ›

Let Schools Provide Full Disclosure

The recent news from Post Falls has an all too familiar ring. A group of religiously motivated parents is pressing for the teaching of creationism alongside Darwinian evolution. If they succeed, many fear the A.C.L.U. will sue the school district. On the surface, the Post Falls controversy appears to be yet another dreary and unproductive chapter in the American culture Read More ›

Open Debate on Life’s Origins

Can scientists change their minds about controversial ideas? Can they reject theories if evidence requires? That may depend upon what theories are at stake. Consider a disturbing case in California involving a distinguished biology professor, Dean Kenyon. A year ago, Kenyon was removed from his biology classroom at San Francisco State University after a few students complained to administrators about Read More ›

Teaching the Controversy:

Public schools face a dilemma when they address the subject of biological origins. From the Scopes "Monkey Trial" (1925) to the Supreme Court's opinion in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), the teaching of biological origins has put the public schools in the awkward role of resolving a controversy that divides scientists, educators, and the courts. While the experts debate the issues, and the media sometimes inflame the controversy, school boards, administrators, and teachers must still answer the question, What should we teach our students about how living organisms arose on earth? Read More ›