Topic

academic freedom

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Those Defensive Darwinists

The first court trial over the theory of intelligent design is now over, with a ruling expected by the end of the year. What sparked the legal controversy? Before providing two weeks of training in modern evolutionary theory, the Dover, Pa., School District briefly informed students that if they wanted to learn about an alternative theory of biological origins, intelligent design, they could read a book about it in the school library. The lawsuit is only the latest in a series of attempts to silence the growing controversy over contemporary Darwinian theory. Read More ›

How to Teach the Controversy Legally

Want to teach the scientific controversy over evolution but aren’t sure what is allowable? This short video clearly and concisely summarizes the legal framework for teaching about evolution. A great resource for teachers, school board members, and parents, this video features interviews with scientists and legal scholars and explains how to teach the controversy over evolution in a legally responsible Read More ›

Scientific Correctness in San Francisco

When most of us think of the controversy over evolution in the public schools, we are likely to think of fundamentalists pulling teachers from their classrooms and placing them in the dock. Images from the infamous Scopes "monkey" trial of 1925 come to mind. Unfortunately, intolerance of this sort has shown itself in California in the 1990s as a result of students complaining about a biology instructor. Unlike the original Scopes case, however, this case involves a distinguished biology professor at a major university — indeed, an acknowledged expert on evolutionary theory. Read More ›

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 ›

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 ›