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Why It's Wrong to Teach Creationism in Public Schools

It's religious discrimination.

Teaching creationism privileges a single religious viewpoint. Most mainstream Christians, Jews and Muslims, along with Hindus, Buddhists, deists, and those of other faiths, reject many or all of the doctrines held by self-styled creationists.

Covering the entire spectrum of religious beliefs about origins might be appropriate for a comparative religion class, but it is not appropriate for science classes.

Recommended Books about Creationism and Evolution

(Book titles are linked to Amazon.)

Alters, Brian J. and Sandra Alters
Defending Evolution: A guide to the creation/evolution controversy
Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Pub (2001)

How You Can Support Evolution Education

People often ask us, “How can I further the cause of evolution education?” We've compiled some practical and effective suggestions:

Rebutting Creationist Claims

NCSE advises -- try not to get drawn into a direct debate with a creationist. Sometimes, however, it is important to explain why a creationist claim is misleading or just plain wrong, especially if you are talking with a confused friend, parent, school board member, or interested citizen.

The claims you are most likely to run into:

  • There is no evidence for evolution
  • Evolution leads to atheism
  • There are no transitional fossils or there are huge gaps in the fossil record

Analysis of the "Santorum language"

In 2001, the United States Senate adopted a "Sense of the Senate" amendment proposed by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) as part of an education bill. As reported here, the resolution included the phrase, "where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why the subject generates so much continuing controversy..." There was little doubt that Santorum's language could be used to undercut the teaching of evolution.

The Wedge Document

(Note - This is the text of the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Document," prepared in 1998. It lays out "the Wedge strategy" by which the newly-formed Center for Renewal of Science and Culture would promote "intelligent design" creationism.)

THE WEDGE

CENTER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SCIENCE & CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

Senator Edward Kennedy on Intelligent Design

In a Washington Times editorial, March 14, 2002, Senator Santorum implied that Senator Edward Kennedy supported the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Senator Kennedy responded in a letter to the editor on March 21.


The Truth about the “Santorum Language” on Evolution

(from NCSE's analysis of the Santorum language)

Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology, Brown University

The "No Child Left Behind" Education Act does not call for the teaching of "Intelligent Design."

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