Not since the infamous Scopes "monkey" trial of the 1920s has the controversy over the teaching of evolution exposed deep divides between sections of the American public. The Kansas Board of Education's announcement that intelligent design would be taught alongside evolution ignited a nationwide debate over what constitutes science education and what are actually nonscientific approaches to education. At a time when many studies show that the U.S.
Robert T. Pennock, the Michigan State University professor of philosophy who testified for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover, assesses the outcome of the trial in a recent essay [Link broken] for Science and Theology News. "Creationists had been spoiling for this fight since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against so-called 'creation science' in the 1987 Edwards v.
A lawsuit challenging the Understanding Evolution website on constitutional grounds was dismissed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on March 13, 2006. Understanding Evolution, a collaborative project of the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education, was originally intended as a resource for teachers; it subsequently expanded to appeal to everyone interested in learning about evolution.
In "On the Front Lines in the War Over Evolution," in the March 10, 2006, issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Richard Monastersky reports on recent efforts to rally the scientific community to support evolution education -- "to recruit new troops," as he puts it, "for the escalating war against creationism and its spinoff doctrine, intelligent design."
On March 8, 2006, the South Carolina Board of Education voted 11-6 to reject a proposal from the state's Education Oversight Committee that would have significantly expanded the "critical analysis" language already present in the section of the new state science standards that deal with evolution.