Padian and Matzke on Darwin and Dover


The Biochemical Journal inaugurated its series of review articles to commemorate the bicentennial of Darwin's birth by publishing Kevin Padian and Nicholas Matzke's "Darwin, Dover, 'Intelligent Design' and textbooks" (PDF) (209; 417; 29-42). In it, Padian and Matzke explain, "we review very briefly the history of the 'evolution versus creation' controversy in American jurisprudence, focusing on the Dover trial as a watershed in the latest iteration of American creationism, namely 'intelligent design'. We review what ID is and what it claims to be, and how it differs from classical ID theology. We discuss the fallout from the Dover trial decision and what the antievolution forces are doing in its wake. And finally, we suggest what scientists — whether evolutionists, biochemists, geologists or physicists — can do about the collective societal inertia that continues to impede an integrative understanding of science among the American public."

In addition to serving as president of NCSE's board of directors, Padian is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley and also Curator of Paleontology at the University of California's Museum of Paleontology. He recently received the 2008 Western Evolutionary Biologist of the Year award from the Network for Experimental Research on Evolution. He testified for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools. Now a graduate student in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Matzke worked for NCSE from 2004 to 2007. Seed magazine profiled him in 2006 as one of its nine "Revolutionary Minds." He was the lead NCSE staffer working on the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, providing a wealth of scientific expertise and practical advice to the legal team representing the ultimately victorious plaintiffs.