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Speaking on the Senate floor on October 17, 2007, Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) withdrew a controversial $100,000 earmark that he previously added to the appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The earmark was to the Louisiana Family Forum, a religious right group with a long history of promoting creationism and attacking evolution education in the state, including backing a "strengths and weaknesses" policy in Ouachita Parish.
The following is a press release, dated October 17, 2007, from People for the American Way.
Earmark for Anti-Science Creationist Group Must Be Removed
People For the American Way today called for the Senate to remove an earmark for an anti-science creationist group from the FY08 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill. The earmark, inserted by Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, would send taxpayer money to the Louisiana Family Foundation (LFF), a leading advocate of creationism in the state.
In the October 2007 issue of Discover magazine, Liza Lentini examines the creationism/evolution controversy, with a focus on teachers. She begins in Kansas, with a pair of teachers at private Christian schools who use textbooks that "present the universe as the direct creation of God and refute the man-made idea of evolution" and think that "The term 'evolution' is misused. ...
Reviewing Michael Behe's latest book, The Edge of Evolution (Free Press, 2007), in the October 2007 issue of The New Criterion, the biologist Paul R. Gross is anything but impressed. After observing that Behe's argument from irreducible complexity in Darwin's Black Box (Free Press, 1996) was quickly recognized to fail, he comments (PDF), "In response, Behe and the ["intelligent design"] movement shifted ground, first redefining I.C.
Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos, the hilarious documentary that examines both sides of the controversy over the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools, is now available on home DVD. In addition to the film itself, which as Variety quipped is "intelligently designed for popular appeal," the DVD contains eighty-four minutes of extra features, including:
National Council for the Social Studies, the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education, adopted a statement on "intelligent design" in May 2007, which will appear in the forthcoming third edition of NCSE's Voices for Evolution, a collection of statements in defense of evolution education from scientific, educational, civil liberties, and religious organizations.
Writing in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (September 26, 2007), columnist James Gill takes Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) to task for his proposal to grant $100,000 of federal funds to the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education." The Louisiana Family Forum, as Gill observes, "has said the theory o
"Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earmarked $100,000 in a spending bill for a Louisiana Christian group that has challenged the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public school system and to which he has political ties," reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune (September 22, 2007).
Writing in the October 8, 2007, issue of The Nation, the philosopher Ian Hacking reviews five books relevant to the creationism/evolution controversy: Philip Kitcher's Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, Michael Lienesch's In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement, Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, Ronald L.
NCSE is now extending a special offer to libraries. Both because we are eager for libraries to maintain holdings of our journals, and because we are eager to make space in our storage facility, we are offering free copies of any or all of the back issues of Creation/Evolution (ISSN 0738-6001, nos. 1-39, 1980-1996), NCSE Reports (ISSN 1064-2358, vol. 9 through vol. 16, 1989-1996), and Reports of the NCSE (continuing both, ISSN 1064-2358, vol. 17 ongoing, 1997-present) to libraries.