Scott and Branch op-ed in USA Today



Appearing in the August 15, 2005, issue of USA Today under the headline "How should schools handle evolution?" are two op-ed articles, "Evolution: Debate it" by the Discovery Institute's John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer and "Evolution: Just teach it" by NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch, as well as a sidebar listing "Curriculum battles across the USA." Amid their standard list of talking points, Campbell and Meyer rehearsed their "teach the controversy" approach, which Scott and Branch described as "the new rallying cry of creationists. The hope is that if students are taught that evolution is suspect, they will automatically embrace creationism. But 'teach the controversy' is not a pedagogical device that will help them in college: Evolution is taught matter-of-factly at the nation's most prestigious universities, including religious institutions such as Brigham Young, Baylor, and Notre Dame."


Earlier in August, USA Today offered its own editorial opinion in a column entitled "'Intelligent design' smacks of creationism by another name" (published on August 8). The editorial noted that "intelligent design" "ascribes creation to a vaguely undefined cosmic force that sounds a great deal like the God of Genesis but usually isn't named as such," observed that "intelligent design" "isn't science. It can't be tested with rigorous experimentation. It is at best a philosophical concept, or a matter of faith," and concluded, "creationism, by whatever name, doesn't belong in a science class." USA Today also provided space to a defender of "intelligent design" -- Utah state senator Chris Buttars, recently in the news for his on-again off-again threat to introduce a bill calling for instruction in "divine design" -- to have his say. Despite Campbell and Meyer's insistence that "we ... don't think students should be required to learn" "intelligent design," the rank and file seem not to be getting the message.