NCSE's Branch in US News & World Report



NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch answered the question "Should creationism be taught in the public schools?" for the on-line edition of US News & World Report (February 2, 2009) — in the negative, of course. After reviewing the legal history of attempts to require the teaching of creationism in the public schools, he observed, "Creationism is not just a legal failure. It is a scientific failure as well. Scan the scientific research literature: There are no signs that anyone is using creationism, whether as creation science or its newfangled form of intelligent design, to explain the natural world. In contrast, not a year passes without the appearance of thousands of scientific publications that apply, refine, and extend evolution."

Despite those failures, creationism persists. Branch explained, "Defeated in court and unable to make their mark in science, creationists have increasingly turned to the fallback strategy of attacking evolution without mentioning any specific creationist alternative," citing recent legislation in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi as well as struggles over the treatment of evolution in state science standards in Kansas, Ohio, and Texas. Additionally, he commented, "creationism contributes to a climate of hostility toward, skepticism about, and ignorance of evolution — and, indeed, science — in America. ... The sad consequence is students cheated of a chance to attain a proper understanding of the central principle of the biological sciences."