NCSE's Branch and Reid in Scientific American

05.11.2017

Scientific American logoNCSE's Glenn Branch and Ann Reid contributed a column — "50 Years Ago: Repeal of Tennessee's 'Monkey Law'" — to Scientific American's Observations blog (May 10, 2017).

Taking the fiftieth anniversary of the repeal of Tennessee's Butler Act in 1967 as their cue, Branch and Reid warn, "the schools are still not entirely safe for evolution. From Scopes through [Gary] Scott [a teacher whose lawsuit contributed to the repeal] to today, science teachers have been in the trenches of the evolution wars, bearing the brunt of conflicting forces from science and society."

"Fortunately, the treatment of evolution in state science standards is, on the whole, improving, which means that textbooks, curricula, and ideally teachers are following suit. But scientific knowledge and pedagogical knowhow aren't the only equipment that teachers need in order to teach evolution forthrightly. They also need the confidence to persist, even in the face of doubt and denial."

Branch and Reid added, "Creationists are as active as ever, with a few even in the bully pulpits afforded by high political office. ... So the evolution wars are by no means over."