NCSE's Branch contemplates Epperson in Scientific American

11.26.2018

Glenn Branch

Writing for Scientific American's blog (November 26, 2018), NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch considered the progress in evolution education in the last half century, from the defeat of Scopes-era bans on teaching evolution through the series of attempts to "balance" evolution with a supposedly scientific alternative to the present day, when "the preferred strategy is now to belittle evolution, while remaining silent about any supposed alternatives."

There is cause for optimism in Branch's view: "the philosopher Barbara Forrest recently wrote, 'The arc of history bends toward teaching evolution.' American attitudes, she suggests, are changing in a way that offers hope for the increased acceptance of teaching evolution. And survey results support her argument." But, he warned, "success is not inevitable," requiring "the support of all of us who value the integrity of science education." 

The Epperson v. Arkansas case is also the subject of NCSE's Ann Reid's "It's Still Hard to Teach Evolution in Too Many Public School Classrooms," recently appearing in the Los Angeles Times; Amanda Glaze's "Looking Back with Epperson, Fifty Years Later," recently published in Reports of the NCSE (PDF, pp. 4-6); and a series of four blog posts under the title "Forty-Five Years after Epperson" by NCSE's Glenn Branch posted on NCSE's blog in 2013.