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March 15, 2005

Replacing Science with Religion in Public Schools

Listed in: Separation of Church and State, NJDC News

As the front page of yesterday's Washington Post noted, "Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution."

Such a blurring of the line between teaching science and religion in public schools is a top agenda item for conservatives -- and it is a key part of the effort to decimate the separation between church and state in America (click here for more examples). As the Post article notes, pro-creationism advocates "are acting now because they feel emboldened by ... President Bush, who angered many scientists and teachers by declaring that the jury is still out on evolution." The same article quotes GOP Senator Rick Santorum as saying of evolution, "My reading of the science is there's a legitimate debate."

In part as a result of the "leadership" of GOP leaders like Bush and Santorum, anti-science activists across the country are advancing lawsuits and other measures to replace science with religion in America's taxpayer-supported public school systems.
Below please find excerpts of the Post article, and excerpts from a previous Washington Post editorial against teaching religion in public schools.

Battle on Teaching Evolution Sharpens

By Peter Slevin

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 14, 2005; Page A01

Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America's political right, a battle is intensifying across the nation over how students are taught about the origins of life. Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution.

The proposals typically stop short of overturning evolution or introducing biblical accounts. Instead, they are calculated pleas to teach what advocates consider gaps in long-accepted Darwinian theory, with many relying on the idea of intelligent design, which posits the central role of a creator.

The growing trend has alarmed scientists and educators who consider it a masked effort to replace science with theology...

To read the complete article, please click here.

The Washington Post

God and Darwin
Monday, January 24, 2005; Page A14

WITH THEIR SLICK Web sites, pseudo-academic conferences and savvy public relations, the proponents of "intelligent design" -- a "theory" that challenges the validity of Darwinian evolution -- are far more sophisticated than the creationists of yore. Rather than attempt to prove that the world was created in six days, they operate simply by casting doubt on evolution, largely using the time-honored argument that intelligent life could not have come about by a random natural process and must have been the work of a single creator. They do no experiments and do not publish in recognized scientific journals. Nevertheless, this new generation of anti-evolutionists, arguing that children have a "right to question" scientific truths, has had widespread success in undermining evolutionary theory.

...To teach intelligent design as science in public schools is a clear violation of the principle of separation of church and state....

To read the complete article, please click here.