1/13/2005

A small victory for the reality-based community

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal judge Thursday ordered a suburban Atlanta school system to remove stickers from its high school biology textbooks that call evolution "a theory, not a fact," saying the disclaimers are an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
"By denigrating evolution, the school board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories," U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said.
The stickers were put inside the books' front covers by public school officials in Cobb County in 2002. They read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
The judge said: "While evolution is subject to criticism, particularly with respect to the mechanism by which it occurred, the sticker misleads students regarding the significance and value of evolution in the scientific community."

1 Comments:

Blogger peace dreamer said...

Since I have poststructuralist tendencies, I agree with the "sticker people" and believe we should keep an open mind. I'm not saying evolution didn't happen, but there was a time when the brightest minds thought the world was flat. And it wasn't very long ago that the atom was thought to be the smallest organism. So maybe intelligent, respectful debate, allowing people to hold the beliefs they choose to hold, is not a bad thing. Doesn't that have democratic leanings? And shouldn't we be open to the beliefs of others, even if we choose not to agree? Yes, I know the "sticker people" may have had another agenda. But if treating everything as theory and allowing all voices to be heard is their defense, then I think we should include my favorite creation story. The Overlords in space ships! Hey, it could have happened!

3:42 PM  

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