Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Kansas: The Next Battlefield

Philip M. Boffey, a New York Times editorial board member who writes about science issues, has a long "Talking Points" piece on intelligent design in the Op-Ed section of today's Times. He points out that critics of evolution have been "coming up with new strategies that are far more subtle than past attempts to either ban the teaching of evolution outright or inject the teaching of creationism alongside it."

Boffey examines the legal history of the evolution wars, beginning with the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" trial, with a particular focus on the impact of the Dover ruling last December, and Judge Clarence Cooper's District Court ruling in the Cobb County sticker case.

"It is always risky to guess how judges will rule on a case before them," notes Boffey, "but the federal appeals court panel that heard the [Cobb County] appeal may be inclined to reverse the lower court's decision that the sticker is unconstitutional. Journalists covering the oral arguments in December described the three judges on the panel as skeptical, critical and hostile in their questioning of the decision."

"The next major battlefield," writes Boffey, "may turn out to be Kansas."

Lots of background in this piece that makes it worth spending some time with.


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