Monday, February 20, 2006


Anti-Evolutionism in America – What's Ahead

An organization representing 10,000 Christian clergy from many denominations has joined with scientists and educators to launch The Alliance for Science, which opposes the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public schools.

The announcement was made at an American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium entitled, "Anti-Evolutionism in America – What's Ahead."

The current legal and educational challenges to teaching evolution taking place at all levels, as well as scientific content of both sides of the issue was addressed by speakers at the symposium. Since the anti-evolutionary movement presumes a conflict between religion and science, the support for evolution among the 10,000 Christian clergy is particularly noteworthy.

The impact of the anti-evolution movement on its primary target: high school students and teachers, with a frontline report from Cobb County, Georgia and Dover, Pennsylvania, sites of successful court challenges to the teaching of intelligent design was also discussed.

"The goal of this symposium," said organizer Dr. Irving Wainer of the National Institute on Aging, "is to set the basis for a united effort of the scientific community, allied with the religious, educational and business sectors, to educate the public about the different but complementary roles of science and religion. We want to improve the teaching of science in our public schools and to restore the excitement about science that once characterized the United States."

Paul S. Forbes, co-chairman of the Alliance for Science also announced that in addition to keeping creationism out of public schools, the Alliance will mobilize national support for a new bipartisan national science agenda that is now being formulated in Congress. This agenda, which is based upon a report from the National Academy of Sciences, includes increased support for basic research; more scholarships for future math, science and engineering teachers; more graduate fellowships in these fields; tax incentives for scientific innovation; establishment of a new federal Advanced Research Projects Agency; and expanded access to broadband communications.

"According to a study funded by the National Science Foundation, 93 percent of Americans are scientifically illiterate," says Forbes. "That is unacceptable in a world in which scientific knowledge, prosperity and security are inseparable. Unless we remain the world leader in science and technology, it is doubtful that our families will be able to continue to enjoy the comfortable, middle class life to which they have become accustomed."


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