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Italy Going Soft on Darwinism

The controversy over evolution is not limited to American shores.  An editorial in the September issue of American Naturalist1 expresses concern that evolutionary biology is getting a low-key treatment in Italian universities: The Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection is the unifying principle of the biological sciences.  Unfortunately in the Italian academic system, evolutionary […]

Dumb Down or Wise Up?  Rhetoric Over ID Intensifies

More and more reporters, scientists and scientific societies are weighing in with their opinions on evolution vs. intelligent design (ID) this week (see 08/13/2005 entry).  Here are some of the more interesting of the recent salvos: It’s Official: ID Is Not Science:  If the scientific validity of an idea can be ruled by authority, then […]

Evolution vs. ID: This Means War

President Bush’s mild off-the-cuff remarks about students needing to hear alternatives to evolution (see 08/02/2005) set off a firestorm of reaction pro and con in the media.  Get your ringside seat here for the war of the words: Mad Scientists:  Nature, as reported this week (08/10/2005), expressed outrage at the President’s remarks – a reaction […]

What’s On the Agenda?  Kansas Votes in New Science Standards

Science Now (from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of Science magazine) reported that Kansas voted 6-4 to adopt the new science standards yesterday that “allow for the teaching of alternatives to evolutionary theory.”  It alleged that “scientists” (unspecified by name or number) say that the new draft standards are “a thinly […]

Nature Rallies Troops Against I.D. to the Defense of “Science”

“President Bush’s endorsement of ‘intelligent design’ has sparked a national debate in which scientists are well positioned to prevail,” editorialized Nature this week,1 with the a rallying-cry title, “Keeping religion out of science class.”  This editorial, along with a news item by Virginia Gewin, “Scientists attack Bush over intelligent design,”2 was prompted by President Bush’s […]

President Bush Votes Yes on ID

Asked whether ID was a valid alternative to evolution, President Bush told reporters August 1, “Both sides ought to be properly taught … so people can understand what the debate is about…. Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought.  You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed […]

Scopes 80th Anniversary Leads to Reanalysis

Alex Johnson, reporter for MSNBC News, has written a piece trying to set the record straight about the Scopes Trial of 1925.  Often portrayed as a battle of science vs religion and a group of hillbilly hicks against enlightened intellectuals (the “Inherit the Wind” stereotype), the historical trial was much different, he demonstrates.  William Jennings […]

School Evolution Bills Listed

In response to claims in the media that many states are passing bills to mandate the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution, Seth Cooper on the Evolution News blog has listed 10 states where evolution bills are being debated and three more where discussions are taking place in the legislature.  Contrary to media reports, […]

AAAS President Rails Against ID

Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of Science, wrote an editorial asking “Why are scientists so upset about the growing movement to bring ‘intelligent design’ (ID) into science classrooms and public education venues such as science museums, zoos, and theme parks?”  He took the occasion of […]

Battle for Creation Makes Cover of New Scientist Magazine

Another indication of the notice the scientific community is giving to creation and intelligent design can be seen on the cover of New Scientist, in a report entitled, “Creationism special: A battle for science’s soul.”  With battle-laden lingo, Debora McKenzie surveys creationism and intelligent-design skirmishes not only among American school boards, but in Holland, Turkey, […]

Battlefront Dispatches

Activities in the Darwin-vs-Design controversy continue generating national news: War of the museums:  The Sternberg Museum in Kansas is trying to reinforce arguments for evolution, according to Voice of America news.  Proud of his T. rex display, curator Greg Liggett claims that “if the school curriculum changes to include theories such as Intelligent Design, critical […]

Reports Differ on Kansas Evolution Debates

How is the debate over evolution in Kansas going?  It depends on whom you ask.  MSNBC News focused on personal attacks between board members (see also the Lexington Herald-Leader).  The Discovery Institute, by contrast, focused on the content of the new proposed standards that allows a “common-sense” approach for teaching all the science about evolution, […]

Virginia Teacher Chastened for Making Optional Creation Material Available

A highly-respected and well-liked high school biology teacher in Bristol, Virginia almost lost his job recently.  His crime?  Making an optional notebook of supplementary material called “Creation Battles Evolution” available to his students.  The notebook, printed at his own expense, included evidence for creation and against evolution, from “sources ranging from the Internet to scholarly […]

NAS Enters the Evolution Web Wars

MSNBC News reports that “Scientists take evolution fight online: National Academies sets up Web site to defend theory.”  (See also Wired News.)  The Evolution Resources website of the National Academy of Sciences, nationalacademies.org/evolution, contains online books and articles, but the most recent entry is an address by outgoing NAS president Bruce Alberts (see 03/24/2005 entry) […]

Who Wins and Loses in the Darwin Wars?

Sandra Lilley, writing in MSNBC News, pictures sad-faced students, whose scientific inquisitiveness has been stifled by the controversy over evolution.  The article starts with a touching photo of a young girl, a look of wonder in her eyes, examining a toy human skeleton.  “Science is becoming a political ‘hot potato’ for some students,” she describes, […]
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