DEFENDING SCIENCE EDUCATION AGAINST FUNDAMENTALIST ATTACKS
With a chronic shortage of funds, too few well-trained teachers, and in
many cases inadequate physical plants, the public schools in America
hardly need yet another serious problem.
However another serious problem has arisen, writes James E. Darnell. A resurgent challenge to the teaching of science has been mounted by evangelical Christians. Teachers are being intimidated from teaching biological evolution by individuals and
In a survey by the National Science Teachers Association over 30 % of public school teachers reported being pressured to alter teaching of evolution. Well-funded and politically well-organized outfits like The Discovery Institute and its subsidiary, The Center for Science and Culture, in Seattle push demands to include "intelligent design" or ID in public school science classrooms on local school boards, state legislatures, and even in one instance the U. S. Senate.
These efforts represent an impediment to science education that the country can surely do without. If this country is to continue to benefit from a seemingly inexhaustible supply of scientific discovery followed by innovative technology, all obstacles to public school science education must be removed. This appeal is not to prevent children from hearing about and learning about religious ideas in the appropriate setting, for example, in history or social studies classes where all types of religious ideas should be open for discussion.
The appeal is to have our best possible science taught in science classes without interference from religion.