As 2015 winds down, you’ll encounter a lot of lists – best movies of the year, what’s hot and what’s not and so on. Well, here’s our version of that: a list of what we at “The Wall of Separation” consider to be the Top Ten church-state stories of 2015:
A new study says that a single county policy spawned at least 65 bills to promote creationism in American public schools. Nicholas J. Matzke, a phylogeneticist based at the Australian National University, traced the bills back to a 2006 Ouachita Parish, La., curriculum policy that encouraged teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”
On Dec. 20, 2005, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down an important ruling in a case challenging the teaching of “intelligent design” creationism in public schools.
In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones struck down a policy that had been approved by members of the school board in Dover, Pa., a small town of about 2,000 residents. His ruling was a slam dunk, making it clear that intelligent design (ID) is not science.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has appointed a man to be acting education commissioner who in the past has expressed support for teaching creationism in public schools.
Dr. William Beardsley is the former president of Bangor-based Husson University and is considered a close associate of LePage. Beardsley’s academic credentials are not in doubt, but his understanding of basic science is questionable: He expressed unequivocal support for teaching creationism during his unsuccessful 2010 bid to become the Republican nominee for governor.
A federal judge has denied a request by Americans United to intervene in a lawsuit in which a fundamentalist Christian theme park is challenging the denial of a tax rebate in Kentucky.
Maine’s controversial Gov. Paul LePage (R) may have appointed a creationist to serve as the state’s acting education commissioner. Dr. William Beardsley is the former president of Bangor-based Husson University and is considered a close associate of LePage. The governor’s administration announced the appointment yesterday.
Beardsley’s academic credentials aren’t in doubt. His understanding of basic science is less certain: He expressed unequivocal support for teaching creationism during his unsuccessful 2010 bid to become the Republican nominee for governor.
Teachers and school board members have been scheming to push creationism in Louisiana public schools, a recent investigation asserts.
Science education activist and Americans United ally Zack Kopplin found that some Bayou State educators are doing all they can – including skirting the law – to force fundamentalist dogma into science classes. Kopplin detailed his findings in an article for Slate, in which he said he has evidence of a coordinated effort to bring anti-science, biblical literalist dogma into schools.
You might have read yesterday about Americans United’s latest victory. It’s one I’m especially pleased to see: Officials at a public school in Glendive, Mont., were going to send third-graders on a field trip to a local spot run by creationists. AU’s attorneys put a stop to that.
John Glenn is a pretty cool guy, to say the least. The former U.S. senator and astronaut flew more than 120 combat missions combined in both World War II and the Korean War, but he is best known as the first American to orbit the earth – a feat he accomplished in 1962.
Glenn, now 93, recently granted an interview to the Associated Press, during which he made it clear that he is a religious man who supports evolution.