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Melee In Modesto: California Community Debates Creationism In Science Class

It’s the debate that never ends – thanks to an aggressive minority that insists religious beliefs belong in the science classroom.

California public school teacher Mark Ferrante belongs in that group. According to the Modesto Bee, Ferrante recently announced that he planned to teach the latest variant of creationism, “intelligent design” (ID), alongside evolution at Modesto’s Roosevelt Junior High, sparking quite the community discussion. Read more

Unintelligent By Design: Louisiana School District Considers Teaching Creationism

Members of the Livingston Parish School Board in Louisiana may be on the verge of making a huge mistake – one that could cost their community a lot of money.

During a recent meeting, several board members went off on a tangent about teaching creationism. During this public session, they openly discussed their desire to bring religion into the classroom. It was not a wise move. Read more

Friday Follies: A Round-up Of Stories From Here, There And Everywhere

It's Friday, and here's a quick round-up of some stories with church-state overtones that you might have missed:

* Remember the proselytizing cheerleaders in north Georgia? A lot of people are getting worked up over that, and I feel certain that a "fair and balanced" Fox News report isn't far off. Read more

Dissing Dawkins: Okla. Lawmaker Attacks Evolution Advocate

I've been to Oklahoma to speak on several occasions and know that there are lots of strong advocates of church-state separation there. AU has chapters in Oklahoma City and Norman, and Bruce Prescott, a member of the Americans United Board of Trustees, runs Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Journalist Frosty Troy's Oklahoma Observer frequently slams the Religious Right. Read more

Nevertheless, They Will End Up Apologizing: Galileo, Darwin And The Vatican

A story is told about the 17th Century astronomer Galileo. Supposedly, after he was ordered by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church to recant his theory of the heliocentric universe, Galileo left the room muttering under his breath, "Eppur si muove" – Italian for "Nevertheless, it does move."

The tale is considered apocryphal, which is a shame because it's one of those stories that I wish were true. Read more

No Thanks, New Orleans: Scientists Take Conventions Outside Anti-Evolution Louisiana

"No thanks, New Orleans."

The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) coined this phrase on its Web site this week, and it could quickly become the new catch phrase for scientists, educators and civil liberties groups across the country.

On Monday, SICB sent a letter to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal telling him that the organization will be taking its 2011 annual conference to Salt Lake City. Read more

Origin Of The Specious: AU Attorney Comments On The Evolution Of Creationism

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. There has been a lot of interest in this important anniversary among the media, and some editors and reporters are using the occasion to re-examine the issue of teaching evolution in the public schools.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Americans United Assistant Legal Director Richard B. Katskee"][/caption] Read more

It's Academic (Fraud): Anti-Evolution Forces Seek To Usurp Darwin Day

This Thursday is "Darwin Day," an occasion when scientists all over the world will celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin.

Though Darwin's theory of evolution certainly has a critically important place in the science community, it is also responsible for a decades-old crusade by Religious Right activists—who continue to push their fundamentalist agenda in the public school science classroom, try to discredit Darwin's theory and erode the separation of church and state. Read more

Board Bungle: Louisiana Opens The Door To Creationism – Again

Education officials in Louisiana yesterday had the opportunity to slam the door firmly on the teaching of creationism and "intelligent design" (ID) in public schools. Unfortunately, they did not take it.

The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 10-0 to adopt new science guidelines that critics fear will muddy the waters and open the door to sectarian concepts in science class. Read more

Louisiana Showdown: State School Board Addresses Rules About Teaching Evolution

Will Louisiana public schools soon be teaching religious concepts in science class?

That's the question coming before the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education this week.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the board is scheduled to act on guidelines for the teaching of "controversial" subjects such as evolution. Read more

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