Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Evolution Wars: The Battle Of Atlanta

We have received the latest dispatch from the Georgia Front in the seemingly endless war between those who support the teaching of a traditional science curriculum and those who favor the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classrooms:
ATLANTA - A suburban school board that put stickers in high-school science books saying evolution is “a theory, not a fact” abandoned its legal battle to keep them Tuesday after four years.

The Cobb County board agreed in federal court never to use a similar sticker or to undermine the teaching of evolution in science classes.

In return, the parents who sued over the stickers agreed to drop all legal action.

“We certainly think that it’s a win not just for our clients but for all students in Cobb County and, really, all residents of Georgia,” said Beth Littrell of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

The school board placed the stickers inside the front cover of biology books in 2002 after a group of parents complained that evolution was being taught to the exclusion of other theories, including a literal reading of the biblical story of creation.

The stickers read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

A federal judge ordered the stickers removed in 2005, saying they amount to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. The school board appealed, but a federal appeals court sent the case back, saying it did not have enough information.

“We faced the distraction and expense of starting all over with more legal actions and another trial,” said board chairwoman Teresa Plenge. “With this agreement, it is done and we now have a clean slate for the new year.”
Read the whole dispatch.

We wish that the U.S. Supreme Law-making Body Court would rule on this one way or the other, once and for all, and be done with it.

Prediction: the War litigation will continue for decades to come, with 1000s of billable hours being racked-up by lawyers on both sides
See our latest EduPosts here, today's Extra Credit Reading here, and The Carnival of Education over there.