Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Herald Scotland: MSPs will today consider a call for official guidance to ban the teaching of creationism in schools amid ongoing reluctance by the Scottish Government and teachers to intervene.
Christian News Network: A biology teacher who describes himself as ‘an open-minded skeptic’ purportedly showed a slide in one of his classes that mocks Jesus and describes biblical creation as ‘magic.’
Christian News Network: Two atheist activist organizations have prompted an investigation into a university history teacher in Georgia in the heart of the Bible Belt who they accuse of allegedly preaching Christianity and Creationism in his classroom.
Christian News Network: A secular organization is pressuring Scotland’s Parliament to ban the teaching of biblical creation in all public schools, claiming that evolution is the only ‘established science’ that explains the history of life.
Public Discourse: The traditional pillars of religion that support a view of God as transcendent Creator remain unshaken by the discoveries of modern science.
National Review: This psych professor has apparently unlocked the keys to life and the universe, wrecking thousands of years of faith and theology. How did he do it?
Christian News Network: A legal defense organization filed a lawsuit this week against California State University, alleging that the school fired a biologist for discovering scientific evidence that contradicted evolutionary theory.
David Harsanyi at National Review: “Yes, 14 states spend ‘nearly $1 billion’ of taxpayer tuition money on ‘hundreds of religious schools’ that teach kids the earth is less than 10,000 years old. This would be more troubling if we didn’t spend hundreds of billions every year not teaching millions of kids how to read. Voucher programs offer a wide variety of choices for parents, unlike the failing schools that so many kids are trapped in.”
David Harsanyi at The Federalist: “Broadly speaking, educational choice has gained traction over the past decade, primarily due to the success of charter schools — and though liberal proponents of charters would be unwilling to admit, work under the same basic idea as vouchers. . . . And nothing turns voters against vouchers more than the idea of funding a religious education with public money.”
Times-Picayune: “Senate Bill 70 would remove the Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act from state law. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional 27 years ago, but it remains on the books, yet unenforceable, in Louisiana.”
Associated Press: “Four conservative Republican Indiana legislators are questioning Ball State University’s decision to prohibit the teaching of intelligent design in a science course.”
William Kremer at the BBC: “In the last two decades, dozens of scientific papers have been published on the biological origins of homosexuality – another announcement was made last week. It’s becoming scientific orthodoxy. But how does it fit with Darwin’s theory of evolution?”
Laredo Morning Times (AP): “The Texas Board of Education imposed tighter rules Friday on the citizen review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks, potentially softening fights over evolution, religion’s role in U.S. history and other ideological matters that have long seeped into what students learn in school.”
AP: The long-simmering battle over teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science books for use in classrooms across the state but held up one biology text because of alleged factual errors.
The Blaze: It all started after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist group, waged a complaint about a science class that taught creationism at BSU. In response, the Discovery Institute, a think tank that rejects evolutionary theory, launched a counter-grievance over a different course — one that allegedly touts secularism.
Discovery Institute Demands that Ball State University Investigate Class for Teaching that “Science Must Destroy Religion”
EvolutionNews.org: “If Ball State is going to ban faculty speech favoring intelligent design by claiming that it would violate the separation of church and state, then it must apply the same ban to faculty speech that promotes atheism or attacks intelligent design in the classroom,” said Dr. John West, Vice President of Discovery Institute.
ChristianNews.net: A small group of atheists protested a homeschooling convention as promised earlier this year, largely due to the presence of a prominent Creation speaker who was scheduled to attend the event.
Freedom from Religion Foundation press release: FFRF commends Ball State’s support of science and academic integrity | FFRF reprints the text of Ball State University’s President on the issue.
Worthy News: The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has joined Darwinian scientists who objected to Ball State University’s hiring of Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomy professor who advocates Intelligent Design, according to TheBlaze.
CBN: Indiana’s Ball State University is under fire for hiring a science professor who authored a book on intelligent design, the belief that life is too complex and the universe too finely coordinated to have evolved by accident.
Discovery Institute Evolution News: On July 1, Discovery Institute delivered a petition to Ball State University (BSU) from more than 7,000 people, including more than 1,200 residents of Indiana, urging the university to defend the academic freedom of assistant professor of physics Eric Hedin.
FFRF: FFRF continues to fight proposals in Springboro, Ohio, to promote religion and conservative religious views in public schools.
ACLU: Over the past school year, a number of state legislatures considered measures that would make it easier for public schools to introduce creationist beliefs and materials into science classrooms. And with every critical defeat, the creationism movement simply regroups and maps out yet another scheme to undermine evolution education in the public schools. Even if they are deserving of no other compliment, creationism advocates must be acknowledged for their persistence. They’re in it for the long haul, so we must be, too.
The Star Press: Ball State University is investigating a complaint that one of its assistant professors in the department of physics and astronomy is preaching rather than teaching. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, whose mission is to act as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the principle of separation of state and church, filed an objection to Eric Hedin’s teaching.
Topeka Capitol-Journal: A civil liberties group says a southwest Kansas school district is planning mandatory student assemblies with a creationist organization next week, something the district called a misunderstanding.
NewsTimes.com: The American Civil Liberties Union is objecting to a southwest Kansas district’s plans to allow a pro-creationism group into its schools to talk to students about dinosaurs.
Religion Clause Blog: The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments (video of full arguments) in Freshwater v. Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education. In the case, a state appeals court upheld the firing of John Freshwater, a middle school school science teacher
This casebook explores fundamental legal issues relating to how scientific and religious concepts of biological origins should be presented in public-school biology courses. Although numerous legal arguments are invoked, the Establishment Clause typically stands at or near the center of most disputes: Does teaching Darwinism or creationism, or disparaging them, in public schools promote or hinder religious belief in violation of the First Amendment? In grappling with this question in various forms as presented in differing fact situations over the past half century, American courts have examined the meaning of the Establishment Clause and sharpened their interpretation of it. This is the first and only casebook devoted to this topic, and it is ideal for use in education law programs, constitutional law seminars, and legal history courses.
Independent: Organisers behind a British conference on Islam and evolution say they nearly had to cancel the event after receiving a torrent of opposition from Muslim students at one of the country’s top scientific universities, The Independent has leanred.
Religion Clause Blog: In Indiana, state senator Dennis Kruse, chairman of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, says he will try a new approach now that he failed last session to get legislation to allow the teaching of creationism along with evolution in the public schools.
Religion Clause Blog: In Britain, Free Schools are alternative state-funded schools set up in response to local demands. Thefirst Free Schools opened in 2011. In January of this year, Britain’s Department for Education revised its funding agreement for Free Schools to prevent the teaching of creationism in science classes, allowing it to be taught only in religious education classes.
Ed News: If Clayton Fiscus, a new Republican member of the Montana House of Representatives, has his way, intelligent designwill soon be taught alongside evolution across the state.
Washington Post: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States,” Rubio told GQ. “I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.”
Telegraph: Fame Daddy will offer would-be-mothers “top quality celebrity surrogate fathers” when it launches next February, according to Dan Richards, its chief executive . . . To be able to harvest potential from the global gene pool, rather than from the more limited selection of the men she comes into direct contact with, is a major evolutionary leap for women.
Steven Douglas at MinnPost: The argument over same-sex marriage does not start in the political realm but in the philosophical. Many of the proponents of same-sex marriage with whom I speak assume that we agree on who we are on a basic level and therefore the way we should plot our political course forward. That’s where they’re wrong. Many Christians still hold to the truth of Scripture, often called inerrancy, and believe that God created humanity in his image (Genesis 1:27). These Christians reject the theory of macro evolution as an explanation of human origins. We see the role of image-bearing, generally called imago Dei, to be what defines us.
Washington Post: “There is no difference in what we can learn genetically about a person that lived 50,000 years ago and from a person today,” Paabo said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.
Religion Clause Blog: In the case, a state appeals court upheld the firing of John Freshwater, a middle school school science teacher. The school board based the firing on Freshwater’s injecting his religious views, including belief in Creationism, into the classroom and for insubordination in failing to remove certain religious materials from the classroom after being ordered to do so by the school board.
LA Times: Coppedge found his lawyer, William Becker, through the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian group that’s also helping fund Coppedge’s defense. Becker has also worked with the Discovery Institute, a prominent intelligent design group based in Seattle and a key force in helping portray Coppedge as a victim of religious bigotry. “There is a worldview war in this country,” Becker said in an interview. “There’s a battle between people who think religious people are trying to disrupt the integrity of the scientific method and those who know we’re not.”
AP: David Coppedge, a former computer specialist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, spent much of his free time advocating for the idea that a higher intelligence must have had a hand in creation. Now, a judge will decide if his commitment to that belief has also cost him his job.
International Business Times: Soon Tennessee classrooms wilI be able to debate the merits of creationism and evolution side-by-side, after Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday refused to sign a controversial proposal dubbed the “Monkey Bill”, but allowed it to become law anyway.
WBIR.com: The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the evolution bill, saying it would “subvert scientific principle to religious ideology.”
Religion Clause Blog: The Tennessee legislature this week gave final passage to HB 368, on the teaching of scientific subjects such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning that may cause debate and disputation.
The Tenneessean: Senate Bill 893, sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, protects teachers who want to debate evolution, climate change and other widely accepted science in the classroom.
Glendale News-Press: William Becker, an attorney with the nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund who is representing Coppedge, said his client was disciplined for his Christian beliefs. “They don’t have a policy against discussing religion and politics, so they essentially singled him out. He was forbidden from doing something everybody else was allowed to do,” Becker said . . . “Throughout the scientific and academic worlds in this country, if you dare insert what somebody perceives to be your evangelical Christian values — if they think you’re doing that — heads roll,” Becker said.
Education News: The often-charged debate about the origin of life pitting the science community against doctrinal conservatives is not just a U.S. phenomenon but one the Muslim world is increasingly engaged in, a visiting professor said Thursday evening at Trinity University.
ChicagoTribune.com: The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s top lawyer said Thursday that a bill pending that would allow schools to teach creationism in science classes clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and invites legal challenges.
CNN.com Blogs: America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.
OneNewsNow.com: The Rutherford Institute is preparing to appeal a recent court decision against an Ohio science teacher who tried to teach his student to think critically about evolution
Atheists work overtime to battle over half of Brits who think intelligent design and creationism should be taught along with evolution
Education News: A group of 30 scientists have signed a statement saying it is “unacceptable” to teach creationism and intelligent design, whether it happens in science lessons or not. The statement claims two organisations, Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International are “touring the UK and presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science”.
William Carroll at Public Discourse: On the basis of hasty scientific judgment, the Inquisition insisted that the Bible be interpreted in a way that confirmed this conclusion. The Inquisition did not subordinate science to the Bible; rather, it subordinated the interpretation of the Bible to a scientific view that eventually would be shown false . . . Views about science and religion, for example, which see them as fundamentally incompatible, appear to be almost self-evidently true so that anyone who challenges this truth is summarily dismissed. Such smug dismissal of what is seen as obviously false is reminiscent of the Inquisition’s insistence that Galileo affirm that the earth does not move. | Related: ADF-allied attorney rebukes Colorado professor, a high priest of Darwin, with Galileo primer
StarNewsOnline.com: The debate over teaching creationism in public schools has resurfaced in Brunswick County. But despite public officials’ desire to teach the religion-themed alternative to evolution, the school board’s legal team once again determined that it is not possible under the law.
Robert Knight at Townhall: But I’m not here to poke holes in evolutionary theory. I have a larger ambition, which is to expose the misuse of science as a false religion.
Ann Coulter at Townhall: Intelligent design scientists look at the evidence and develop their theories; Darwinists start with a theory and then rearrange the evidence. These aren’t scientists. They are religious fanatics for whom evolution must be true so that they can explain to themselves why they are here, without God. (It’s an accident!) Any evidence contradicting the primitive religion of Darwinism — including, for example, the entire fossil record — they explain away with non-scientific excuses like “the dog ate our fossils.”
California Science Center invites intelligent design program, will pay $110K to settle discrimination lawsuit
The state-run California Science Center has agreed to pay $110,000 to settle a lawsuit by American Freedom Alliance against the center for violating AFA’s First Amendment protected free speech right to advocate intelligent design.
Religion Clause: Film maker Greta Schiller, working with the National Center for Science Education and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is launching the “Celebrate Science” campaign beginning Aug. 28 in Tallahassee, Florida. A press release issued Monday announced that the Campaign will feature a new film, “No Dinosaurs In Heaven,” in cities around the country.
Dayton Daily News: The debate over bringing creationism into Springboro classrooms ended after a shift in viewpoint by the school board member who started the discussion, which prompted a national response, including threats of legal action.
The Hill (includes video): Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) told a young boy on the campaign trail Thursday that he thinks the theory of evolution “has some gaps” in it. “It’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution, because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one’s right,” Perry said during a meet and greet in Portsmouth, N.H.
The Transformation of Michele Bachmann : The New Yorker: Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.
Religion Clause: The Florida Independent reports that a group known as Citizens for National Security announced that they were filing suit yesterday in Florida state court to enjoin the effectiveness of Florida S.B. 2120 which, among other things (Sec. 21), calls for two state or national experts to review instructional materials that are up for adoption each year.
Dayton Daily News: The Springboro school board member who raised the prospect of the district teaching creationism said this week she now wants parents of students in public schools to have options if they want their children to learn about theories like intelligent design.
Speak Up Movement University Blog: The stereotype of the arrogant, leftist professor in the ivory tower occasionally shows up in real life in a manner that shows that the truth is stranger than fiction . . . Finally, I cannot let your smug reference to Galileo go unchallenged. Firstly, as a matter of simple fact, your history is all wrong. Galileo never uttered the words you mistakenly placed in his mouth. I provide for your edification a primer on the matter under my signature.
AP: Unlike the fiery debate that erupted two years ago, an expected fight over teaching evolution in Texas public schools has likely fizzled after state education officials made only minor changes to new science materials for the coming school years.
Boston.com: The Texas State Board of Education meets this week for the first time under its conservative new chairwoman appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.
Religion Clause: The Texas Independent reported Friday that this week the Texas State Board of Education will again be debating evolution as it meets to select supplemental science curriculum materials for public schools.
Ralph Richard Banks at NYTimes.com: The cases against polygamy and incest are not nearly as strong as most people imagine. Yet they will not become legal anytime soon. To see why, it helps to understand the evolution of moral assessments of interracial and same-sex marriage.
CSMonitor.com: The Louisiana law allows teaching contrary to evolution on the grounds it promotes critical thinking, a proposition ridiculed by scientists. Similar legislation is being debated in other states.
EducationNews.org: England’s Department for Children, Education and Schools has issued new guidelines that specifically prohibit the teaching of creationism or intelligent design at any government-funded schools, the Daily Telegraph reports.