A newly formed organization has organized a letter-writing campaign urging governors to keep the teaching of “intelligent design” and creationism out of science classes.
The campaign was organized by the Washington-based Campaign to Defend the Constitution, which describes itself as promoting the separation of church and state, scientific progress, and tolerance of different religious faiths. About 100 clergy members and 100 scientists from around the country, including several Nobel Prize laureates, signed the letter. It urges governors to ensure that their states emphasize the teaching of evolution in science classes and in state standards.
The campaign has been launched as efforts to teach so-called alternatives to the theory of evolution play out across the country. A federal trial is under way in Harrisburg, Pa., over a school district’s attempt to mandate that students be exposed to intelligent design, which posits that facets of the natural world, including human life, show signs of having been created by an unnamed master designer. Opponents say such policies advance thinly veiled religious beliefs and thus are unconstitutional for public schools. (“‘Intelligent Design’ Goes on Trial in Pa.,” Oct. 5, 2005)
A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2005 edition of Education Week