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Anticreation in public schools

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There is perhaps no other place where anticreation sentiment is more apparent than in the U.S. public school system. A country with a solid Christian heritage has reached a status where teachers have become fearful of exposing their faith in the workplace.

There are certainly a good number of scientists who now reject the concepts of evolution -- not on religious grounds, but on strictly scientific grounds. Most of them are keeping their own council. Outwardly they support evolution (so as to be in step with their peers) but inwardly they have second thoughts on the subject. It is not too easy to take a stand against the beliefs of the majority, and expose oneself to ridicule, especially when one's job and academic and professional prospects are on the line. It is only the very brave and those highly placed scientists whose standings are universally acknowledged (and thus, secure) that can afford to contradict the general trend.[1]

This anticreation movement is in no small part due to the activities of groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which quickly move to sue any school district where it is reported that a teacher is challenging Darwinism or introducing intelligent design concepts in the classroom. Numerous examples have also been documented where educators were discriminated against in academia simply because of their faith in God, even when their beliefs never made it into the classroom.[2]

Progress has also been furthered by the National Academy of Sciences, which is predominated by atheism and advices U.S. policy makers regarding science education. To this end, the NAS strongly discourages the teaching of creationism and urges teachers to define science in terms of philosophical naturalism (See: Science, Evolution, and Creationism). Government policy is now also in place to discourage those who believe in God from receiving teaching certificates.[3]

Discrimination of educators

Victims

  • Jerry Bergman was denied tenure quite openly due to his involvement in the creation movement and his religious beliefs. Bergman subsequently filed charges with both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on the grounds that he had been discriminated against on the basis of religion.
  • Law professor Francis Beckwith had his tenure challenged at Baylor University because he had expressed a professional opinion that it was constitutionally acceptable to teach intelligent design in public school classrooms.[4]
  • Chemistry professor Nancy Bryson lost her job at a state university after she gave a lecture on scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory to a group of honors students.
  • Three days before graduate student Bryan Leonard's dissertation defense was to take place Darwinist professors at Ohio State University accused Leonard of "unethical human-subject experimentation" because he taught students about scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory.[5]
  • High school teacher Roger DeHart was driven from his public school simply because he wanted his students to learn about both sides of the scientific debate over Darwinian evolution.
  • Iowa State University Professor of Astronomy Guillermo Gonzalez became the target of faculty discriminatory campaigns after the release of The Privileged Planet. An ISU religious studies professor and atheist, organized a campus forum to attack The Privileged Planet, then petitioned the ISU faculty to reject Intelligent Design as science shortly before Gonzalez was scheduled to come up for tenure. These actions ultimately led to the rejection of his tenure position.[6]

Discriminators

  • The National Center for Science Education sent out a letter urging all 50 state governors to restrict teaching the controversies of Darwinian evolution.[7]
  • University of Idaho president Timothy White, issued an edict recently proclaiming that it is now “inappropriate” for anyone to teach “views that differ from evolution” in any “life, earth, and physical science courses.[2]
  • Cornell University President Hunter Rawlings, III, delivered a polemic speech denouncing intelligent design and scientists and scholars researching the theory.[8]
  • Biology professor P.Z. Myers at the University of Minnesota, recently wrote this about anyone supporting intelligent design or even just questioning modern evolutionary theory: “Our only problem is that we aren’t martial enough, or vigorous enough, or loud enough, or angry enough. The only appropriate responses should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians.”[2]

Anticreation government policy

It may be found shocking that some states in the US are actively involved in discouraging teachers that believe in God from becoming certified public school teachers.

The following eligibility requirements for student financial aid were established by the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board - which administers Washington State's student financial aid programs and provides strategic planning, coordination, monitoring, and policy analysis for higher education.

According to this Washington State policy, teachers seeking certification are ineligible to receive government financial aid if they are pursuing or planning to pursue a degree in theology.


The Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment program is designed to encourage outstanding students and paraprofessionals to become teachers, and to encourage current teachers to obtain additional endorsements in teacher shortage subjects.

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident student of Washington state;
  • Plan to complete an approved program leading to a residency teacher certificate or an additional shortage subject endorsement;
  • Plan to be employed as a certificated classroom teacher in Washington K-12 public schools;
  • Plan to attend an eligible college at least half-time;
  • You must not be pursuing or planning to pursue a degree in theology;
  • Submit a complete application to us by the deadline.[3]

Academic Freedom Petition

Across America, the freedom of scientists, teachers, and students to question Darwin is coming under increasing attack by self-appointed defenders of the theory of evolution who are waging a malicious campaign to demonize and blacklist anyone who disagrees with them.

You can help by signing the Academic Freedom Petition and stand up for free speech and free scientific inquiry.

“We, the undersigned American citizens, urge the adoption of policies by our nation's academic institutions to ensure teacher and student academic freedom to discuss the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. Teachers should be protected from being fired, harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against for objectively presenting the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory. Students should be protected from being harassed, intimidated, or discriminated against for expressing their views about the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory in an appropriate manner.”

If you agree with this statement please sign the petition and join other Americans in supporting academic freedom. Petitions will be delivered to appropriate state and federal education officials and departments.[9]

References

  1. Cohen, I.L. in Darwin Was Wrong - A Study in Probabilities. New Research Publications, Inc., New York, NY (1984), p.213-214.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 New Ben Stein Flick, Expelled, Blows the Whistle on the Darwinist Inquisition Evolution News and Views. August 23, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. 2008.
  4. Scandal Brewing at Baylor University? Denial of Tenure to Francis Beckwith Raises Serious Questions about Fairness and Academic Freedom Evolution News and Views. May 4, 2006.
  5. Attack on OSU Graduate Student Endangers Academic Freedom Discovery Institute. June 13, 2005
  6. Biography of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez Discovery Institute. May 14, 2007
  7. Academic Freedom Under Attack in NCSE Letter Seeking to Limit Teaching of Evolution Discovery Institute. September 29, 2005
  8. Cornell President Misrepresents Intelligent Design And Delivers A Diatribe Against Academic Freedom Evolution News and Views. October 25, 2005.
  9. Academic Freedom Petition

See Also