See Inside February 2005

Sticker Shock

In the beginning was the cautionary advisory
Steve Mirsky


Brushfires are raging all across America over the teaching of evolution, as various antievolution interests attempt to give religiously based views equal footing in science classes. These fires are fueled by so-called creation scientists, who allege that they have scientific evidence against evolution. (They don't.) Their co-conspirators, the "intelligent design" crowd, go with the full-blown intellectual surrender strategy--they say that life on earth is so complex that the only way to explain it is through the intercession of an intelligent superbeing. (They don't mention you-know-who by name as the designer, but you know who you-know-who is, and it isn't Brahma.)

One little blaze can be found in Cobb County, Ga. As this issue of Scientific American went to press, a federal judge in Atlanta was in the process of deciding whether biology textbooks in the county could continue to sport a warning sticker that 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."

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