Skeptic » eSkeptic » February 9, 2006

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine



Help us keep Religion
out of the Science Classroom!

Consider these recent developments:

  • A prominent Catholic cardinal recently published a New York Times editorial suggesting — contrary to long-standing church policy — that evolution and the Catholic faith are incompatible.
  • A county in Tennessee wants to require textbook stickers that insist that evolution is unproven.
  • Language has been included in Bush’s No Child Left Behind law that says students should be exposed to “the full range of scientific views that exist” — suggesting that the theory of evolution is seriously flawed.
  • Bills have been introduced in Alabama and Georgia to encourage the introduction of Intelligent Design in science classes. They have already been approved in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio.

Lawsuits are being filed across the country at state and local levels to challenge the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

The promoters of creationism are well-funded

The well-funded Discovery Institute — home of the new creationism known as “Intelligent Design” — is behind much of the new strategy to discredit evolution.

According to the New York Times, the Seattle-based think tank has been funded by right wing, conservative religious groups such as the Ahmanson Foundation ($750,000 from Howard Ahmanson Jr., who once said his goal is “the total integration of biblical law into our lives”) and the MacLellan Foundation ($450,000 from a group that commits itself to “the infallibility of the Scripture”) to the tune of $3.6 million a year since 1996, sponsoring fellowships of $5,000 to $60,000 per year to 50 researchers.

This money has resulted in 50 books on intelligent design, countless opinion editorials, essays, reviews, and commentaries, and two slick documentaries broadcast on public television and one shown at the Smithsonian Institute.

The Discovery Institute is not alone. In Virginia, Liberty University sponsored the Creation Mega Conference with a Kentucky group called “Answers in Genesis,” which raised $9 million in 2003 in their efforts to teach biblical Young-Earth Creationism.

The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to ‘the truth’ of the Bible and then ‘the question of sin’ and finally ‘introduced to Jesus.’

— Phillip Johnson, Church & State magazine, 1999,
on the “wedge” strategy

Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God … The job of apologetics is to clear the ground, to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ … And if there’s anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ as the free reign of the Spirit and people accepting the Scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view.

—William Dembski, National Religious Broadcasters convention, February 6, 2000

Father’s [the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.

—Jonathan Wells, author of the anti-evolution book, The Icons of Evolution

What can you do to put the brakes on the
Intelligent Design publicity juggernaut?

— support us with a donation!

With your help, we can stop the religion from being taught in science class with our own public relations campaign. The press, public, and educators are eager to hear what science has to say about the claims of Intelligent Design. Here is what we can do in 2006:

  • A new book by Michael Shermer: Why Darwin Matters: Evolution, Design, and the Battle for Science and Religion, to be published by Henry Holt/Times Books, put on the fast track for release in 2006.
  • Copies of Why Darwin Matters will be sent to every Congressman, Senator, and Governor in America, along with the relevant state boards of education, and state legislative bodies contemplating passing pro-creationist legislation.
  • A national book tour by Michael Shermer, covering all the major national media sources as well as local radio, television, and newspaper outlets.
  • A special volume of essays on evolution and Intelligent Design creationism collected from the pages of Skeptic magazine, to be published by the Skeptics Society and widely distributed to science teachers throughout America to give them the intellectual tools they need to deal with ID and creationism.
  • Distribute free copies to teachers of our already published and wildly popular booklet How to Debate a Creationist, the bestselling item in our catalogue.

SUPPORT OUR WORK and the promotion of science, by making a donation


Warped
Passages --
closeup of book cover

lecture reminder…

Warped Passages
Unraveling the Mysteries of the
Universe’s Hidden Dimensions

with Dr. Lisa Randall

Sunday, February 12th, 2pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

The concept of additional spatial dimensions is as far from intuitive as any idea can be. In this lecture based on her new book, Dr. Randall employs creative analogies to explain how our universe may have many unseen dimensions.

READ more about this lecture >

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