January 13, 2005

Georgia Ousts 'Theory' Stickers

In a victory for science and common sense:

In ruling that the stickers violate the constitutionally mandated separation between church and state, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper ruled that labeling evolution a "theory" played on the popular definition of the word as a "hunch" and could confuse students.

...The sticker, he said, sends "a message that the school board agrees with the beliefs of Christian fundamentalists and creationists."

"The school board has effectively improperly entangled itself with religion by appearing to take a position," Cooper wrote. "Therefore, the sticker must be removed from all of the textbooks into which it has been placed."

...Lawyers for Cobb County, however, argued in court that the school board had made a good-faith effort to address questions that inevitably arise during the teaching of evolution.

"Science and religion are related and they're not mutually exclusive," school district attorney Linwood Gunn said in an AP report. "This sticker was an effort to get past that conflict and to teach good science." ...

The only conflict, of course, has always been between people who want to teach science and people who don't. Real scientific debate gets argued in research journals before peers, not in grade school classrooms.

Posted by natasha at January 13, 2005 10:16 AM | Science | Technorati links |

i think the headline would more accurately be 'Federal court ousts Georgia 'Theory' stickers.' the Georgia courts had nothing to do with the ruling.

Posted by: magpie at January 13, 2005 12:23 PM

I would certainly be interested in a further exposition of how, exactly, science and religion interact. Science is about knowledge and religion is about belief. If you have to know, you don't believe.

Posted by: Bryan at January 13, 2005 08:14 PM

Ok that's confusing...what do you mean the courts had nothing to do with the ruling?

To the topic...I have always found it interesting to watch the science oriented try to talk to the non science oriented...lots of glazed eyeballs.

I think there is a certain amount of fear involved with those that revolt at the idea of science. It's bewildering in it's outward appearance and not easily understood if the venacular isn't known.

We seem to have cycles where these *back to basics* movements happen. The pendulum will hopefully swing back to center again soon without having to go through the similarly horrifying far left swing.

Posted by: G Davis at January 13, 2005 08:15 PM

Bryon, you write *if you have to know you don't believe*.

Is that an indictment that folks of science can't be spiritual? Or did I once again miss something?

Posted by: G Davis at January 13, 2005 08:17 PM

what i meant is that the *georgia* courts had nothing to do with the ruling. the decision was made by a *federal* district judge. the state and federal court systems are separate.

Posted by: Magpie at January 14, 2005 10:21 AM

Gotcha...my bad...

Posted by: G Davis at January 14, 2005 06:56 PM