Challenges to the teaching of evolution in public schools across the country have prompted National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts to write to all members of the Academy. Warning of "a growing threat to the teaching of science," Alberts calls on Academy members, if such a controversy arises in their state or school district, to take actions against "attempts to limit the teaching of evolution or to introduce non-scientific `alternatives' into science courses and curricula."Let me take you to the trenches in such a school district, Grantsburg, a small town in northwestern Wisconsin.
A good college friend of mine who grew up in suburban Connecticut, after finishing medical school and residency took a family practice position in Grantsburg. He got married, had kids and grew to like the rural life. But recently he got involved in a nasty battle with the school board.
The board last fall, after viewing an anti-evolution movie, had authorized teachers to teach "alternate theories of evolution" in the science curriculum. Last December, the board under some pressure changed the policy
Students are expected to analyze, review and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses, using scientific evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory.Not much of an improvement. So the opposers brought in local professors to discuss the importance of evolution but this failed to sway the board.
So finally they tried to replace the board with a slate of science-friendly candidates but just this week they lost that fight as well.
And so my friend, who simply wanted to be a good country doctor, has made some enemies and worries about about the education his kids will receive.