Free Science

The “Teach the Controversy” Controversy

In 2000, my coauthors and I published an article proposing that public schools would violate no constitutional prohibition (and would improve science education) by permitting biology teachers to ―teach the controversy‖ concerning biological evolution.1 This proposal generated substantial academic commentary.2 As this article details, members of the United States Congress and education officials in a few states have expressed some support for the idea. However, most academic commentators have accused the authors of substituting a renamed but substantially equivalent form of ― creationism in an attempt to circumvent existing law. Others have accused the proponents of hijacking perfectly respectable concepts—like academic freedom or viewpoint neutrality — for disreputable purposes, such as advancing religion. This article will recount the reaction to the proposal to ― teach the controversy‖ and will respond to the primary arguments raised against it. Read More ›