Free Science

Discovery Institute’s Science Education Policy
As a matter of public policy, Discovery Institute opposes any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. Attempts to require teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Read More ›

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 ›

Science and Religion Twenty Years After McLean V. Arkansas

The conventional wisdom in constitutional law is that the debate that began with the famous Scopes trial in 19251 over the teaching of origins in public school science classrooms officially ended in 1987. In that year the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. Aguillard,2 struck down a Louisiana statute, the Balanced Treatment Act, that required its public schools to teach creationism if they taught evolution and vice versa. The Court held that the statute violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. A small group of academics, however, with university appointments, impressive publications, and better credentials than their creationist predecessors, have raised questions about evolution and have offered alternative arguments that have changed the texture, tenor, and quality of a debate once thought long dead.  Read More ›

Fact, Myth, and the Scopes Monkey Trial
As Phillip Johnson recounts, some myths are too good to be true. The popular narrative of the "Scopes Monkey Trial" is just such a myth: tired, misleading, and still distorting dialogue about evolution. Read More ›