A lawsuit has been filed by parent and attorney Larry Caldwell against the usage of government funds to promote some of the material on the “Understanding Evolution Website” website. Caldwell alleges that the federal funds are being used to maintain an evolution website in which the government endorses certain religious beliefs and denominational statements.
Before you assume that Caldwell is somehow arguing that evolution itself is a religious viewpoint, read what Caldwell actually is saying. This is not at all what Caldwell is alleging.
Caldwell’s lawsuit is not trying to stop the teaching of evolution.
Caldwell’s actual arguments are explained pretty well in this Daily Cal article:
“According to the complaint, the site violates the clause through its assertion that most religious denominations find no conflict between their religious doctrine and evolutionary theory, citing a section of the site that dispels common misconceptions of evolution.”
Caldwell thus does not allege that teaching evolution endorses religion. Rather Caldwell is alleging that when the government specifically suggests to students that “religion need not conflict with evolution,” that the government is telling students what their religious beliefs should be. According to Caldwell, this form of telling students how their religious beliefs should deal with evolution constitutes impermissible religious endorsement on the part of the government.
Submit Your Caption
We’ll all just have to wait and see how Caldwell’s lawsuit plays out…but for starters, we decided to have a little fun.
Caldwell’s complaint mentions a graphic (displayed and linked below) on the Understanding Evolution Website‘s page entitled “Misconception: ‘Evolution and religion are incompatible.’” Caldwell contends that this government-sponsored graphic endorses a religious message to students that there is no conflict between evolution and religious beliefs.
(Note: This graphic is not stored on our server; this graphic is linked from http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/images/scienceandreligion.gif where the graphic was created by the “Understanding Evolution” website at http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IVAandreligion.shtml)
Some Submitted Captions:
- “Great! You don’t think that God can do anything in the natural world either!”
- “Religious groups that have no conflict with the theory of evolution are good; all others are bad.”
- “The Case Against Cloning.”
- “The Church-State Wedding.”
- “Meet me in the parking lot after the photo-op.”
- “Religion has no place in biology unless it is to support Darwinian teaching.”
- Theologian: “I won’t say ‘How’ if you won’t say ‘Why.'”
- Scientist the next day: “‘Why’ and “How.'”
- “Darwin’s deal with the devil?”
- “The blind leading the blind.”
- “The blind congratulating the blind on not being led by the evidence.”
- “Our random, unguided, undirected, and chance meeting was obviously pre-ordained.
- “Warning: The dangers of inbreeding between left-handed relatives.”
- “Optical Illusion.”
- Scientist: “Just don’t look at the evidence too closely.”
- Theologian: “Just don’t look at the Bible (or theology in general) too closely.”
- “We may not agree about whether or not God exists, but we both agree that Geico will give you the best auto insurance rate.”
- Scientist: “Sucka!”
- “A Jekyll-and-Hyde character.”
- “Lefties rule!”
- “We’re just cloning around!”
- “Working together to tear down the wall of separation erected by the Establishment Clause.”
- “Divide and Conquer!”
- “Concur and Divide!”
- “Dog loves you! God loves you!”
- “So that’s what the Bible means!”