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Nature on the Kansas Decision: Adding Some Context

Casey Luskin

Geoff Brumfiel with Nature has a news article on the recent decision in Kansas to teach scientific criticisms of evolution. I like Mr. Brumfiel and I think he is a good reporter. His April 28, 2005 piece in Nature on students and ID was fair and consciously non-inflammatory, albeit at times emphasizing religion over science. In his most recent article, I am quoted saying the following:

“This is a huge victory for students in Kansas,” says Casey Luskin, a programme officer in policy and legal affairs at the Discovery Institute, an intelligent-design think-tank in Seattle.

Luskin says that the standards will help students to recognize legitimate scientific criticisms of evolution. He notes that they make no direct reference to intelligent design: “Critics say that the school board is bringing religion into the classroom, but they’re not.”

While I believe this is probably an accurate quote, the framing of the quote, probably unintentionally, might make it seem that I am saying that ID is religion. To clarify, it is our critics who claim that the standards promote ID, and since they believe that ID is religion, they claim that teaching it would bring religion into the classroom. But our critics are wrong on 2 counts, for my position is that (1) ID is not religion (as I explain in my article referenced here), and (2) the standards don’t bring ID into the classroom (see this post for more details). I just wanted to clarify my position because the framing of my quote in the article could lead to misunderstandings.


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.