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California School District Adopts Policy Allowing Scientific Criticisms of Evolution

John G. West

Last night, the Board of Trustees of the Lancaster School District in southern California voted unanimously to adopt a “Science Philosophy” policy permitting teachers to present scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution. The policy had been supported by the groups Integrity in Academics and Quality Science Education for All.

The new policy states that Darwin’s theory should not be taught as “unalterable fact” and states that “Discussions that question the theory may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis and theory.” The policy further allows the use of supplemental materials by teachers in teaching about science.

“This is an innovative effort by the Lancaster School District to propel science education out of the nineteenth century and into the twenty-first century, ” said Alex Branning, President of Integrity in Academics, which organized support for the new policy.

Attorney Larry Caldwell, President of Quality Science Education for All, also praised the policy. “It is refreshing to see school officials willing to stand up against Darwinian fundamentalists to give their students a science education rather than a science indoctrination,” he said. “After all, effective science education is all about teaching students to ask meaningful questions and follow the evidence wherever it leads.”

A press release from Integrity in Academics, which includes the full text of the policy, is available here.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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