Education Icon Education
Evolution Icon Evolution

From Darwin-Only National Center for Science Education, a Pre-April Fools’ Day Gag?

April Fools' Day

I admit to putting my foot in it with a poorly phrased headline from time to time, but check this out. The National Center for Science Education specializes in lobbying for strict Darwin-only indoctrination in the schools, grimly opposing all academic freedom bills that admit Darwinian theory might have scientific weaknesses. As the NCSE’s Eugenie Scott memorably put it, “There are no weaknesses in the theory of evolution.” Of course, they call this approach “education” not “indoctrination.” So when a colleague forwarded me a blog post by NCSE deputy director Glenn Branch, I thought it must be an early April Fools’ Day gag. But no!

Beside a scowling cartoon portrait of Branch, the headline says, “Goodnight, Anti-Indoctrination Bills, and Good Riddance.” What? Begone, you “anti-indoctrination” efforts. Bring on the indoctrination! So they’re finally admitting to what we’ve been saying for years — that indoctrinating students on evolution, not educating them, is exactly what they favor?

It sounds that way. But actually if you read further, he’s referring to bills in several states that would counter classroom “political or ideological indoctrination” by teachers, including about “pending legislation” and other subjects “addressed as part of a local, state, or political party’s platform.” Oh.

I was not familiar with the proposed laws, and the Center for Science & Culture hasn’t taken a position on whether they merit support. Having said that, the headline at least deserves a prize!

Photo credit: Alan Perestrello, via Flickr (cropped).