“The ‘Teach the Controversy’ Controversy”: David DeWolf Tells the True Story of the Santorum Amendment

I recently blogged about my law review article in University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy. Discovery Institute senior fellow David DeWolf, professor of law at Gonzaga University School of Law, also published an article in the same issue of that journal titled “The ‘Teach the Controversy’ Controversy.” One of the most interesting components of Professor DeWolf’s article is his retelling of the adoption of the Santorum Amendment into the Conference Report of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Professor DeWolf’s full article can be seen here. What follows is a section from DeWolf’s article. It is the first of two installments here on ENV that will tell the story of the Santorum Amendment and Read More ›

New Law Review Article: The Constitutionality and Pedagogical Benefits of Teaching Evolution Scientifically

Last fall, I participated in a symposium at University of St. Thomas School of Law and presented a paper titled “The Constitutionality and Pedagogical Benefits of Teaching Evolution Scientifically.” The article has now appeared in the legal journal University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy Vol. IV(1):204-277 (Fall, 2009). As seen in an abstract for the article below, the paper makes three main points. First, the inquiry method of teaching science stresses that students should understand not just scientific content, but also the processes of scientific investigation. The inquiry method of science education seeks to inculcate in students habits of mind employed by successful scientists such as open mindedness, skepticism, curiosity, and a distaste for dogmatism. This Read More ›

The ACLU Has a History of Advocating Disparate Treatment for Intelligent Design

In my prior post, I critiqued ACLU-affiliated law professor Gary Williams for claiming that David Coppedge’s case “probably won’t have a shot in court.” If Coppedge has no case, then Mr. Williams must be saying that an employee discussing a matter relevant to the workplace and that is not prohibited by any employer policy–in a non-disruptive fashion–can be targeted when other employees expressing different views about the same topic are not penalized. But this is exactly what happened at JPL, a taxpayer funded entity: JPL has no policy against talking about intelligent design (ID), and permits employees to express viewpoints that are hostile towards ID, but when an employee expresses pro-ID speech, he’s suddenly harassed, investigated, demoted, and told to Read More ›

Is Pro-Intelligent Design Speech During Work Hours “Not Included” in Protections Against Discrimination?

In a recent post I explained why David Coppedge is alleging religious discrimination in his lawsuit against NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for shutting down his pro-intelligent design speech, even though intelligent design (ID) is science, not religion. In the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Professor Gary Williams of Loyola Law School (and former head of the Southern California ACLU) argued that even if ID is religion (or, as in Coppedge’s case, ID is labeled religion by JPL), that Coppedge’s lawsuit is weak: Certain kinds of religious activity are protected if they are not intrusive – such as wearing certain religious garb – but speech during work hours is not included, he said. So even if intelligent design is viewed as Read More ›