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'Intelligent design' theory threatens evolution in US schools

In the boldest strike against the teaching of evolution in more than a decade, the school board of a small farming town in the US has made the teaching of creationism compulsory in Year 9.

The version of creationism that has been mandated is called "intelligent design", which suggests that only the action of a higher intelligence can explain the complexities of evolution.

A Christian Science Monitor report reproduced in the Pew Forum says observers are predicting that while the move is unprecedented, it is "a sign of what's to come".

Religious conservatives have battled against evolution theory in classrooms since the Scopes trial of 1925. Now, they are finding fresh purpose in the conservative resurgence so evident on Election Day, as well as in a new strategy of attacking evolution without mentioning God. The result is a handful of high-profile cases nationwide that challenge Darwin's place in the curriculum and presage a new offensive in America's culture war.

"We're seeing a growing number of these cases," says Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif., a group that seeks to protect evolution education. "Certainly, with the greater confidence given to the religious right in the last election, we see no end in sight."

God or Science? (Christian Science Monitor/Pew Forum 23/11/04)

Nation's Moral Values Declining, Most Say (Pew Forum/USA Today 23/11/04)
Gunmen Rob Parishioners at Fort Lauderdale Church (Associated Press/ 23/11/04)
Fr John O'Donnell: Fewer priests means fewer parishes (Boston Globe 23/11/04)
Boston archbishop sells some parishes, delays closing others (Catholic News Service 22/11/04)
Cardinal May Be Questioned (Associated Press/ 23/11/04)
Christian fundamentalists have hijacked moral values! (Online Opinion 23/11/04)
Andrew Greeley: Bush win salutes the 'Mercan way (Chicago Sun-Times 19/11/04)

24 Nov 2004