Evolution Religion Science

Not With Our Tax Dollars You Don’t!

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For IMMEDIATE RELEASE on October 12, 2005

Contact: Larry Caldwell
Phone: 916-774-4667
lcaldwell@qsea.org

Lawsuit Alleges that Federally-Funded Evolution Website Violates Separation of Church and State by Using Religion to Promote Evolution

San Francisco, CA— A California parent, Jeanne Caldwell, is filing a federal lawsuit today against officials of the National Science Foundation and the University of California at Berkeley for spending more than $500,000 of federal money on a website that encourages teachers to use religion to promote evolution in violation of the First Amendment.

Blind Leading the Blind

“In this stunning example of hypocrisy, the same people who so loudly proclaim that they oppose discussion of religion in science classes are clamoring for public school teachers to expressly use theology in order to convince students to support evolution,” said Larry Caldwell, President of Quality Science Education for All, who is co-counsel in the suit with the Pacific Justice Institute.

Called “Understanding Evolution,” the website identified in the lawsuit directs teachers to doctrinal statements by seventeen religious denominations and groups endorsing evolutionary theory. A statement by the United Church of Christ, for example, declares that evolution is consistent with “the revelation and presence of… God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”

The website further suggests classroom activities that explicitly use religion to promote evolution. In one suggested activity, teachers are supposed to share with students statements by religious leaders on evolution, but only those “stress[ing] the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution.” In another activity, students are assigned to interview ministers about their views on evolution, with the purpose of showing students that “Evolution is OK!” Teachers are cautioned, however, that this particular activity may not work if they live in a community that is “conservative Christian.”

“While the government has a legitimate purpose in educating students about the science of evolution, it’s outrageous that tax dollars would be spent to indoctrinate students into a particular religious view of evolution. There are many different religious views about evolution. How dare the government tell students which religious view is correct!” said plaintiff Jeanne Caldwell. “This is propaganda, not education.”

The lawsuit alleges that the state and federal government are promoting religious beliefs to minor school children through the website in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The suit seeks injunctive relief to remove these government endorsed religious beliefs from the website.

The lawsuit also alleges that the website is being used to further the religious agenda of a private organization, the National Center for Science Education (NSCE), which has a “long history of religious advocacy” on the evolution issue. According to the suit, the NCSE, which helped design the website, provides religious “outreach” programs and “preaching” on evolution to churches, all aimed at convincing people of faith that there is no conflict between their religious beliefs and evolution.

“It turns out that the NCSE and its allies in the scientific and educational establishments don’t mind having religious beliefs discussed in science class, as long as those discussions are aimed at convincing students to convert to the religious beliefs favored by the NCSE”, added attorney Caldwell. “Their willingness to flagrantly violate students’ constitutionally protected religious freedoms in order to sell evolution to our children is the height of hypocrisy.”

–30–

Here are some references to website links relevant to this lawsuit [Note that these links are as they were given to me; if they don’t work, it may be that the pages are being changed to protect the guilty — AKA damage control]:

San Francisco, CA— A parent, Jeanne Caldwell, is filing a federal lawsuit today against officials of the University of California at Berkeley and the National Science Foundation over religious
statements on the “Understanding Evolution” website (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/), which was created with over $500,000 in federal funding. (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0096613)

According to the lawsuit, the website, which describes itself as the “ultimate evolution resource for K-12 teachers,” includes “classroom strategies” and exercises for public school teachers to use in science class to convince students of faith to change the religious convictions if students (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Scott1.html)

A webpage called “Misconceptions: ‘Evolution and religion are incompatible’”
(http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IVAandreligion.shtml) makes the theological claim that “most Christian and Jewish religious groups have no conflict with the theory of evolution.” This is illustrated by a cartoon depicting a scientist shaking hands with a pastor holding a Bible with a cross on it.

The website exclusively directs instructors to statements by seventeen religious denominations and groups that adhere to the doctrine that there is no conflict between their religious beliefs and evolution. (http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5025_statements_from_religious_orga_12_19_2002.asp)

A core claim of many evolutionists is that the origin of all life forms through evolution, including humans, was “unplanned” and “undirected’. This claim clearly contradicts the teaching of all of the world’s major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, that life on earth and people were created on purpose for a purpose.

The lawsuit alleges that officials are using government funding and resources to actively promote the religious beliefs held by a private organization, the National Center for Science Education, which has a “long history of religious advocacy” on the evolution issue. (http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5025_statements_from_religious_orga_12_19_2002.asp)

Attorney Larry Caldwell, President of Quality Science Education for All, (http://www.qsea.org)

Pacific Justice Institute (http://www.pacificjustice.org/)

Here is another theological article on the website that may be of interest, since it pushes the idea that science deals with reality and religion deals with “personal preferences” and unreality: (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/resources/readings_moore.shtml)

36 Replies to “Not With Our Tax Dollars You Don’t!

  1. 1
    JoeManzari says:

    “It turns out that the NCSE and its allies in the scientific and educational establishments don’t mind having religious beliefs discussed in science class, as long as those discussions are aimed at convincing students to convert to the religious beliefs favored by the NCSE”

    So true. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them replacing the “I’m an Honors Student” bumperstickers with Darwin fish.

    ===

    Friends at UncommonDescent,
    Here is my latest piece on TAE: Warnings from the Ivory Towers (http://www.taemag.com/issues/a.....detail.asp)

    “In the most recent issue of the American Scientist, Pat Shipman issued a warning to his fellow Darwinists, informing them of the impending threat placed upon their theory by intelligent design (ID):

    “These events prompted me to take ID seriously, and this movement scares me. Now I feel like a jogger in the park at night who realizes that she is far too isolated and that the shadows are far too deep…. I fear my days are numbered unless I act soon and effectively. If you are reading this, the chances are that you are in the same position.”

    Shipman has officially sounded the alarm. This comes after twenty years of warnings from the ivory towers, issuing the message, “Protect Darwin, or else.” …”

  2. 2
    DonaldM says:

    According to the lawsuit, the website, which describes itself as the “ultimate evolution resource for K-12 teachers,” includes “classroom strategies” and exercises for public school teachers to use in science class to convince students of faith to change the religious convictions if students (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Scott1.htm)

    The link referenced above does not work. Makes me wonder if they have removed it as a result of this lawsuit.

  3. 3
    Benjii says:

    Darwinism: Another example of a failed religion!

  4. 4
    mtgcsharpguy says:

    This is the exact same type of problem the intelligent design (ID) movement has with creationists: they both use religion to further their cause. ID needs no such benefit. The shame is that ID is in no way a religious theory. It’s the subjectivity of the uninformed and the deliberateness of the informed that put religious spins on the theory of ID.

    But then again, macroevolution has not proven itself to be a theory backed by scientific evidence. Many evolutionists talk about how ID is not a “testable” theory. Have any scientists been able to produce entirely new species from completely different ones? No. Has the fossil record shown any transitional forms linking new species to entirely different ones? No. All the fossil record shows is huge jumps, from one species to the next, and with no gradual intermediate forms in between.

    And yet so many evolutionists still believe in macroevolution. One can then notice how it takes an amount of “faith” to believe in macroevolution in spite of its lacking scientific evidence. And where you have faith, you have religion.

  5. 5
    intp147 says:

    “The link referenced above does not work. Makes me wonder if they have removed it as a result of this lawsuit.”

    It appears to work if you add an “l”: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Scott1.html

  6. 6
    dave says:

    “Although it would be inappropriate for a teacherto encourage students towards or against any religious view, it is appropriate to inform them, in a comparative sense, of the existence of more than one religious perspective on creation and evolution.”

    You know, Johnny, there are whole denominations who have almost completely capitulated to a thoroughgoing modernism in their ethics, theology and metaphysics. We scientists really love that. Wouldn’t you rather be a nice little Enlightenment rationalist? You can still go to church, but you won’t be bothered with cumbersome doctrines like theism, a real difference between right and wrong, etc. Here, I’d like you to meet my friend John Shelby Spong…

  7. 7
    jboze3131 says:

    how on earth spong gets any attention is beyond me. hey kid, forget that virgin birth, flood, resurrection, and all that other biblical nonsense- im here to teach you my fringe views of the bible. sure, i dont think the bible is at all accurate, but its purty, so i still claim to follow it. that whole ten commandments thing? rubbish! original sin? rubbish. but still, the book is so purty and my bishops uniform feels so comfy!

    that guy scares the living day lights out of me.

  8. 8
    Bombadill says:

    Spong is Conundrum to say the least.

  9. 9
    wmmalo says:

    The Berkeley site would provide a great template for ID ‘education’, if ‘design inference’ is ever significantly developed. Until then, it will be necessary to chip away at ‘chimp theory’ through the courts and endless caustic critiques of Darwin’s relatively innocuous observation of nature.

    There is fear in the Christian community. Evolution has become the horror of horrors for all God’s children. The science of Darwin is now a ‘religion’, its theory is now bigoted dogma insidiously leaching the morality from humanity.

    Fear not, religions continues to ‘comfort’ there respective believers. ‘Confusion’ is easily overcome by ‘faith’ in a ‘greater power’. Through reassurance gained by proselytized miracles and myth, believers’ faithful assumptions are not threatened by what science might discover, but what it cannot, a God small enough to fit into their minds. Now that is a small God.

    ID isn’t a threat to evolution, whether the complexity of life is irreducible, design is apparent, or Darwin is resurrected and crucified for his ‘dangerous’ ideas. It is all relative. It’s all time and space in a continuum of unknowable mysteries. To many the fear of such ‘uncertainty’ is best left buried beneath the sludge of historical ignorance.

    Some two thousand years after the first ‘contact’, evolution has slowed to a crawl. Fear continues to punish the ‘collective’ intellect of humanity. The crusaders rant and raid the reason of ‘god fearing’ men, and charge headlong into the unknown with all the answers. Well, at least one answer; it’s all part of a design.

    Designed it all may be, but we won’t know that in this lifetime. It is a moot point, however, personally the ‘unknown’ fascinates, the Christian God, as do all others, disappoints. My ‘God’ is not a deity, definitely not a He nor She nor it; didn’t ‘waste’ time chasing Jews, Gentiles, Pharaohs or Philistines around the fucking deserts of Africa; doesn’t limit my experiences of the body; isn’t suckering me into heaven or hell; and has no intention of harassing me in this body or after I shed the damn thing.

    Twenty one centuries later, same old book, same old fear, same old response; pray harder

    [You’re out of here. –WmAD]

  10. 10
    mtgcsharpguy says:

    “There is fear in the Christian community.”

    That’s funny. It’s more like there’s fear in the Evolution community. Why else do they need to stoop to these levels to further their cause?

    Remember, it’s ID that’s on the defensive here.

    “Evolution has become the horror of horrors for all God’s children.”

    Evolution has become the eye-opener for all logical children. And those children have seen the evidence and don’t like what they see: a theory full of conjecture based on conceptual observations, rather than physical ones. ID elicits such thinking and evolutionists are reacting to it, hence the Berkely hypocrisy.

    “Designed it all may be, but we won’t know that in this lifetime. It is a moot point, however, personally the ‘unknown’ fascinates, the Christian God, as do all others, disappoints.”

    Neither will we know, in this lifetime, whether or not inanimate chemicals can come together to form amazingly complex life all by “chance”. ID doesn’t pretend to know who the “designer” is, whereas evolution pretends to know – natural selection, lots of time and lots of mutations – even in the absense of supporting physical scientific evidence.

  11. 11
    russ says:

    wmmalo wrote: “Designed it all may be, but we won’t know that in this lifetime. It is a moot point, however, personally the ‘unknown’ fascinates, the Christian God, as do all others, disappoints. My ‘God’ is not a deity, definitely not a He nor She nor it; didn’t ‘waste’ time chasing Jews, Gentiles, Pharaohs or Philistines around the f—ing deserts of Africa; doesn’t limit my experiences of the body; isn’t suckering me into heaven or hell; and has no intention of harassing me in this body or after I shed the damn thing.

    Twenty one centuries later, same old book, same old fear, same old response; pray harder”

    Seems like you have some very strong ideas about who or what’s in charge of the universe, about sexual morality, about right and wrong and life after death. Is it just a coincidence that evolutionary theory is more compatible with your views than ID, or have you embraced evolution for that very reason? Because it seems unfair that IDers are always charged with hidden religious motivations, while neo-Darwinists get a free pass for embracing a theory that provides convenient support for their belief system.

  12. 12
    jboze3131 says:

    im gonna ‘have’ to go with davescot (i think it was him) and ‘say’ that wmmalo is definitely ‘a’ bigot. he/she clearly ‘despises’ religion (tho he/she ‘proves’ a complete ‘lack’ of knowledge of religion, ‘continually’ claiming that faith is a ‘lack’ of ‘reason’- faith ‘is’ the opposite…faith ‘without reason’ is absurd)…clearly ‘wmmalo’ is superior to ‘all’ the superstitious fools ‘who believe’ in God, that ‘much is’ clear. im just not ‘sure’ that anyone cares ‘either’ way tho, ‘considering’ the bigoted narrow-minded ‘view’ that he/she espouses. oh might ‘atheist’, show all ‘of’ us ignorant ‘fools’ the way to the ‘truth!’

  13. 13
    jboze3131 says:

    russ-

    even worse. how do believers in god (the great majority of the worlds population) get painted with the brush of ignorance? the claim that they believe in hocus pocus and do so without any evidence, no reason, etc? that theyre somehow the epitome of anti-knowledge. that theyre mere fools that atheists can sit back and laugh at. that false picture of believers is a joke. yet atheists cant help but think theyre somehow in the minority of a rare super-intellect, showing all of us mortal fools the light. nonsense.

  14. 14
    crandaddy says:

    I wonder if the American Communist Legalism Union-or is it the American Coercive Legislation Union-plans to get involved :).

    Concerning Bishop Spong,

    I once saw a video of his in which he both denounced Christianity as being a “bloody religion” AND claimed he takes communion daily-all while wearing a crucifix! I’d tell you the title, but I saw it three years ago and can’t remember.

    Wmmalo,

    You evidently have a serious misunderstanding of both Intelligent Design theory and Christian theism. I suggest you not post again until you have something to say other than ignorant insulting remarks.

    David

  15. 15
    jboze3131 says:

    Wmmalo definitely knows very little (maybe nothing) of Christian theism and theism in general. Every comment I’ve seen from him, he’s attacked believers as fools who want ignorance and bloodshed and hatred over tolerance and knowledge and peace. Faith, he seems to think, is a belief in something that is nonsensical without evidence of it. Faith without reason is [absurd, pointless, stupid- fill in the blank] (help me out someone- what’s the saying and who said it)….

    ID theory in his/her mind is somehow a religious matter that deserve prayer to God. Also bogus.

    I never knew Spong said that of Christianity- makes you wonder if he’s out of his mind? What does his following of this supposedly bloody religion say of him then?

    I’ve no doubt the ACLU will be involved…whenever religion comes up at all (especially the Christian religion), they’re not far behind, waiting to attack it in any way they can.

  16. 16
    mtgcsharpguy says:

    “I once saw a video of his in which he both denounced Christianity as being a “bloody religion” AND claimed he takes communion daily-all while wearing a crucifix!”

    I wouldn’t doubt it if evolutionists hire clergyman to say these kinds of things. How else could you get such persons to say such things?

  17. 17
    mmadigan says:

    As I long noticed, darwinites worry more about God than Pope Benedict worries about Darwin.

  18. 18
    crandaddy says:

    I’ve got it! ACLU stands for “Anti-democratic Corrupt Lawmakers Union”!

  19. 19
    Charliecrs says:

    No no, the aclu stants for ” Anti – Christian Liberties Union “.

    Secondly i think this kinda thing has been long coming. Funny how the same people who cant stand religious people / sentiment would have no problems using religion to promote the very thing they’ve been saying is problem. [ie – God into the clasroom ].

    Only thing is as long as this “god” agreed with evolution then there’s no problem with the religious people is there eh NSCE ?.

    Cant wait for you guys to hold regular church meetings @ the home office while at the same time attack those newly found bible believing Christians [ gosh how in the world do ya get away with this kind of ————-!!!!! ]. Didn’t they realize this violated their own first amendments ?

    Charlie

  20. 20
    jasonng says:

    “In another activity, students are assigned to interview ministers about their views on evolution, with the purpose of showing students that “Evolution is OK!” Teachers are cautioned, however, that this particular activity may not work if they live in a community that is “conservative Christian.””

    May I ask a question? Is this a joke? It sure sounds like one.

    They seem to be attacking conservative Christians and implying that all of them are anti-evolutionists, of course we knew that all along but it rarely is so blantantly obvious.

  21. 21
    Qualiatative says:

    Atheism is a religion, atelic arguments bring religious ideas into the classroom, and anti-ID sentiments (most often) stem from ignorance.

    When Will They Learn?

  22. 22
    Smidlee says:

    By definition atheism isn’t a religion but an atheist does have a form of a religion which is usually either naturalism, materialism or humanism.

  23. 23
    bevets says:

    This makes the assumption that theology has NO place in education. It seems like ‘teaching the controversy’ should be applied here as well.

  24. 24
    crandaddy says:

    Smidlee: “By definition atheism isn’t a religion but an atheist does have a form of a religion which is usually either naturalism, materialism or humanism.”

    Atheism is a metaphysical faith just like Christianity or any of the world’s other faiths. Atheist “religion” is simply the action that follows from that faith.

    David

  25. 25
    crandaddy says:

    Qualitative,

    I’ve seen that Laughlin quote before. It’s quite interesting and very insightful. I believe the reason that Darwinists are suddenly scrambling to find atelic solutions to problems like the bacterial flagellum is because of the relentless encroachment of Intelligent Design on their turff. Thus, ID can be seen as a stimulus to scientists who had previously been all too content in their ideologically protected lethargy. Instead of cursing ID, they should be thankful for it.

    Concerning the Cal-Berkely website lawsuit,

    I want to take this opportunity to say that I fully believe that a basic introduction to philosophy and critical thinking should be required for all students before they graduate from high school, and a part of this course should be dedicated to the philosophy of science. I strongly believe that the ability to think properly is at least almost as important as the ability to read or solve simple mathematical problems. One big problem with the United States is that the majority of its people don’t know how to think for themselves and, therefore, are the hapless victims of a political tug of war.

    Concerning science, when you boil it down to its most fundamental constituents, it is essentially radical empiricism-purely the quantification of raw empirical data. In order to make any sense of it, one must use inductive reasoning to put all of the puzzle pieces together and formulate a theory. Regardless of what position someone takes when interpreting empirical data, the data itself is rarely disputed, and if it ever is, a repetition of the experiment in question is all that is needed to settle the matter. The battle over teaching Intelligent Design in the public school classroom can never be conclusively settled until students are objectively taught the nature and philosophy of science and how to properly analyze ideas and concepts in general. The NCSE and the University are insidiously trying to use the students’ naivety to indoctrinate them with propaganda.

    David

  26. 26

    Creationism’s Trojan Horse by Darwinists

    Uncommon Descent highlights a lawsuit by Attorney Larry Caldwell, President of Quality Science Education for All, officials of the National Science Foundation.
    Lawsuit Alleges that Federally-Funded Evolution Website Violates Separation of Church and S…

  27. 27
    DaveScot says:

    Go Caldwell!

  28. 28
    DaveScot says:

    I’m guessing wmmalo burned a bridge there. That happens when one is prone to spontaneous self-combustion. 🙂

  29. 29
    ICtfIAm says:

    crandaddy – “I want to take this opportunity to say that I fully believe that a basic introduction to philosophy and critical thinking should be required for all students before they graduate from high school, and a part of this course should be dedicated to the philosophy of science. I strongly believe that the ability to think properly is at least almost as important as the ability to read or solve simple mathematical problems. One big problem with the United States is that the majority of its people don’t know how to think for themselves and, therefore, are the hapless victims of a political tug of war.”

    I’m in full agreement here. We have largely been victims of educational mediocrity in the last 30 or so years. Diploma mills are everywhere, and education for its material benefits seems to be the status quo. I did not have any interest in religion or philosophy until after I graduated from High School, and well into my college years. This was largely due to my upbringing. I’m a baby-boomer, and my parents raised me with the prime directive: “support yourself.” All of this is well and good, but it works within the framework of an industrial society only. Other societies do not have such concerns, because they are more communal and dependent upon collective statuses, rather than on the status of the individual.

    Philosophy and the humanities are seen as valueless in Western culture. In fact, they are the heresies within our educational institutions, because they factor in issues that detract from the goal of industry. Things are changing, though. The “information age” finds itself in need of more and more information, and raw scientism is not providing enough. Postmodernism, though is creating information that is more esoteric in nature, and is not grounded in the traditional rules of logic. Therefore, confusion abounds as to what is valid reasoning, and what is not. “Your thinking is as good as mine.” “Your truth is not my truth.” Tolerance of all POVs is the new prime directive. Yet it is not a consistent tolerance. It is not tolerant of those who hold views that clash with the unwriten orthodoxy of acceptance. So confusing. The good Star Trek fan that I am, I would say that we are all being assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  30. 30
    DonaldM says:

    Crandaddy wrote:

    I want to take this opportunity to say that I fully believe that a basic introduction to philosophy and critical thinking should be required for all students before they graduate from high school, and a part of this course should be dedicated to the philosophy of science.

    I like that idea a lot. One of the main weapons used in the anti-ID campaign is a restrictive view of what science is. If students had a better understanding of the history and philosophy of science, they would come to see that a lot of what is said is fraught with philosophical and logical problems of every sort.

    It will be ineteresting to see what comes of this lawsuit. A lot of these sorts of issues will likely be raised.

  31. 31
    eswrite says:

    You can’t dream this stuff up, can you?

  32. 32
    jasonng says:

    I agree with crandaddy as well, so much of the educational system is about force- feeding students, telling them this is how things are and anyone who thinks otherwise … is wrong. This is clearly evident in the structure of virtually all high school tests: there’s a “right” answer and the rest are “wrong”.

    With a mandatory philosophy course (hopefully for at least two years in high school), students will learn to think for themselves, evaluate different views of life, science, etc., and engage in much needed class discussion. Philosophy helps to create the “big picture” that teachers are always trying to make students understand; its broad application to various aspects of life gives a sense of practicality to seemingly useless concepts.

  33. 33
    higgity says:

    Speaking of a mandatory philosophy course… the current subject in my freshman College Writing class is about spotting and dissecting propaganda. Scheduled for November… you’ll never guess.

    “The Creationism/Intelligent Design debate”

    I’ll let you guys know how it goes if you’re interested.

  34. 34
    jasonng says:

    I wonder what would happen if someone wrote on Darwinist propaganda…

  35. 35
    DaveScot says:

    Tim Sandefur, the resident establishment clause extremist at Panda’s Thumb , is NOT happy about this:

    http://www.pacificjustice.org/.....=PR051012a

    Normally Tim, whose anti-ID obsession distorts his otherwise good judgment, has been allied with Pacific Justice on other civil rights cases. He’s not at all happy to see PJI preparing to bitchslap Berkeley and his precious anti-ID buddies. This is a slam dunk case against Berkeley. Tim knows it. Too bad he isn’t honest enough to admit it.

  36. 36
    DaveScot says:

    Check out the poll results at PJI to this question:

    “Should government funds be used to influence students’ religious beliefs regarding evolution?”

    When I voted it was

    yes 16%
    no 81%
    not sure 2%

    http://www.pacificjustice.org/index.cfm

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