Religious Leaders Come out to Protect Science Education

Article excerpt

Hundreds of clergy, scientists and academics have launched a grass-roots campaign to oppose religious conservatives, beginning with concerted opposition to "intelligent design" in public school science classes.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution began publicly mobilizing Sept. 29 for a full-fledged battle against what it considers an imminent threat to American democracy, public education and scientific leadership.

The launch of the campaign strategically coincides with the onset of a legal battle raging in Dover, Pa., over the legality of teaching intelligent design in public schools alongside Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The organization's first action came in the form of a joint letter to all 50 governors asking them to "protect science and to oppose inclusion of intelligent design in science curricula." The document was signed by approximately 100 clergy and 100 scientists, including the Rev. James Forbes of Riverside Church in New York and the Rev. C. Welton Caddy of the Washingtonbased Interfaith Alliance.

"The battle of intelligent design is not between those who believe in God and those who believe in science but over what is best for the education of our children," Forbes said in a statement. …