Religion vs. Science on D.C. Education

Article excerpt


Creationists and Darwinians converged on the District yesterday to continue a debate that is shaping how science is taught in public schools.

Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, says scientists are abandoning the Charles Darwin theory of evolution to back scientific evidence that shows a "complexity" in human cells that is best explained by a designer, or God.

"There are almost 400 scientists who have signed a statement of dissent from Darwinism," said Mr. Meyer, who discussed the intelligent design theory before about 100 people at the Heritage Foundation. "In public schools, we want students to know about that."

He also will debate the theory today at the National Press Club.

Taner Edis, an assistant physics professor at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., calls the theory a "close cousin" of creationism and said today's debate is "scientifically meaningless."

"That's just going to be a performance," said Mr. Edis, who last year co-wrote the book "Why Intelligent Design Fails."

He also said the growing interest in the theory is "hardly unexpected."

"Intelligent design is a very well-connected movement," Mr. Edis said. "Lately they seem to have the feeling that - politically speaking - their time has come. I don't think anybody is surprised that they are making a move for it."

Mr. Meyer disagrees, saying the theory is an intellectual movement that started 20 years ago, but has now been "framed politically in the context of the 2004 presidential election. …