Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science
Education, to speak on "Politics, Education, and Evolution" at JCCC.
Saturday, November 4 at 7:30 PM
Johnson County Community College, Carlsen Center Room 211
Many topics in the curriculum of American schools are controversial,
but perhaps the one with the longest tenure is evolution. Politics
plays a role in this controversy in a number of ways. Politicians
have keen antennae for cultural values, and the "fairness" argument
(i.e., it is only "fair" to "balance" evolution with creationism)
regularly is exploited, regardless of the appropriateness of its
application to science education. Variants of the fairness argument
such as balancing evolution with "scientific alternatives to
evolution" or balancing evolution with "arguments against evolution"
have in fact become the current predominant antievolutionist
strategy. In addition, legislators and school board members may take
advantage of public interest in the creationism/evolution controversy
to pander to voting blocks -- whether or not the legislation or
policy ever is passed, or even is intended to be seriously considered.