Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good reading about goings-on in Kansas

There was lots of news coverage in early May about the Kansas hearings around state science education standards. Among the best was a substantive article by Stan Cox posted on Alternet on May 19. In "Monkey Trial or Kangaroo Court?" Cox reviews the case and provides an "in their own words" summary of some of the testimony.

Attorney Pedro Irigonegaray, who argued the case for the proposed science standards that were being challenged by conservative religious members on the Kansas Board of Education, is the subject of a May 31 article by Mary Sanchez in the Miami Herald on religious freedom.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Why I am starting this blog

Several years ago -- out of the blue -- a friend asked me what I thought about evolution. "It makes sense," I answered.

She went on, asking me to answer some questions about evolution -- with the caveat that she did not want to be persuaded to believe in it. Her questions made it clear that she had a poor understanding of evolution, and this shocked me because her college degree should have given her a solid science background. We didn't argue the subject, but it became clear that she felt "believing in" evolution would undermine her religious convictions.

The episode weirded me out. I began -- cautiously -- asking friends whom I knew to be actively religious what they thought about evolution. (Happily, no one else I asked felt threatened by it.) I also began doing a lot of reading on the subject, including viewpoints on both sides of the debate about how evolution is taught in schools. More recently, with the religious right growing increasingly bold, I have been monitoring news from around the country about the attacks on the teaching of evolution in public schools.

I decided to start this blog -- Evolutionary Times -- to capture my own thoughts and to highlight the best articles, books, websites and commentary I find about the ongoing assault on the teaching of evolution in the nation's school systems. I don't intend this to be a rant against anyone's beliefs but rather a resource for teachers, parents and students who are dealing with this issue. I welcome your suggestions and feedback.