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Plank, Larry R.
Intelligent design and evolutionary theory :
b legal battles and classroom relevance for school leadership
h [electronic resource] /
by Larry R. Plank.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: Evolutionary theory in the scientific curricula of public education has been scrutinized by religious societies for the better part of a century around the globe. Although Darwin's explanation of the mechanism of evolution---the process of natural selection---is widely accepted by scientists in the United States and other industrialized nations, the U.S. has lagged behind these other countries in accepting evolutionary theory in public school curricula. The debate of what to include in textbooks and classroom lessons is one of America's most controversial issues. The creationist worldview of life's origins has been incorporated into science curriculum as a direct challenge to natural selection and evolutionary theory, stretching the interpretation of the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution under the guise of academic freedom. The debate has reached the U.S. Supreme Court on more than one occasion. Each landmark case has resulted in the Cou rt's decision to keep public school science courses free of theistic explanations of the origins of life or creation of species, most specifically humankind. The battle has continued and gained momentum in recent years, even in light of the Court's decisions. The idea of intelligent design (ID) is the latest attempt by creationists to explain the existence of life, and many state boards of education and school districts throughout the country are considering the adoption of new science curricula that include ID as an adequate alternative to evolutionary theory. In the recent federal case Kitzmiller v. The Dover Area School District Justice John E. Jones, III ruled that ID was not a science at all, and instead was a religious belief violating Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.Intelligent design is considered by scientists to be pseudoscience posing as scientific principle. The scientific perspective is that unsubstantiated pseudoscientific principles c reate misconceptions and have a deleterious effect upon science education. It is argued herein that educational leaders must play a role in preventing cases of pseudoscience arising in public school curriculum, thus strengthening the ability of our country to produce knowledgeable scientists.
Thesis (Ed.S.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Adviser: Carol Mullen, Ph.D.
x Educational Leadership
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Intelligent Design And Evolutionary Theory: Legal Battles And Classroom Rele vance For School Leadership by Larry R. Plank A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Education Specialist Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Carol Mullen, Ph.D. Darlene Bruner, Ed.D. William Young, Ed.D. Dana Zeidler, Ph.D. Date of Approval: February 22, 2006 Keywords: science curriculum, creationi sm, pseudoscience, science education, educational leadership Copyright 2006 Larry R. Plank
Acknowledgements I would like to extend my deepest appreci ation to my major professor Dr. Carol Mullen for her seemingly unlimited support and knowledge, her compassion and guidance, and, most of all for providing with me the opportunity to learn. As a Writer In Training, Carol has internalized within me the scaffolds that support me as a scholarly writer. My sincerest thanks to my committee members Drs. Darlene Bruner, William Young and Dana Zeidler for their suggesti ons and advice; Dr. Mullens Writers In Training (WIT) doctoral group, espe cially Carol Burg, Sonja Ca irns and Kristy Cantu, for reviewing the manuscript and providing detailed feedback; Jeff Hall for his invaluable assistance with forms and documents; Laura Zavatkay, David Fyfe and Tommy Morrill for their professional understanding and accommodation; Nancy Johnson Marsh for providing a wealth of material ; Tiffany Talbot and John Shepherd for their professional support; and Drs. Bill Benjamin and Marie Hill for their guidance. In addition to these people, I would like to extend my warmest hear tfelt thanks to Larry and Rose Plank, my parents, for their uncondi tional support thr oughout this learning experience.
The thesis is dedicated to all who have devoted their lives to teachi ng science; to Dr. John Lawrence for teaching me Darwins ideas and for nurturing me as a scientist; and to my beloved Grandmother, Florence Plan k, who inspired me, above all else, to live my dreams.
i Table of Contents Abstract iii Introduction 1 Writers Bias 1 Structure and Focus 2 Science in America: A Brief History 3 Americas Scientific Revolution 4 Revolutionary Science Education 4 Nature of Science and Darwins Theory 5 Creationism, Classrooms and Courtrooms 9 The Scopes Monkey Trial 9 Resurgence of Fundamentalism in the South 11 Balanced Treatment of Creation Science and Evolution Science 12 Present-Day Creationists and Their Intelligent Design 14 Introducing the Wedge 14 Intelligent Design and American Life 16 The Discovery Institute 17 Intelligent Design in Public Secondary Schools 19 The Dover Case: Kitzmiller et al. v. the Dover Area School District 21 Other Religious Perspectives on the Origins of Life and ID 26
ii Pseudoscience, Creation Science and Intelligent Design 27 Definition of pseudoscience 27 Impact of Pseudoscience on Society 28 Relevance for Leaders of Education 29 It Starts with Informed Teachers 30 The Science Funding Issue 32 Summary and Concluding Thoughts 35 References 38 Professional Biography 44
iii Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Theory: Legal Battles and Classroom Relevance for School Leadership Larry R. Plank ABSTRACT Evolutionary theory in the scientific curricula of public education has been scrutinized by religious societies for the better part of a century around the globe. Although Darwins explanation of the mechan ism of evolutionthe process of natural selectionis widely accepted by scientists in the United States and other industrialized nations, the U.S. has lagged behind these other countries in accepting evolutionary theory in public school curricula. The debate of what to include in textbooks and classroom lessons is one of Americas most controversia l issues. The creationist worldview of lifes origins has been incorporated into science cu rriculum as a direct challenge to natural selection and evolutionary th eory, stretching the interpreta tion of the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution under the guise of academic freedom. The debate has reached the U.S. Supreme Court on more than one occasion. Each landmark case has resulted in the Cour ts decision to keep public school science courses free of theistic explan ations of the origin s of life or creation of species, most specifically humankind. The battle has continue d and gained momentum in recent years, even in light of the Courts decisions. The idea of intelligent design (ID) is the latest attempt by creationists to explain the exis tence of life, and many state boards of
iv education and school districts throughout the country are cons idering the adoption of new science curricula that include ID as an adequa te alternative to evolut ionary theory. In the recent federal case Kitzmiller v. The Dover Area School District Justice John E. Jones, III ruled that ID was not a scie nce at all, and instead was a religious belief violating Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Intelligent design is considered by scientists to be pseudoscience posing as scientific principle. The scientific perspective is that unsubstantiated pseudoscientific principles create misconceptions and have a deleterious effect upon science education. It is argued herein that educational leaders must play a role in preventing cases of pseudoscience arising in public school curriculum, thus stre ngthening the ability of our country to produce knowle dgeable scientists.
Introduction The perspective of this discussion is that external forcespoli tics, religion, and social trendsare impacting, in new ways, th e science curriculum of American schools (Chapman, 2004; Singham, 2000a). From my vi ewpoint as a science teacher/biologist, intelligent design (ID) is the primary tool by which conservatives, Christian groups, and right-wing politicians are gras ping control over the substan ce and direction of American science curriculum. It is possible to ar gue that the purpose of science education proliferation of scientific thought and disc overy of the natural worldis violated by politically contentious interjections, part icularly ID, into school-based science curriculum. This paper conte nds that ID is interfering with the quality of science education at the high school level and teachers ability to produce sc ientifically literate citizens. Writers Bias The discussion of the origins of life is an inevitably sensitive i ssue. It should be noted here, early in this discus sion, that a certain level of bias is held by the writer of this paper. As a scientist and science education curriculum strategist, my concern is that science education be taught in our public schools without infl uence of religion or politics. Intelligent design theory will not aid us in producing knowledgeable scientists or doctors, which is my primary goal as a science educator teaching in a public high school. It is also important to note that al though I am not religious, I am also not antireligious. In my view, religion provides a guideline for moral law and serves as a necessary component of a successful, peacef ul society. I understand that many people
2 subscribe to a viable, hybrid worldview that or iginates from both spiritual and scientific thought. Science and religion share a similarity in that both co ncerned with explaining the presence of the great variety of living or ganisms, science concerned with how such diversity came to exist and religion devoted to answering the ques tion of why. Those who choose to explain life in both scientific and sp iritual terms are intelligent, rational people. Perhaps the words of the late Reverend Ma rtin Luther King, Jr., best describe the continuum, Science investig ates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives ma n wisdom, which is control. Charles Darwin himself struggled with id eas of evolution and creationism. Born to an English physician, Darwin often describe d himself agnostic th roughout his life, but did refer to a Creator in ear ly writings on his famous ex cursion on the Beagle to the Galapagos Islands. Darwins biggest issue wi th scripture was this : If God did indeed exist, how he could allow pain and evil to exis t within man? It was ultimately the death of his beloved daughter, Annie, in 1851 that le d Darwin away from the church for good, and solidified his decision to go ahead with the publication of his th eories of natural selection (Adler, Underwood & Adams, 2005). Structure and Focus The larger issue informing this discussion that synthesizes the relevant literature involves the influence of reli gion in supplanting scientific thought in the secondary science classroom. The particular issue at hand highlights th e shortcomings in learning that inevitably ensue for adolescents when an untested theory, such as ID, is perpetuated as scientifically valid explanations of lifes diversity and origin.
3 The following five themes provide the chronological structur e and order for the writing: 1) the background of science educat ion in America, 2) a review of past creationist viewpoints and legal battles, 3) a summary of intelligent design as a current strategy of creationist proponents, 4) how st rategies such as ID permeate scientific thought, and 5) and implications for educational leaders. Science in America: A Brief History By its own nature, science is fueled by change. Science is not merely a collection of facts, nor is it equipped to solve all problems (e.g., Campbell & Reece, 2005; Duschl, 1990; Singham, 2000a; Solomon, Berg & Marti n, 2004). Science is neither certain nor absolute. Science as a process attempts to understand and explai n natural phenomena, ultimately in the form of theoriesthe s caffolding that supports scientific thought (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Duschl, 1990). It is the nature of science itself that leads to questioning and retooling of concepts, break ing down intelligent thought and rebuilding with new, improved ideas (Dawson et al ., 2002; Duschl, 1990). Science is a dynamic field that continues to grow with every di scovery made at the hands of scientists worldwide (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Solomon et al., 2004). Americas Scientific Revolution While technological creativity and innova tion formed the backbone of Americas industrial success in the 1800s and into early 1900s, an American passion for scientific literacy did not erupt until the middle of the 20th century (Duschl, 1990). It was nearly 50 years ago that two major eventsa Russian sp ace capsule leaving the Earths atmosphere and Watson and Cricks Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for the ground breaking discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid, a double helix know n as DNAchanged the way science was
4 perceived by Americans (Duschl, 1990). Since that time, scientific thought and inquiry have permeated every aspect of American cu lture, from fashion to medicine. But learning more about our natural world has come at a pr ice. Along the road to scientific literacy, naturalists uncovered knowledge about our own existence at odds with creationist stories of deities that have been passed from one generation to another around the globe. As theories describing the origin and diversity of life became mainstream, a polarization between scien tific and religious thought emerged (Wali, 2004). The dichotomy of thought remains evident today in societys politically-charged feuds. As Forrest (2001) argues, although industrial and technical natio ns have been relatively free of a religious hold over scientific research and curriculum in recent years, the United States, with its conservative national leadership, has expe rienced growing pains when dealing with science, especially when its ex perimental practices tread moral and ethical waters. From stem cell research, to euthanas ia, to evolutionary theory in schools, the nation is divided with respect to th e boundary between sc ience and religion. Revolutionary Science Education Religion and politics impact and direct the educational process in our country, and what children learn about their natural world is subsequently contro lled and monitored by the political and religious views of the time (Chapman, 2004; Duschl, 1990). For example, when Sputnik became the first arti ficial satellite to orbit the Earth in 1957, schools and school boards nationwide revised their science curricu lum across all grade levels in hopes of turning out knowledgeable scientists (Duschl, 1990; Phillips, 2005). At that time, fear drove the public into be lieving that our ineptitude in science and technology would lead to our ultimate demise as a sovereign nation. Quickly these issues
5 became the focus of many political platform s and the citizenry as a whole, and hence science education was believed to be key in competing globally and retaining a position of power in the world (Duschl, 1990). As America strived to be scientifically literate to protect its lot, a new love for science and inquiry developed in pockets of metropolitan areas in the north and west (Galley, 2004a). Marching forward, teachers began educating children about the biological and physical world more enthus iastically, supported by increased funding, retooled science standards and new scie nce textbooks (Duschl, 1990). With this revolution, the new scientific nation in the late 1950s inco rporated the views of the biologist Thomas Huxley, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, who defended Darwins theory of natural selection. Terry (2004) claimed that Huxleys greatest accomplishment was his ideas about how science should be taught to students, that is, as a hands-on, laboratory experience. In addition to Huxleys ideas, a preponderance of scientific theory flooded American schools, including that of Huxleys fellow evol utionary biologist, Charles Darwin. This is not to say that scie ntific thought and inquiry supplanted Christian worldviews, however. The new science curriculum of the 50s was met with resistance in many regions of the country, primarily in the south. By the late 1960s creation science, the description of creationism as a valid scientific argument, was born (Singham, 2000b). The Nature of Science and Darwins Theory Even though a major shift in science cu rriculum and teaching strategies occurred over 50 years ago, the public still has very little unde rstanding of the natu re of science, or how science is done. A misunderstanding of how science works as a process makes it
6 difficult to distinguish science from non-scie nce. This often leads to the inclusion of nonscientific principles and ideas into science curriculum. Science seeks to explain the natural world by gathering evidence and testing explanations utilizing this evidence. The c onclusions of science are reliable, but are constantly modified as new evidence of the natural world is uncovered. Sciences conclusions about then natural world, although tentative, are well founded in their factual content. The tentativeness of science is often viewed as sciences weakness by those who do not understand the process of scientific i nquiry, continually mold ing theories to fit new discovery and knowledge. However in reality, the ability of scientific theory to be modified when new evidence is discovered is sciences greates t strength (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Duschl, 1990; Solomon et al., 2004). It is important, therefore, that we educat e the public on the nature of science. Over the past decade, 18 states, in cluding Florida, have rest ructured science education curriculum to incorporate new strategies for defining and teaching how science works (Florida Sunshine State Standards for Scienc e, 1999; Hoff, 2002; Ishizuka, 2004; Moore, 2002, 2004). Duschl (1994) states that we are in the midst of a revolutionary period for understanding the nature of scien ce in science education (p. 443). As with any revolution, confusion among the constituency is often a result, as in the case of the nature of scientific theory. For example, the average American associates theories with the unknown or unproven, t ypically with a nega tive connotation or skepticism. However, in science, a theory is not an unfounded or unsupported idea. A theory is a carefully constructed, scientific ally accepted concept by professionals in the field, based upon years of inquir y, collected data and relentle ss discussion by scientists
7 worldwide (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Duschl, 1990; Singham, 2000a; Solomon et al., 2005; Wallace & Louden, 2002). According to Duschl scientific theories are concrete, as he writes, The status of theories in science is a t ype of paradox or enigma of scientific knowledge. One the one hand, we must recogn ize that theories are the standard bearers of science. On the other hand, hi story of science clearly establishes times when there is a consensus about the status of a theory and times when there is a dissensus. There are times when scientists agree and times when scientists agree to disagree. (Duschl, 1990, p. 45) One such scientific theory is that of th e evolution, or adaptive change, of living organisms on our planet. When first published in On the Origin of Species (1859), Darwins ideas were met with challenge from the scientific community in England and outside of it. In the U.S., it was not until th e 1870s, that is, after the Civil War, that Darwins thoughts pushed evolution to the pi nnacle of the debate between creationists and those subscribing to a scie ntific view of the origin a nd diversity of life (Numbers, 2004). While creationists tend to associate evol utionary theory with soullessness, scientists are equally annoyed by creationists apparent mindlessness. With neither side able to understand the position of the othe r, nor seemingly willing to accommodate a view that contradicts their own, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield asserts that The increasingly nasty debate between believers in Darwinian evolution and advocates for intelligent design theory hi nges on the fact that most creationists
8 relate to evolutionists as if they have no soul, and most evoluti onists relate to the creationists as if they have no brain. (Hirschfield, 2005, para. 1) What is peculiar about the argument, in Darwins case, is that although his name is often linked with the concept, Darwin (1859) never used the term evolution to describe his theory of change. He instead employed the phrase survival of the fittest, and explained this natural phe nomenon with his theory of natural selection (Introduction, p. 2). Although it was challenged, and even met w ith hostility, natural se lection is now the most widely known and accepted mechanism of adaptive change or evolution, therefore making it the cornerstone of biology (Campbell & Reece, 2005; Solomon et al., 2005). The misunderstanding of the validity of sc ientific theory, particularly Darwins, has led to the general populous to take the theory concept out of scientific context as nothing more than hunch. Leaders, such as politicians, often prey on the American misconception of the meaning of scientific theory to garner support for their own worldviews and political positions (Singham, 2000a). As Judge John E. Jones, III, explains in his recent decision, To be sure, Darwins theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory ca nnot yet render an e xplanation of every point should not be used a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesi s into the science classroom or to misrepresent the we ll established scientific propositions. ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688, p. 124) Attacks on the gaps in Darwins theory are prevalent in todays society, as seen in at least two current court cases in the U.S. debating the rele vance of evolutionary theory: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005) and Selman et al. v. Cobb County School
9 District (2004). When Darwins theory is disr egarded as invalid, misunderstanding of natural selectionthe mechanism by which ch ange occurs in the natural worldcan result. Scientists agree that natural selection has shaped the continuum of biological hierarchy, from the molecules that make up liv ing things to the behaviors of complex organisms (e.g., human beings), and without an understanding of mechanisms of change within the genomes of the living organism, biomedical study, for instance, cannot be fully comprehended (Campbell & Reece, 2005). More simply stated, Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, (Dobzhansky, 1973, p. 125). Creationism, Classrooms and Courtrooms In the United States, the discussion over whether or not creationism is rooted in religion or science is not solely academic since the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be invoked to prevent the t eaching of religious ideas in public schools (Alexander & Alexander, 2001; Si ngham, 2000a). This is evid ent in current high profile cases in Georgia ( Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District, 2004) and Pennsylvania ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005) and as well as several landmark cases decided in federal courts, such as Epperson v. Arkansas ( 393 U.S. 97) and McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education ( 529 F. Supp. 1255). The Scopes Monkey Trial In 1925, religious fundamentalism was clung to so steadfastly by the nation that teacher John Scopes was convicted in Tennesse e for teaching evolutionary theory in his high school biology classroom (Singham, 2000a ; Terry, 2005). During this time period, evangelical Christians, who ha d previously focused their a ttention on attacking modern interpretations of scripture, challenged the new evolutiona ry thought that was sweeping
10 America just as more and more childre n attended its public schools (Numbers, 2004). This religious undertow eventually led to th e monkey trial, as it wa s coined, serving as the first significant legal battle between th e scientifically literate and the Christian population. The trial peaked the public interest so much so that it was the very first courtroom debate of any kind to receive immediate media attention through radio broadcast (Numbers, 2004). Although Scopes le sson on the evolutionary history of man and apes violated Tennessees curriculum standards at the time, leading to his defeat in court, his attorney, Clarence Darrow, succe ssfully persuaded many Americans that the biblical accounts of lifes orig ins were not scientifically valid, thus earning a victory for the scientific community (N umbers 2004; Singham, 2000a). In the 30 years that followed the conviction of Scopes, the nations opinion of science education changed dras tically due to the events of the time. During this period, the National Science Foundation (NSF) wa s born, and, by 1962 this federally-funded organization was supporting science and math instruction in public schools with unprecedented numbers of grants (Duschl, 1990) However, the views of conservatives and Christian groups still had an effect upon what was being taught in science classrooms across the nation (Scott, 2004). Creationism, the view that all life on Ea rth was due to the work of a divine creator, was no longer a chic idea after the 1950s, and, in the 1960s was replaced by creation science (Scott, 2004). Although the nation was enthusiastically embracing technology and science, conser vative school boards across the country slowly began to react to the nations new passion for naturalism by banning the teaching of evolutionary theory and natural selection in schools. Th e argument reached the Supreme Court in
11 1968, and by 1975 the federal government withdrew all funding for science education from the budget of the NSF (Duschl, 1990). Resurgence of Fundamentalism in the South As Americas opinions about scienc e and education changed through the scientific revolution of the 1950s and 60s, anot her revolution of sorts began to take place in the religious sect of the country. Fundame ntalism regained momentum, especially in the south. By the late 1960s, the new fundame ntalists began impacting American culture on a broader scale, including the American science classroom (Numbers, 2004; Terry, 2004). In 1967, a science teacher in Arkansas sought to challenge a current state statute pertaining to evolutionary c oncepts and their place in e ducation (Matsumura, 2001). The fundamentalist statute made it unlawful for a teacher in any state-supported school or university to teach, or to us e a textbook that declared humankind ascended from a lower order of animals. In essence, the statut e prohibited the teaching of human evolution, leaving the biblical account of mans origins as the only discussable theory. Although the plaintiff enjoyed a victory in a lower court, the Supreme Court of Arkansas found that the schools in the state had the right to set curriculum as they see fit. Epperson, the plaintiff, appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court; in 1968 the Court heard the case. The Supreme Court invalidated the Arkansas statute and ruled the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit a state to require th at teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any reli gious sect or doctrine ( Epperson v. Arkansas  393 U.S.
12 97). With the decision of the Supreme Court, states could no longer ban the teaching of evolution, including that of humans, on religious grounds. Balanced Treatment of Creation Science and Evolution Science After the Epperson decision, the game plan of creationists changed to a if you cant beatem, then joinem approach to the struggle over the teaching of evolution in public high schools (Matsumura, 2001). During the 1970s, 22 states proposed that creation science and evolution science be ta ught side by side in classrooms, and two states, Louisiana and Arkansas, adopted the idea (Matsumura, 2001). The Arkansas statute required that public schools give bala nced treatment and equal consideration and study to creation science and evolution science. The Arkansas law supported the teaching of creation science and stated the following. Creation science includes scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate: (1) Sudden creation of the universe energy, and life from nothing; (2) The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism; (3) Changes only within fixed limits of orig inally created kinds of plants and animals; (4) Separate ancestry for man and apes; (5) Explanation of the earths geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and (6) A relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds. (Singham, 2000a, p. 6) As expected, a fury of courtroom battles followed in state and federal courts.
13 In 1982, a federal court found that the balanc ed treatment statute of the state of Arkansas violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution ( McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education  529 F. Supp. 1255). The decision was particularly important because it defined the characteris tics and nature of science in detail, and declared that creation science was in fact not a science at all. Th e court also found that the Arkansas law did not have a secular pur pose, noting that the statute used language peculiar to creationist literatu re in emphasizing origins of life as an aspect of the theory of evolution. The court noted that while the subject of lifes origins was within the scope of biology, the scientific community does not cons ider the subject as pa rt of evolutionary theory, or the explanation of how life evolved after it orig inated. Thus, the absence or presence of a creator was considered essential for a discussion of the mechanisms evolution (Matsumura, 2001). In Louisiana, the creationism dispute agai n forged its way to the U. S. Supreme Court. Louisiana officials defended th e Louisiana Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in P ublic School Instruction Act (1981), stating that the purpose of the act was to protect a legitimate secular interest, namely, academic freedom, by allowing alternative views to evol ution to be included and hence, discussed in science education. In 1987, the Supreme Court held unconstitutional the Louisiana statute, and found that by a dvancing the belief that a supernatural being created humankind the Creation Act impermissibly endorsed religion and was in direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution ( Edwards v. Aguillard  482 U.S. 578). In addition, the Court found that requi ring evolutionary thought to be taught in congruence with creationist vi ews served to undermine the integrity of science education.
14 After the second Supreme Court decision, religious fundament alists continued their struggle for scientific credibility in courtrooms across the country throughout the early 90s, but never won any significant decision in a federal court (Matsumura, 2001). In response to these courtroom losses, the cr eationist movement in public education appeared to dissipate, until a born again Chris tian contemplating the reason for life itself found his way into a London bookstore a nd discovered a book that challenged evolutionary thought (Forrest & Gross, 2004). When Phillip Johnson returned to the U.S., he readied his pen and devised a new strate gy for changing Americas culture (Forrest & Gross, 2004). Present-Day Creationists and Their Intelligent Design Intelligent design is the latest attempt to infuse public education with religious thought under the guise of sc ience education. The strategy was devised to wedge into American thought and eventually schools, with support from a newly created institute for studying intelligent design theory. Introducing the Wedge University of California-Berkley la w professor Phillip Johnson and his conservative peers found the progress of sc ientific naturalists and the bloom of materialism in American culture revolting. Johnson (1997) stated If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging th e domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. W ith the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doi ng thiswe call our strategy The Wedge. (p. 3)
15 In 1992, Johnsonwith the assistance of ot hers of the Religious Right, such as Lehigh chemistry professor Michael Behe Stephen Meyer and Bruce Chapmanbegan work on a new Christian platform based on English theologian William Paleys original work (Forrest, 2001; Forrest & Gross, 2004). Paley, who penned Natural Theology in 1802, compared human complexity to that of a carefully manufactured watch. Paleys argument held that since a watch cannot self -manufacture, neither could a human or any other complex organism, and therefore a creator must exist for complex living things and non-living things alike (cited in Boston, 2005). While an intelligent human could be the creator of a watch, Paley posited an intelligen t, supernatural entity as the designer of complex living things on Earth. In Paleys argument, Johnson saw the opportunity to provide evidence of a creato rs work (Forrest, 2001). Paleys theory was perhaps first presente d as science in 1989 when Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon published Of Pandas and People a biology textbook offering an alternative to evolution theory that se rved as a springboard for Johnson and his colleagues (Forrest, 2001). Although Da vis and Kenyon pointedly use the term intelligent design, their book struck evolutionists as a creationist ploy to infiltrate science education curriculum. In fact, early editions of the text, produced before the 1987 decision of the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard referred to intelligent design as creation science (Land, 2005). As Forrest (2001, 2004) writes, the Wedge is a Christian movement developed by Johnson and his peers with a plan to unde rmine public support for the teaching of evolution, while at the same time cultivating a supposedly sound alternative: intelligent design theory (ID). The Wedge proposes the salvation of Wester n Civilization by,
16 among other things, removal of evolutionary education and institution of a Christian belief system in American society. The overall plan is thought to be simple but clever: Once the creationists validate their religious theories of origins in public science education, they can continue pressing for cr eationism in other forms. The ultimate goal, says creationist and staunch Wedge supporter Howard Ahmanson, Jr., is the total integration of biblical law into our liv es (cited in Forrest & Gross, 2004, p. 8). Intelligent Design and American Life Regardless of its strong creationist ties, the ID concept is different from other attempts at incorporating creationist vi ewpoints into public sc ience education. ID downplays many of the features of traditional creationism and in that it does not attempt to explain the world through scripture and omits discussion of Genesis (Numbers, 2004; Scharmann, 2003; Staver, 2003; Young & Edis, 2004). Numbers (2004) contends that the proponents of intellig ent design have staked out a position somewhere between theistic evolution (the belief that God creates by means of evolution)and scientific creationism on the other (p. 51). ID and Wedge supporters challenge natura listic evolution in different venues by convincing state and local board s of educationsuch as Ka nsas and Pennsylvaniathat ID should not replace evolution per se, but rath er be taught as a sound concept in its own right as a scientifically valid, alternative theory describing the diversity and complexity of life (Moore, 2004). Supporters of ID successfully persuade educational leaders, politicians and even science teachers that cu rrently unexplainable gaps in the fossil record and the irreducible complexity of some natural structures make evolution theory and natural selection theori es in crises. Supporters of ID hol d that many complex structures in
17 nature, such as the bacterial flagellum, serve a greater purpose than the sum of their parts, and that the structure could not have evolved from simple components in stepwise fashion. They argue that evolutionary theory the scientific explan ation how current life forms evolved from simpler, more primitive formscannot adequately document or explain the complete ancestry of all living things, including humans, and therefore is nothing more than an incomplete idea when co mpared to their own account of organismal complexity and diversity (Numbers, 2004). The ID movement is well-funded and business-savvy, with strong political support, and the experiences of two major Supreme Court losses on their side. The movements cornerstone, however, is a buzzing scientific center for research exploring their own ideas of lifes existence (Forrest, 2004). The Discovery Institute Founded in 1991 by former Reagan administration official Bruce Chapman, the Seattle-based Institute has an operating budget of over $2 million (Slevin, 2005). Terry (2005) explains that ID has become such a central feature of the organization's work that it created a separate division, the Center fo r the Renewal of Science and Culture, to devote all of its time to that cause. To promot e the concept of ID, the Institute works with 48 fellows, directors and advisors who are responsible for producing research, publishing texts and hosting conferences related to intelligent design theory. Researchers at the Discovery Institute claim to have found valid scientific evidence that the wealth of diversity and complexity of organisms on Eart h stem not from the laws of genetics or inheritance, or theories of adaptation and evolution, but rather th e work of a supreme being or supernatural intelligent designer. According to researchers at the Discovery
18 Institute, while data exist to support thei r discoveries, the information has not yet appeared in a peer-review ed scientific journal ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688). Despite the lack of p ublication, the researchers view is that all scientistseven those outside of the instituteshould take into account an intelligent designer when explaining their work and the natural world (Johnson, 1997). Intelligent design proponents have made certain that no direct reference to God is evident in their argument, primarily in fear of losing another legal decision citing the Establishment Clause and separation of church and state. Lawrence (2005) claims that Phillip Johnson has remained far away from current debates over inte lligent design in our courts, fearing that a loss in federal court could open the door to a broader court ruling that bars the teaching of intelligent desi gn in public school classrooms, effectively leaving Darwinism as the unc ontested orthodoxy of our time. ID critics note that, other than space aliens, which is regarded as a joke the only "designer" candidate ever fingered is God (Terry, 2004; 2005). These opponents see the ID concept as a faith-based initiative, not a scientifically-based concept, since ID lies outside of testable scientific theory. This position on ID is echoed by Americas research institutions and organizations. Judge Jones refers to the opini on of the National Academy of Sciences, an organization that he and many others consider to be the most prestigious scientific organization in the country, in his decision in Kitzmiller Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of sp ecies are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelati on, or religious beli ef. Documentation
19 offered in support of these claims is typical ly limited to the special publications of their advocates. These publications do not offer hypotheses subject to change in light of new data, new interp retations, or demonstration of error. This contrasts with science, where any hypothesis or th eory always remains subject to the possibility of rejection or modifica tion in the light of new knowledge. ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688, p. 69-70) Intelligent Design in Public Secondary Schools In 1999 the Kansas Board of Education vot ed to adopt a new science curriculum for grades K-12 that did not in clude evolutionary concepts and to persuade students to look to Christian ideals when pondering the origins of life (Matsumura, 2001). One year later, two of the anti-evolution members we re voted off the board and another resigned amid the outcry. At that time, the new school board reinserted evolutionary theory into the state science curriculum. Then, in the state school board elections of November 2004, conservatives once again grasped an edge in board seats. The debate over science standards was revisited in 2005, and the st andards were again changed to remove evolution from state standards and to include alternative views to evolution, such as ID, in the state science curricula. A similar debate in Ohio erupted in 2002 when the state revised its science curriculum to include space for alternative vi ewpoints to evolutionary theory. The state standards do not require districts to adopt such a curricu lum; however, they do provide teachers and/or districts in the public school system to teach altern ative viewpoints such as the idea of intelligent design to students in high school biology c ourses. If individual public school districts in Ohio allow the teach ing of intelligent design alongside that of
20 evolutionary theory, lawsuits and public ou tcry, such as in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, are expected to follow (Hoff, 2002). In June of 2004, the school board of Gr antsburg, Wisconsin, voted unanimously to adopt a new science curriculum, which dire cted the science department to teach all theories of the origins of life. Although the Grantsburg School Board curriculum did not specify which theories should be taught, Phil lips (2005) contends th at intelligent design will have its fair share of time in the classroom. Parents have already expressed some concern with the school board decision. In November 2004 a letter was sent to the Grantsburg School Board and superintendent of schools from 300 biology and religious study faculty from 43 colleges a nd universities, both public a nd private, requesting that the school board revise its polic y. According to Ripley (2005), an earlier letter, sent by 43 college deans from the state of Wisconsi n, made a similar request, claiming that alternative theories of evol ution, such as inte lligent design, are nothing more than misinformed attacks upon comp lex, fact-based evolutionary thought combined with misleading, simplistic versi ons of evolution itself. Also in 2004, U.S. District Judge Claren ce Cooper heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging a disclaimer inserted into Cobb County science textbooks that states evolution is a theory, not fact ( Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District 390 F. Supp. 2d 1286). The sticker, affixed to biology textbooks in the district, also promotes the idea of intelligent design, and the resu lts of an appeal of the origin al case are expected to have national implications since th e school district is one of the countrys largest. Judge Cooper assessed in 2005 that the purpose of the argument wa s arguably secular, however because it could also have the effect of a dvancing religion (Galley, 2004; Ripley, 2005).
21 Cooper decided against the textbook disclaimer, stating that it was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Cons titution (Land, 2005). Judge Cooper states The Court believes that an informed reasonable observer would interpret the Sticker to convey a message of endorse ment of religion. That is, the Sticker sends a message to those who oppose evolution for religious reasons that they are favored members of the political communit y, while the Sticker sends a message to those who believe in evolution that they are politi cal outsiders. ( Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District 390 F. Supp. 2d 1286). The sticker case followed the decision of Kathy Cox, state school superintendent of Georgia, to remove the word evolution from science teaching standards. She reneged after receiving a plethora of complaints from constituents and science teachers, including one from former President Jimmy Carter (Galley, 2004). The Dover Case: Kitzmiller et al. v. the Dover Area School District Although important, none of the cases menti oned above reached the status of the case of Kitzmiller et al. v. the Dover Area School District ( 342 F. Supp. 2688). In the fall of 2004, this Dover, Pennsylvania schoo l board voted to include intelligent design in the districts high school science curri culum. The Dover Area School Board passed an amendment requiring biology teachers to read the following verbal disclaimer at the beginning of the evolution unit: The Pennsylvania Academic Standard s require students to learn about Darwins Theory of Evoluti on and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
22 Because Darwins Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is de fined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwins view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People is available for students who might be interest ed in gaining an understa nding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. With respect to any theory, students ar e encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Or igins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve profic iency on Standards-based assessments. ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688) The Dover board was the first in the country to require the teaching of ID as an alternative view to evoluti on, stating that the requiremen t serves a secular purpose, namely academic freedom. Immediately after the implementation of this ID policy, two school board members resigned in fear of an inevitable lawsuit over the boards decision. The two members saw the change in curriculum as a purposeful challenge to previous Supreme Court decisions regarding crea tionism in schools (Slevin, 2005). Biology teachers in Dover refused to read the disc laimer, and constructed a strongly worded declaration to the Dover Area School Board bearing their signatures, You have indicated that students ma y opt-out of this portion [the statement read to students at the begi nning of the biology evolution unit] of the
23 class and that they will be excused an d monitored by an administrator. We respectfully exercise our ri ght to opt-out of the stat ement portion of the class. We will relinquish the classroom to an ad ministrator and we will monitor our own students. This request is based upon our considered opinion that reading the statement violates our responsibilities as professional educators as set forth in the Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT SCIENCE. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT BIOLOGY. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT AN ACCEPTED SCIENTIFIC THEORY. I believe that if I as the classroom teacher read the required statement, my students will inevitably (and understandably) believe that Intelligent Design is a valid scientific theory, perhaps on par with the theory of evolution. That is not true. To refer the students to Of Pandas and People as if it is a scientific resource breaches my ethical obligation to provide them with scientific knowledge that is supported by recognized scien tific proof or theory. ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688, p. 126-128; cap italized letters appear in the original statement). With the refusal of science teachers to read the statement, school administrators, principals and superintende nts alike, took the place of the biology teacher at the beginning of the evolution lesson and read the statement regarding evolution and intelligent design. Afterward, the parents of 11 st udents filed a lawsuit in a U.S. district court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that began in September 2005.
24 After testimony spanning nearly 2 months from experts on both sides of the debate, U.S. Federal District Judge John E. Jones, III, delivered a lengthy 139-page report. In his decision, Judge Jones found that the inclusion of ID in the Dover schools biology curriculum violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and ordered the Dover Area School Board to cease its actions. To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Un ited States Constitution, and Art. I, 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Polic y in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teach ers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688, p. 138) The drama unfolding in this Pennsylvania town has gained much momentum nationwide, with even the president weighing in on the case. In refere nce to inclusion of intelligent design in science standards, President George W. Bush states Both sides ought to be properly taught so people can understand what the debate is aboutpart of education is to ex pose people to different schools of thoughtyou're asking me whether or not pe ople ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes. (cit ed in Baker & Slevin, 2005, p. 1) Bushs comments echo those of the majority of Americans (55%) who believe creationism should be taught al ongside evolutionary theory in public science education classes (Lawrence, 2005)
25 John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, says "The Dover decision is an at tempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to pr event criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than op en debate, and it won't work" (cited in Crowther, 2005, para. 2). Legal experts do not expect an appeal in this district, since Dover Area School Board members supporting ID were voted out of office in the fall of 2005 and current member voted 7-1 not to appeal the decision on their behalf (Associated Press, CNN News, 2006). The debate over inclusion of intelligent design in high school science curriculum is surely not to end in Pennsylvania. As Casey Luskin, the attorney for the Discovery Institute states, In the larger debate over in telligent design, this decision will be of minor significanceas we've repeatedly stressed, the ultimate validity of intelligent design will be determinedby the scientific evidence point ing to design. Luskin hints at further courtroom drama by acknowledging the ruling only applies to the federal district in which it was handed down (cited in Crowther, 2005, para. 6). On December 15, 2005, just 5 days before the Dover decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals began hearing the appeal of proponents of ID in the case of Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District (Land, 2005). Parents and civil rights groups are planning a lawsuit in Kansas over the state school boards decision to remove evolution from state high school science standards. Thes e cases, or any other outside of Dover, could someday reach the Supreme Court for a landmark, final ruling on ID. Other Religious Perspectives on the Origins of Life and ID
26 Terry (2004) states that perhaps what is most interesting about the ID debate is how adaptable the theory appears to all religious foundations and viewpoints. It appears as though ID was crafted for applicability in to Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Episcopal and Baptist discussions of the origins of life, since the intelligent designer is unnamed. Johnson and the Discovery Institute have been very careful to make certain that their theory is non-denominational in nature, of course, so that it span all religious arenas and has secular applicab ility and purpose. Johnson and many of his colleagues ar e devout Catholics, but claim their fellowship has had very little impact upon th eir development of ID theory. However, a closer look at statements made by other Cat holic pillars, such as author George Sim Johnston and Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, re veals that Johnsons views mirror those of Catholic authorities. It appears that Catholicisms account of lifes origins and Darwinian thought are two worldviews that meld as well as oil with water. Johnston and Schoenborn (2005) feel the only truth delivered by evoluti on and Darwinian thought is that of a common ancestor, wh ich they contend is God. Johnston (2005) believes that the Church has no problem with evolutionary theo ryso long as divine causality is not left out of the picture (para. 3). Each disc redits most scientists as materialists. The Catholic opinion of Darwinian thought is not the most vicious, however. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Ba ptist Theological Seminary and radio show host, argues on behalf of Eva ngelical Baptists, and conte nds Darwinian thought and the theory of evolution are immoral and inhe rently indignant (M ohler, 2005, p. 1). He holds that creationism is foundational to all Christian belief. On the other end of the spectrum, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield believes that evolutionary theory and Darwinian
27 thought have a place in the world. He contends that Jewish intellect ual culture is based upon healthy debate, and that those who hold opposing worldview s have much to benefit from one another. Hirschfield (2005) exclaims Jewish tradition has always made ro om for boththe only unacceptable position in this debate between Intelligent Desi gn folks and proponents of Darwin is the one that insists there is no room for both of these positions in our classrooms, homes and hearts. (para. 4) Episcopalian Katherine Schori, the bis hop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, contends that human beings are meant to be stewards of creation and revelation, and that mankind works in a partnership with God (Schori, 2005, para. 2). She attributes the vast scientific advancements over the past few decad es to this partnership and Gods work in the minds of scientists (Schori, 2005). The Ep iscopal view does not rest alone. According to Muslim Sulayman Nyang, a professor of African Studies at Howard University, Muslims embrace much of the scientific argument about human origins, but not all. The primary objection, of course, is that A llah was responsible for creating man, not a primordial soup (Nyang, 2005, para.3). Pseudoscience, Creation Science and Intelligent Design Definition of Pseudoscience Pseudoscience is defined as a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scie ntific (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2005), and is generally assigned a negative connotation. Ideas such as creation science and intelligent design fall into the category of pseudoscience since they fail to meet the criteria of scientific principle: lack of empirical evidence, unfalsifiability or failure to comply with
28 scientific method (Duschl, 1990). It is important to note, however, that reasonable scientific theories, such as those of evolution and Darwins natural selection, have been referred to as pseudoscience by those who suppor t alternative views, such as ID (Scott, 2004; Singham, 2000a). Therefore, the source of the label may be of more importance that the label itself. Intelligent design theory fails to meet the requirements of scientific theory as set forth by leading scientific organizations in the U.S., such as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Associati on for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and is considered by scientists to be pseudoscientific in nature ( Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688). ID does not lend itself to testing in a laboratory, and like creation science, relies upon the inconclusiveness of other theories for validation, which does not follow the pr escribed manner in which science is conducted according to the to the na ture of science (Duschl, 1990). Impact of Pseudoscience on Society The social issue surrounding pseudoscience is the impact that false pretenses have upon society and culture. Pseudoscientific strate gies can permeate scientific thought and education, resulting in immediate harm to believers of the pseudoscientific principle. Such examples are late-night television infomercials peddling cure-all medicines, promising an extended life or better health without scientif ic foundation. In these cases, and in others like that of intelligent design, pseudoscience is perpetuated as deliberate deception for financial or political benefit, in the process defacing or devaluing entire bodies of otherwise sound scientific principle.
29 In the case of educating our children, passing along ID or creation science as founded scientific principle can create more confusion about what science entails amongst youngsters who already have very little understanding of the nature of science, or how science really works. Understanding th e nature of science is of importance for a scientifically literate and informed soci ety (Dawson, Lederman & Tobin, 2004; Duschl, 1990). Relevance for Leaders of Education Although evolutionary science is taught as an integral part of biology curriculum at the post-secondary level, it is my experi ence as a biology teacher of both college and high school curriculum that the topic is reduc ed or eliminated in high school. Although creationists, such as Phillip Johnson and the Di scovery Institute claim that evolution is a theory in crisis, the real crisis surrounding th e theory of evolution is not with the theory itself, but rather with the teaching of evol ution, and furthermore the teaching of biology and other sciences, especially at the secondary leve l (Duschl, 1990). The Fordham Institutes 2005 State of St ate Science Standards study found that even though the majority of states in our nation ha ve revised or restructured its science standards over the past 5 year s, public school science curricul um is no better now than in 2000, when the last analysis was completed. Unfortunately for our country, 15 states received failing grades for its approach to sc ience education, signifying either that they have no real standards for their science program, or that thei r standards are so vague and weak as to be meaningless (The For dham Institutes 2005 State of State Science Standards, p. 3). Florida is one of those states (Gross, 2005).
30 The data relating to the state of science and technology in our c ountry is alarming: India and China are currently turning out 6 a nd 8 times as many scientists and engineers than the U.S., respectively (Gross, 2005). This is due in part to the perception of science as irrelevant and an apparent lack of interest by public school students. The ID issue serves as a perfect example of how scientif ic thought inquiry ha s been passed over in favor of less challenging or intellectually de manding explanations of the natural world. Since the last Fordham Institute analysis in 2000, the state school board of Kansas has adopted curriculum that includes ID, and seve ral other states are revisiting their science standards and pondering inclusion of ID as an alternative to evolutionary theory (Gross, 2005). Florida will be revising state science standards in 2007 (Pinzur & Walker, 2005), and governor Jeb Bush has indicated that st udents of his state should be provided with alternative views to evolution in Floridas classrooms (Matus, 2005). So how can educational leaders impact student achievement in science and positively contribute to Americas ability to produce knowledgeable scientists, at the request and business and industry? The soluti ons are relatively complex, but not out of grasp. As one possibility, educational leader s can heed the lessons learned by those in Pennsylvania and make certain that all bi ologyand sciencestudent s receive the best education possible, and use their influence and power in the educational setting to ensure excellence in instruction. It Starts with Informed Teachers One reason biology teachers must practice th eir craft is glaring: Two-thirds of Americans believe that creationism is the onl y plausible explanation of complexity in nature and should be taught in lieu of, or at the very least balan ced with, evolutionary
31 theory in American public schools (Trani, 2004). The landscape is much different in other countries such as those of Western Eu rope and East Asia, where 80% and 95% of each population, respectively, support the teaching of evolution in schools. Even when the environment for teaching evolution is suitable, some teachers still refrain from teaching sound science due to th eir own creationist views (Trani, 2004). It is estimated that one-third of all secondar y school biology teachers support ID in some form, and that another third placed little or no emphasis on evolution while teaching the standard biology course (Alles, 2005). Contributing to the problem is the di fficulty of understanding the basis for complex biological concepts by instructors at an y level. It has been my experience as a department chair of a high school science department that few biology teachers in secondary education are considered to be e xperts in the field (i .e., holding a degree in biology or related discipline), a nd the problem is worsening as school districts continue to expand and highly qualified scienc e teachers become harder to find. Scientifically literate secondary science teachers, especially thos e with scientific backgrounds, are becoming an endangered species, so to speak, in the syst em of education, partly due to our apparent inability to produce enough scientists nationw ide and the desire of those that we do produce to make careers in pr actical scientific settings, such as laboratories or engineering centers (Nancy Johnson Marsh, S econdary Science Supervisor for the School District of Hillsborough County, Florida, personal communications, December 2005). Educational leaders must be selective in their hiring practices when it comes to science. They must prevent falling prey to the just-put-a-human-in-the-room mentality that often comes over principals when positions remain unfilled as new school years
32 approach. Better strategies for finding teachers of science must be employed by district personnel, and incentives must be offered to lure scientists into the field of education. For example, the School District of Hillsborough County has chosen a progressive approach to filling the 50 or more annual seconda ry science vacancies by flying outstanding science teachers from the distri ct to national conferences, such as that of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), to recrui t science teachers from other parts of the country to Tampa, Florida. The benefit to this strategy, says Nancy Johnson Marsh, the Secondary Science Supervisor for the School District of Hillsborough County, Florida, is that teachers who attend these conferences ar e often some of the best in their chosen craft, and luring even a few of these excelle nt teachers away from other states into Hillsborough Countys school system can only he lp to improve science courses for our communitys children (persona l communications, December 2005). The Science Funding Issue Inadequate funding has created problem s for science teachers abroad, but especially here in the United States, wher e science classrooms and laboratories built during the scientific revolution of 1960s are in dire need of repair and renovation. There is a lack of science funding at all levels in our nation, including at the federal level where President George W. Bush has cut science gran ts for the fourth year in a row. The Bush administrations No Child Left Behind Act of 200l (U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 2002) is also partly to blam e, since funding for other purposes, such as high stakes testing, has made the slice of pi e served to science education even smaller (Terry, 2005).
33 As other disciplines deal with the shor tages by moving into digital, paperless experiences for students, science teacher s themselves may be complicating funding matters even worse. While many science and biology teachers, including myself, still subscribe whole-heartedly to H uxleys ideas of hands-on sc ientific experiences as the best way to learn, in this process they spend copious amounts of cash purchasing consumable supplies for dissections and test tubes. While social studies and math teachers overcome the burden of simply incor porating technology into their classrooms, science teachers grapple with letting go of real-life laboratory e xperiences for their cheaper, more practical digital facsimiles. Indecision over how to approach science education has resulted in a misappropriation of funding for science courses, which are already suffering from financial malnourishm ent. Leaders in science education, like myself, have much work to do on this issue. Other funding pressures for science educati on come from its inability to conform in other means. Other subject areas (e.g., ma th, English, and social studies) enjoy the luxuries of getting by in tough times with text books, pencils, paper, chalk and erasers. Educational leaders in science, such as myself, cringe at the thought of teaching our field by the way of lecture and te xt only. Uniformed taxpayers school board members and administrators fail to understand the cost of science supplemental and laboratory supplies; consequently, more often than not the result is that science education simply receives an equal sharenot an appropriate shareof the schools budget, as I have witnessed firsthand in my high school and othe r schools in my district. What exists as a minimal budget for an English department, th en, is an insult to a science department
34 chair, such as myself, attempting to provide even of the most basic hands-on science experience for the students. If students in Americas schools lack scie nce skill and knowledge largely in part to their disinterest, the equi pment missing in high school scie nce laboratories may be at the heart of the problem. How can students be passionate about something they have never seen or used? Digital probes, digi tal microscopes and other technologies are essential to spurring interest in Americas youth and increasing the ability of our country to produce literate scientists, such as those in other industrialized countries. What has painstakingly deha bilitated science ed ucation over the past 25 years has fueled the oppositions lot as well. Lack of science supplies and minimal laboratory experiences has led to yet another proble m for biology teachers attempting to teach evolution in schools. The ID advocates have found it easy to prey on these poorly funded districts by simply seizing upon the opportuni ty to supplement science teaching with a free text or two, as was the case with Of Pandas and People in Dover (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District  342 F. Supp. 2688). Since the ID approach does not lend its elf to inquiry-base d instruction in a laboratory, schools that fail to te ach science in Huxleys manner are no threat to IDs core concepts. The expensive cost of science teaching and inadeq uate funding has leveled the playing field for the ID competition, who, with the support of organizations such as the Discovery Institute, can easily provide equitable education of their ideas. Educational leaders at all levels can a lleviate funding issues by tackling the problem directly. From school boards to prin cipals, those developing budgets for science courses and departments must remain cognizant of the costs associated with offering such
35 a program. Alternative funding sources, such as local businesses and private medical practices, can be tapped into as source s for funding science in schools. Science laboratories, hospitals, and even police de partments can be summ oned for donations of equipment. Summary and Concluding Thoughts This discussion focused upon the following fi ve themes that dealt with the history of political, social and cultural views upon sc ience education in America, creationist objections to K-12 public science educati on curricula and resulting case law, the intelligent design movement and legal cases, how ID qualifies as a pseudoscience, and implications of the ID debate for educatio nal leaders. The discussion will maintain relevance as Florida revisits its Sunshine State Standards fo r Science in the midst of the intelligent design controversy. In the years after Darwins explanati on of the mechanism of evolutionthe process of natural selectionrel igious objections to its vali dity and inclusion in public science education arose. The controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is a cultural, emotional and personal issue, and ha s been for decades. The debate has been played out in courtrooms across the country, most recently in Dover, Pennsylvania, where intelligent design was hailed by religi ous supporters and conservative politicians as a valid scientific princi ple to be taught public high sc hools alongside of evolutionary theory. Like creation science before it, ID wa s struck down in a federal court decision in 2005 for violating the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
36 Intelligent design is considered by scien tists to be pseudoscience since it falls short of the criteria of scie ntific principle: lack of empirical evidence, unfalsifiability and failure to comply with scientific method The scientific perspective is that unsubstantiated pseudoscientific principles create misconcep tions and can have a deleterious effect upon science education and the na tions ability to produce knowledgeable scientists. Educational leaders can prevent further cases of pseudoscience from entering the domain of scientific curricula and ensure that valid scientific principles are taught in public schools in a variety of ways. As one possibility, educational leaders can heed the lessons learned by those in Pennsylvania and make certain that all biologyand sciencestudents receive the best education possible, and use their influence and power in the educational setting to ensure excellen ce in instruction. Carefu l attention to science standards and textbook choice, adequate funding for science curricula including laboratory experiences for stude nts, and hiring and retention of qualified science teachers are some of the means by which educational leaders can improve the lot of science education at the site-based level. The current conservative administration of the United States hasand will continue tohave an effect upon the views of Americans na tionwide in regard to the inclusion of creationist ideas, such as ID, in to public high school science curricula. As states across the nation reasse ss their science education standa rds, cases similar to those of Georgia, Kansas and Pennsylvania will probably become more prevalent. These cases, or any other outside of Dover, could some day reach the Supreme Court for a landmark, final ruling on ID.
37 Florida is scheduled to re vise its K-12 state scien ce standards in 2007 (Matus, 2005). The current Sunshine State Standa rds for Science make no mention of evolutionary theory and only two references to natural selection as an agent of biological change (Sunshine State Standards for Scienc e, Florida Department of Education, 1995). This contributed to Florida receiving a failing grade for its K-12 science education in the Fordham Institutes 2005 State of State Science Standards. As state and district standards are being reviewed, ID has become a hot to pic in local news surrounding the upcoming standards revision and subsequent adopti on of new science textbooks for secondary science education, such as in Pinellas C ounty, Florida (Blair, 2006). The governor has weighed in on his belief that alternatives to those of Darwin shoul d be explored in the states science classr ooms (Matus, 2005). Although in the recent Dover cas e the pendulum has appeared to swing in favor of those who support science education devoid of creationist worldviews, the pendulum will undoubtedly swing back in the future, as it ha s so many times in th e past. The intelligent design movement, as creation science and fundamentalism before it, may pass, however the debate over what constitutes science will surely be a part of Americas social, cultural, and political landscapes for many years to come. Only through stronger teaching of scientific principle, and gr eater understanding of the nature of science itself, can the swinging pendulum be halted.
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44 Professional Biography for Larry Plank Larry R. Plank, M.S., is the instructional leader of eight teachers in the science department at Robinson High School, in Tamp a, Florida. Plank earned a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences from Florid a State University in 1997, and a Masters degree in Biology from the University of South Florida in 2000. He is currently enrolled in a specialist program at the University of South Florida in Educational Leadership with an anticipated completion date of May 2006. He plans to continue his education in a doctoral program at U.S.F. with an emphasis on new teacher induction and mentoring. In addition to these academic accomplishments, Pl ank has also been recognized as an Endeavor Academy Technology Leader in Science (2003), Accomplished Teaching Academy graduate (2003), and Project CRISS Training grad uate (2001). Plank currently serves as a co-chairpers on of the schools steering committee, of which he has been a member since 2001. He is also a member of the schools literacy committee and served as the Deputy Chai rperson for the schools 2004 S.A.C.S. evaluation. In addition to these professional du ties, Plank serves as a site-based liaison for the Greater Access Program supported by the Hillsborough Advanced Placement Incentive (HAPI) grant and as the school-bas ed mentor in the Teachers and teaching Initiative (TTI) sponsored by the Council for Educational Change and funded by the Wachovia Foundation. Two of his most important roles, however, ar e that of National Honor Society sponsor and coach of the R.H.S. Science Team, which finished third of 23 schools in the districts comp etition in the 2001 Science Bowl.
45 Plank was selected by his peers as Robinsons Teacher of the Year in 2005 and as the schools mentor teacher in 2004. Also in 2004, Plank was recognized as the Sigma Xi Science Teacher of the Year for Hillsbor ough County. His six-year teaching experience includes Advanced Placement Biology, Honor s and Gifted Biology, Biology, Honors and Gifted Chemistry, Honors and Gifted Integrated Science and Integrated Science. He is certificated in Biology, grades 6-12.