The present ruling in the Kitzmiller v. Dover court case is about intelligent design that is nowhere form of science. It is related to the religious concept; that is why it can not be taught alongside evolution in the US’s science classroom. The question arises, why is the movement of anti-evolution so strong in the United States?
The weekly magazines, television, radio, and newspapers enormously covered a federal district court trial decision, Kitzmiller v. Dover, in late December 2005. The court case was introduced by Tammy Kitzmiller and the other ten concerned parents in Dover, Pennsylvania, against the Dover Area School Board. Their interest was to claim that intelligent design (ID) is a form of Simulation Creationism and be taught in the ninth-grade science classes as an alternative evolution in the Dover’s area high schools.
For several years the teaching of evolution has been controversial. A couple of years ago, a conflict happened when a student-painted scene of human evolution was torn down and fired up by the school district employee. In 2004, traditional school board members were concerned about the new Pennsylvania state science education standards necessitating the teaching of evolution in schools. And to set about the searching ways to maintain the presentation of evolution with something which would generally consider conventional religious views of the society.
In the United States public schools, students are not being trained in any religious instruction. However, relative religious points can be expressed. The United States has not supported the system of religiously connected schools as Canada and some other nations. The US laws require public agencies such as schools to be religiously neutral. There are several private funds of Catholic and Protestant local schools that wish their kids to get religious instructions in school. Hence, it is illegal in the US public schools to support the six-day biblical theory of creations as demonstrated in a precise rendering of Genesis in any classroom. Since the 1987 decision of the Supreme Court, it is even not allowed to teach a kind of biblical creation called “creation science,” invented in the 1960s. Intelligent design or Simulation Creationism is specially developed to avoid introducing creation science’s legal issue by the Creationists. It is mainly observed that the creationists have been promoting intelligent design for teaching as an alternative subject of the theory of evolution in science class; it is not only in Dover but also in Kansas and elsewhere. Policies asking the teaching of intelligent design are remaining in Bluffton, Blount County, and Indiana, Tennessee. Several attempts have been made to combine intelligent design or Simulation Creationism into science in several states.
In the Kitzmiller case, the judge, John Jones III, was not convinced with the theory of intelligent design as a reliable scientific alternative to evolution. The title “Judge ruled that intelligent design is not a science” reflecting the judge’s decision. It was laid out in a 139-page ruling that intelligent design is purely a form of Creationism. He decided that the new intelligent design (ID) is nothing but another pure form of religion, and that is why teaching this in science classes is illegal. Of course, it is a great triumph for science and science education. But, several newspapers commented that other societies all across the country are still fighting with Creationism. With a definite anti-intelligent design decision in Kitzmiller, there may well be another Dovers and possibly other actions in the future. And to prove them right, within a month, a small school district in the south was entangled in a lawsuit conducted by parents against a mediation course on intelligent design.
If we talk about people outside the United States, they are astonished by such events. They realize obscure that a strong, advanced, industrial nation that commonly sweeps the Nobel prize in science but is home to a community almost half of whom denies one of the foundational points of modern science. It is an excellent question of why Americans have this kind of problem with the theory of evolution? There are multiple reasons for American anti-evolutionism, most of which extend to the US’s political, social, and religious histories.
The United States organizes the state and church party division because the authorizing fathers knew the history of spiritual combat that had pierced Europe. A powerful current of religious protest characterizes the history of religion in the US. This has been established formerly by church members with an entirely distinct and very different idea of salvation. The United States has also encouraged a culture of decentralized DIY (do it yourself) theology, which produced many extinct and extant sects; it also includes the Latter-Day Saints, Seventy-Day Adventists, Christian Science, Shakers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others. The inclination for not following religious authority has another long history on the side of the Atlantic.
The decentralization of religion comes into existence from the frontier tradition and also from the dissident tradition. There were no central governing bodies for much of early American history; if a frontier settlement wished for police stations, schools, firehouses, or other community services, they had to conceive process methods of providing them; Outside help from the state government or territorial was usually ineffective or unavailable, and the federal government was not capable enough to indicate services to frontier societies. If a community wanted churches, it was its own; they had to employ a minister and manage funds to construct and support a church. Local orientation and local control develop naturally as it is far from any objection, country history, especially where the government is neither possible nor wanted.
In the US, education is controlled by several local authorities to a degree that is not observed in any other developed country. This may speculate America’s frontier history, where local control of education was a requirement that became blessed as an ideal. It can be seen that Americans are strongly defensive and protect education’s power, even when it results in a great injustice of education opportunity. However, we can say that whatever the benefits and advantages of the local control of education, control of the subject are undoubtedly not one of them. Whenever I communicate with the press, I generally have to discuss Creationism and evolution controversy by describing that the US does not have a national science subject. And that is why local school boards are composed of rigorously, if mainly scientific uninformed, eventually responsible for deciding what is being taught and when. I completely describe 17,000 independent school districts in the United States and that administrative patchwork results in highly non-uniformly distribution of curricula. Some students learn about the solar system planets in grades 2 and 3, and some never even get around to it at all. There is a conflict among some districts requiring teachers who can teach evolution, and some sections ignore it completely. Reasonably, this is surprising by those who live in such a country where national subjects are viewed as the source of strength in instructions.
The regularity of curricula is starting to occur; however, the administration of Regan, National at Risk, called for the formation of subject matter curriculum standards. The procedure was taken up during the management of the first President Bush. Because of the decentralization of education in America, the governmental standards in history, science, and maths would be instructional guides for the states as they emerged in their standards and subject matter curricula. The National Science Education Standards in 1996 were published in 1996, and it was compelling as states conceived their standards. The reason is that the professional scientists wrote that the NSES content segment, evolution, was presented very well; hence evolution took its place in several states as their curriculum for the first time. Through many kinds of carrots-and-stick requirements, states would coerce or coax local school districts into accepting the state standards by keeping states’ money from those districts that did not receive the state standards. Ironically, to improve science education quality, it triggered the present increase in the anti-evolution after the standard movement.
According to the educational law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the federal 2002, requires states to manage cyclic examinations to students; the content is based on the state standards. As per this law, school districts will be honored or punished; these tests are high-stakes. These high-stakes will decide the subjects that what will be examined determines and what will be taught. Because most of the states involve evolution, it will be on the test, and hence, it will be introduced. If evolution started being taught in schools, it is a fact that it will increase anti-evolutionism. The law No Child Left Behind needs states to start examining science by 2007. This rising date helps to describe present disputes over other creationists’ activity and state science standards. Another significant reason has allowed anti-evolutionism to take its roots in America; America’s tradition lets everyone give their speech, fairness, and have their words freely. This is an excellent cultural quality, especially when making any political decisions about which idea should be contemplated. But, we can say that it is not relevant to science. Whether the Sun goes around the Earth or Earth revolves around the Sun is not a matter of any opinion. Whether it is the case about living things that came into the emerged form after modification from ancestors or were mainly created simultaneously is also not a matter of any opinion, some Americans would prefer to think this way. When we make any interference from experimental evidence, it grows scientific knowledge; the scientific society concludes that living things have descended with many modifications from common ancestors from a vast amount of evidence. Like all the scientific clarification, the theory of evolution changes with new pieces of information and a manner of observing the data; however, the massive idea of evolution is that common ancestry remains solid. Still, the point of “fairness,” of “balancing” the theory of evolution with a spiritual idea, has tremendous traction for the American public.
Another clarification for anti-evolutionism in the United States is the recognition of biblical literalism in Christianity of America. This spiritual culture is comparatively short in Christianity in Europe. A series of booklets were published between 1910 and 1915 with the title “The Twelve Fundamentals.” They explained about back-to-basics kind of American Christianity with giving intention to the Bible’s infallibility, which started a religious culture known as Fundamentalism. It is more favored in North America than in other portions of the world. And it is also within the biblical literalist culture of Fundamentalism that anti-evolutionism discovers its roots. In this disagreement, the best-kept secret is that mainstream and Catholic Protestants habitually teach evolution in their local schools. Their formal doctrinal positions on the theory of evolution are typically a kind of theistic evolution. And they say evolution is part of God’s plan, and God works through evolution. Because of some uncertainty throughout this matter, the standard Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, lately published an article by a scientist repeating theological acceptance of evolution. Historically, religious leaders have been effective and vigorous opponents of Creationism.
There is no trouble to say that anti-evolution is mainly an American problem. However, it is being consigned to foreign countries, and in the past few years, NCSE has acquired reports of creationist activity outside of the United States. Its pattern is quite different from American Creationism. Recently Creationism “flare-ups” have happened in Brazil, Italy, and Serbia, all of which have controlled education systems in which central management has significant authority to conclude education policy. Policies of anti-evolution are highly imposed in all these three countries, the top education official concluded. In Serbia, for instance, Ljiljana Colic, education’s minister, concluded to eliminate the theory of evolution from the curriculum. After an exclamation from teachers, politicians, scientists, the clergy, and others, the conclusion was Colic resigned; this top-down system of education is very different from the decentralized American pattern, where anti-evolutionist force typically arises from popular activity.
In the United Kingdom, academies were established, which was slightly different in pattern. A charter-school-type system organized by the British government to develop the performance of the student in low-performing areas. It was easy for citizens to function self-supporting schools that nevertheless receive a vast amount of public money. Such academies are independent to explore curricula, organization, and labor policies in a “let a thousand flowers bloom” procedure to enhance public education. Sir Peter Vardy, a wealthy businessman, has established such academies where Simulation Creationism is habitually taught beside evolution. British scientists look to be surprised by such happening; however, unlike American academics, they do not appear to take any objection by writing any outraged letter.
The conclusion in the Kitzmiller v. Dover court case was a great victory for science education that the teaching of intelligent design in the science classroom is not legal as it is a form of Creationism and related to a religious concept. The decision taken by the judge was based on six weeks of data, which was a great deal of which centered upon the nature of science, the science of evolution, and if there was any scientific verification for ID. The theory of intelligent design is quite thin stuff. The main dispute is that evolution theory is an incomplete scientific theory; hence, it is required to describe definite biological phenomena by supporting an intelligent agent’s direct activities, whom nobody doubts are God. Therefore, proponents of intelligent design provide a list of long-disproved creationists arguments about the assumed inability of evolution, such as gaps in the fossil record, impracticality of constructing complex organisms across the natural selection, etc.
It was exposed in the Dover trial about the religious foundation of intelligent design that it is no more workable creationist strategy. Fallback creationists may argue for maintaining the theory of evolution with assumed “evidence against evolution” and fulfilling intelligent design content, however, avoiding the constitutionally problematic intelligent agent. The prominent intelligent design think-tank, the Discovery Institute, is already introducing this, which they recognize as “teach the controversy.” Depending on the public’s attraction to the fairness argument, they suggested that students specify all the evidence and determine themselves. There is no doubt that the proposed evidence is erroneous science, and few would assert that students’ critical thinking will enhance by teaching them the wrong information.
Therefore, anti-evolutionism will continuously be encouraged by some well-known and enthusiastic American minorities to the disadvantage of science education and science literacy. This situation is a significant concern that we appear not to be building well-educated college graduates, high schools, and college programs in the biological sciences already have an inordinate percentage of foreign-born students. The lack of teaching the theory of evolution in high school could be a massive problem in American education’s politicization. And this results in simplifying the curriculum. Foreigners are confused that while students in the scientific powerhouse, which is the United States, are being taught Creationism and getting misinformation about evolution. Or somewhere students are even not being taught evolution at all, students in foreign countries learn evolution, and then they come to the US for graduate education. The decision taken by Judge Jones in Kitzmiller’s favor may be a victory of science; however, there is still a big problem of anti-evolutionism in America that persists.