Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Creationism Evolves

Credit: enterlinedesign/adobe

Credit: enterlinedesign/adobe

By Nick Matzke

It’s 10 years since US legislation drafted to stop the teaching of “intelligent design” was ruled unconstitutional, yet anti-evolution legislation continues to replicate and “evolve” across the USA.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Many who have studied the anti-evolution movement have noted that “creationism evolves”. Usually scholars make the joke, note the irony and move on with traditional approaches to history.

But “creationism evolves” can be made into a more literal, scientific statement. I have estimated the evolutionary family tree, or phylogeny, of 67 anti-evolution policies proposed in the United States between 2004 and 2015 (www.tinyurl.com/zxkyr38).

I describe all of these policies as “stealth creationism”. They never mention creationism or “creation science”, and they rarely mention “intelligent design”, primarily because these topics were ruled to be in violation of the US Constitution's prohibition on government promotion of religion in public schools. (The last major court case, Kitzmiller v. Dover, was about “intelligent design” and was decided on 20 December 2005). The stealth creationism policies attempt to portray evolution as “controversial”, encourage teachers to “critically analyse” evolution (by promoting bogus creationist arguments against evolution), and the policies attempt to prevent school administrators from correcting teachers who are promoting pseudoscience.

Because the creationists are adopting stealth strategies and trying to hide the sectarian basis of their activities...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.