Georgia Evolution Stickers Ordered Removed
Judge's Order to Remove Evolution Stickers From Textbooks Gets Cheers and Jeers
ATLANTA Jan 14, 2005, Associated Press - Since 2002, Dr. Kenneth Miller has been upset that biology textbooks he has written are slapped with a warning sticker by the time they appear in suburban Atlanta schools. Evolution, the stickers say, is "a theory, not a fact."
"What it tells students is that we're certain of everything else in this book except evolution," said Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, who with Joseph S. Levine has authored three texts for high schoolers.
On Thursday, Miller, along with fellow teachers and scientists cheered a federal judge's ruling that ordered the Cobb County school board to immediately remove the stickers and never again hand them out in any form.
"Obviously, this is quite a victory for good science education," said Benjamin Z. Freed, an anthropology professor at Atlanta's Emory University and chairman of Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education.
But some parents and religious conservatives decried the ruling as another in a string of what opponents call activist judges overruling the wishes of elected officials often on matters of religion.
The school district just north of Atlanta approved the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life.
The stickers read, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
[TBC: Regardless of Professor Freed’s opinion, good science demands that everything be "approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." The bottom line is that these stickers were removed because they posed a challenge to the ruling orthodoxy.]