Tag Archives: scopes trial

Islam’s Darwin Problem

By Drake Bennett in the Boston Globe

Three weeks ago, with much fanfare, a team of scientists unveiled the fossil skeleton of Ardi, a 4-foot-tall female primate who lived and died 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. According to her discoverers, Ardi – short for Ardipithecus ramidus, her species – is our oldest known ancestor. She predated Lucy, the fossilized Australopithecus afarensis that previously had claimed the title, by 1.2 million years. The papers announcing the find described a transitional specimen, with the long arms and short legs of an ape and strong, grasping big toes suited to life in the trees, but also a pelvis whose shape allowed her to walk upright on the ground below. Continue reading

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Evolution Is A Fact Not Theory

By Anthony J. Aschettino

It has been eighty-three years since the landmark “Scopes Monkey Trial” in Tennessee brought a legal challenge to that state’s Butler Act which effectively banned the teaching of evolution in public schools. Although John Scopes, the teacher and defendant in the trial, lost, it set in motion a long process that culminated in 1968 with the Supreme Court ruling in Epperson v. Arkansas that such laws as the Butler Act violated the Establishment Clause. While that should have been the end of the story, those who oppose the teaching of evolution have never really stopped trying to undermine the Constitution in their efforts to reintroduce the teaching of Biblical Creationism in the classrooms of America’s schools. Their latest efforts focus on nebulous ideas such as “intelligent design” and seemingly democratic ideals in phrases like “teach the controversy”. They have mostly faced setbacks, but they have had their victories as well and it remains to be seen if they will succeed in their labors to roll back the clock on science education in this country. Continue reading

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