Issue #63

Last Update April 30, 2009

National Academic Freedom - The Creationist Push by Gert Innsry September 16, 2008  The latest ploy by fundamentalists to subvert the teaching of science in schools is to press for "academic freedom" in science instruction. (The equivalent need for "academic freedon" in teaching religion and social history seems not to be on their agenda.) Actually, an academic freedom guarantee will come in handy in the future when another attempt to prevent teachings that dismay fundamentalists arises. If this measure passes, should we be alarmed? Not really.

If people want to keep themselves poor and out of the mainstream of economic development, that is their privilege. Evolutionary concepts form the basis of much of modern biology and genetics, and it is unlikely that biotech industries will have much to do with regions of the country where their work is objected to and where potential employers refuse to acquire the skills and knowledge to do their jobs. It is not just biology and genetics that are involved, however. Any scientific discipline that depends on the concept of "deep time", from astronomy to geology to physics, is likely to suffer in any school district where the "academic freedom" law is used subvert the teaching of science as science. Ultimately, this will have a depressing effect on college admissions and in participation in what is now fundamentally a technology civilization.

Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of the new Amish, the creation of a new group of rejectors of modernity, living only with the technologies of the past and eschewing the medical, agricultural and engineering benefits of any scientific development that depends on evolution or the concept of a 14 billion year old universe for its existence.

Does this harm us as a nation? New Yorkers, Californians and residents of New England will be happy to accept the businesses and associated jobs rejected by Kentuckians, Pennsylvanians and others eager to keep Christ in the classroom, just as we have been happy to be the beneficiaries of similar policies in Islamic fundamentalist nations.

New York Stringer is published by For all communications, contact David Katz, Editor and Publisher, at

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