The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Wisconsin State Journal: A big bang for creationism

Our Conscience

Though it has been nearly 80 years since a high school biology teacher named John Scopes went on trial in Tennessee for teaching evolution in a public school, the issue remains far from dusty history here in Wisconsin.

A school board headed by a minister in the northwest Wisconsin village of Grantsburg recently created an uproar by ordering staff to teach creationism alongside evolution. The board subsequently revised its policy in November and now asks teachers to take a more critical approach to teaching evolution, pointing out it's just one of several theories and remains in dispute as a science.

Some school districts in southern Wisconsin previously incorporated creationism into lesson plans with considerably less attention. In Belleville and Albany, for example, evolution is taught as one of several theories, while creationism and its spinoffs, including the theory of intelligent design, are mentioned as alternative theories.

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