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Darwin defender retracts accusations

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 07/26/2005 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled


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Eugenie Scott (Photo: National Center for Science Education)

Responding to a lawsuit, the California Academy of Sciences published a letter by leading Darwinist educator Eugenie C. Scott retracting her false claims against a parent-activist who wants to change how a state school district teaches evolution.

The academy agreed to publish Scott’s letter and one by Caldwell in the summer edition of its California Wild magazine.

In a lawsuit filed against Scott and her Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Science Education in April, Caldwell had claimed that Scott’s article, entitled “In My Backyard: Creationism in California,” contained numerous factual misstatements and libeled him in an effort to discredit efforts to promote his “Quality Science Education” policy. Calwell’s aim is to include some of the scientific weaknesses of Darwin’s theory of evolution in biology classes, without introducing religious content.

As WorldNetDaily reported, the legal action stems from Caldwell’s civil-rights lawsuit in federal court against the Roseville Joint Union High School District and school officials in Sacramento, Calif., alleging his constitutional rights to free speech, equal protection and religious freedom were violated when he was prevented from introducing his curriculum.

Scott’s article claimed Caldwell attempted to get the district to adopt materials advocating biblical creationism, including a young-earth creationist book, “Refuting Evolution,” by Jonathan Safarti; and the Jehovah’s Witness book “Life: How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or Creation?”

Scott retracted that claim and also conceded her allegation that a science expert had said Caldwell had a “gross misunderstanding of science” was false. She also backed off on her contention that the Roseville board had passed a resolution “recommending” that “creationist” materials be used in science classes.

Said Caldwell, “I am pleased that the California Academy of Sciences and California Wild have shown the professional integrity to remove this libelous article from Internet access and to give me an opportunity to set the record straight on my Quality Science Education Policy.”

Caldwell said, however, he’s disappointed it took a lawsuit to get action.

“Unfortunately, Scott and the NCSE have a long history of libeling people in the debate over how evolution should be taught in our public schools; my case is only the most recent example,” he said. “Hopefully, it won’t take any more libel lawsuits to teach them how to stick to the truth.”

Nevertheless, Scott credits Caldwell’s libel suit with “contributing to an absolute explosion” of evolution debates around the country; a trend Caldwell views “encouraging.”

Caldwell said “apparently the Darwinists lack of candor outside the classroom is causing more people to question the reliability of their claims for evolution in the classroom.”

As part of the settlement agreement, the academy agreed to permanently remove all online access to Scott’s article.

In his letter, Caldwell says, “The public policy debate over how we should teach evolution in America is too important to be based on such science fiction. At stake is whether our students will receive a quality science education, in which they learn the truth about evolution, or a science indoctrination, in which the truth is hidden from them.”

Caldwell also asks, “So why do Eugenie Scott and her National Center for Science Education feel the need to resort to such science fiction in order to prevail in this debate? Are the arguments in favor of their position really that weak?”

Related stories:

Darwin-only challenger claims libel

Parent sues district on Darwin-only rule


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