Four years after it all began, the Cobb County (Georgia, USA) school board has decided to end a long legal battle over having stickers stating evolution is a theory and not a fact in high school biology textbooks. In 2002 the school board placed stickers inside the front cover of biology textbooks that said, “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.” In 2005 a federal judge ordered the stickers to be removed. The stickers were removed, but the school board appealed to a federal appeals court which did not hear the case citing the court record of the case was too incomplete. For more background on this issue, see Equal time for creation in Cobb County, Who won in Cobb County? Evolution disclaimer on trial, Will the sticker stick? The sticker didn’t stick (or did it?), and Facing sticker shock in Cobb County, Georgia (USA).
Board chairwoman Teresa Plenge said, “We faced the distraction and expense of starting all over with more legal actions and another trial. With this agreement, it is done and we now have a clean slate for the new year.”1 The school board also agreed to pay a portion of the court costs and “not to take other actions that would undermine the teaching of evolution in biology classes.”2 The ACLU and many other like-minded organizations are claiming a victory. Jeffrey Selman, one of the plantiffs, said, “The settlement brings to end a long battle to keep our science classes free of political or religious agendas.”1 But are the science classrooms really free of religious agendas? While they may be free from the Christian religious agenda, they certainly are not free from the humanist/secular religious agenda. No belief in God is just as much of a religion as a belief in God. The New Atheists with proponents like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris want to replace religion based on God with religion based on no God, which they mistakenly equate with science. Science is not a religion; science is a tool used by man to understand the world around him. The question is, what authority is that science based on: man’s ideas or God’s ideas?
Executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, Debbie Seagraves said, “It’s absolutely a victory for the parents and the children in Cobb County school.”2 It’s definitely a victory for humanism and censorship, but it is not a victory for science or for parents or their children who are being told they cannot question or challenge evolution in the classroom. This should make us all more aware of the important role that parents play in educating their children. We need to help our children understand that the Bible—the history book of the universe, the unchanging Word of God—is the ultimate authority for interpreting the science being presented in the classroom today.