PvM posted Entry 2504 on August 7, 2006 12:58 PM.
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The document is titled “Countering the Wedge: A multi-pronged, multi-year strategy to oppose creationism and intelligent design in the science curriculum of public schools” and is authored by Massimo Pigliucci, David Baum and Mark McPeek
The existence of a massive and well-funded network of anti-evolutionary groups has contributed to the persistence of creationism, but at the same time scientists could have been more effective in outreach and education (Pigliucci 2002, 2005). Thus, while scientists certainly cannot hope by themselves to overcome the problem, it seems increasingly clear that inaction is no longer an option. The public already perceives academics as aloof and isolated, lost in a pampered world of irrelevancies, unwilling or unable to come out of the ivory tower even for brief periods to explain why their research is worthwhile (Sagan 1995). We think that professional societies ought to take the lead and generate an internal cultural change within academia, to help scientists rethink their priorities and make outreach and public involvement a matter of normal practice, rather than a suspect activity carried out only by a few individuals.
The document describes the following goals (modeled loosely after the well known Wedge Document)
This document, loosely modeled after the antievolutionary Wedge Strategy produced by the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (Forest and Gross 2004, see Appendix 1) defines a series of goals, and a preliminary set of suggestions on how to achieve them, which we hope will be adopted – with suitable modifications – by the three major US based societies of evolutionary biologists. The time to act has already come upon us, but we are not too late yet.
An anti-wedge strategy:
- To defend the teaching of evolutionary theory as the fundamental conceptual framework for all biological sciences.
- To preclude the teaching of creationism, intelligent design, and other pseudoscientific “alternatives” as part of the science curriculum in public schools.
- To positively engage the public, the media, religious leaders, and elected representatives to promote a better understanding of evolutionary biology in particular and science as a method of inquiry in general.
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