Teaching of origins highlighted in major media

Federal judge rules evolution disclaimer stickers must be removed from Georgia, USA textbooks

January 13, 2005

U.S. District Judge, Clarence Cooper, ruled today that the evolution disclaimer sticker placed in the front cover of some high-school biology textbooks in Cobb County, Georgia, USA, is unconstitutional and violates the so-called “separation between church and state.” As a result of the ruling, the sticker, which includes the following words, must be removed:

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 2002, Cobb County (near Atlanta) adopted a policy to place disclaimer stickers in the front of high-school biology textbooks that present evolutionary ideas, but caution the readers that evolution is “not a fact, regarding the origin of living things.” That decision by the school district was challenged in U.S. federal court by six parents of Cobb students and the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union, who argued that the sticker pushes creationism (note, however, that there is no mention of creationism or anything religious in the wording above) and discriminates against non-Christians and followers of a number of other religions.

Check back soon for a full response to this ruling.

Published: 3 February 2006