A couple of recent happenings concerning evolution disclaimer stickers in science textbooks. In the Cobb County case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the two sides in that dispute to meet with a mediator to see if they can reach a settlement in the case rather than having to have a full appellate trial. Neither of the attorneys in the case think that any settlement is likely, and neither do I. There really isn’t much room there for compromise.
Meanwhile, a school district in Shelby County, TN is trying to place its own disclaimers in biology textbooks. PZ Myers has a post with details at the Panda’s Thumb. The Shelby County proposed disclaimer is far worse than the Cobb County disclaimer and there’s no way it would survive a court challenge. It states:
This textbook contains material on scientific theories about creation. There are many scientific and religious theories about the nature and diversity of living things. All theories should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
The specific mention of “creation” and “religious theories” makes that one a complete non-starter legally. The local paper likewise reported, “County school board member Wyatt Bunker, who believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God, said he’s concerned that students are being taught only scientific theories such as evolution and the Big Bang.” Well yes, Mr. Bunker, students are indeed being taught only scientific theories. That is, after all, why we hold science classes. And yet another backwoods school board decides to waste a bunch of money defending a case they are destined to lose.