Although scientists elsewhere tend to think of creationism as an American problem, Alan Leshner, AAAS’s chief executive, is right to point out that the U.S. is not alone in the struggle. Success in North Carolina or Texas encourages creationists around the world.
For example, Brazil’s fast-growing evangelical Protestant population is becoming more aggressive in its fight against evolution teaching.
Opposition to creationist teaching should not be seen as an attack on religion. Many individual scientists are religious, but few need to invoke rational design by a creator to account for the amazing array of life on Earth.
We must reject the creationists’ argument that evolution and intelligent design are alternative theories that should be given equal attention. On some questions—the Earth is round, Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust, HIV causes AIDS—there is a consensus of academic opinion. As last week’s events in Rome have shown, faith plays a vital role in modern life. But its place is not in science lessons.