The lecture began with Charles Darwin’s introduction of natural selection into evolution literature and the backlash that this theory received by evolution-deniers in the United States and around the world. Branch breaks the history of creationists attempts to undermine evolution into three phases; Banning of evolution, seeking equal time, and the phase we are seeing today, strengths and weaknesses / teach the controversy. In phase one for these creationists (evolution-deniers) attempted to outright ban the teaching of evolution and natural selection from the classroom. The evolution-deniers seem to have succeeded on this mark for many years until a dramatic reinvestment in science and technology education around the country was seen as a reaction to US efforts in the Cold War. This resulted in the widespread teaching of evolution in areas where it had not been taught prior.
As evolution became more apparent as a scientific theory in the United States, evolution-deniers then altered their approach to simply seeking equal time for creationism / intelligent design as evolution has in the science classroom. Because these ideas are not science, such attempts have been struck down time and time again by legislatures, school boards, and when necessary, courts. In most recent attempts to insert their craziness into schools, creationists claim that they want the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution taught; however, their interpretation of weaknesses is the same old drivel that has been thoroughly debunked for years.
Glenn Branch is the Deputy Director for the National Center For Science Education and is co-editor of the book “Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools“. Mr. Branch has had several articles published on the teaching of evolution and why creationism/intelligent design should not be promoted in the science classroom. Branch’s educational background is in philosophy, receiving a Masters of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Video of the Glenn Branch presentation on The History and Prospects of Creationism via www.youtube.com/user/stvbkr01: