DARWINISM IN THE CLASSROOM - CRITIQUING ORTHODOXY AND SURVIVING IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT
By Robert D'Agostino
Public school officials nowadays operate on the assumption that the Supreme Court has decreed that the Free Exercise and Establishment Clause mandates freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion. This attitude manifests itself very clearly in the establishment of Darwinism in the public school biology curriculum. The assumption is that any alternative to the neo-Darwinian paradigm is creationism, whether biblical or of the intellectual design variety.
This book sets-forth the constitutional and scientific basis for critiquing Darwinism and the assumptions, scientific and otherwise, and ideological motivations behind the imposition of the currently fashionable views about evolution. It is aimed at scholars, biology teachers, school administrators, and attorneys and judges facing or considering litigation and the informed public willing to put aside ideological commitments.
Aside from presenting scientifically based questions about the explanatory power of Darwin's theory and analyzing the relevant case law, this book is a plea to allow students the freedom to consider the current state of evolutionary theory without the insistence that the neo-Darwinian synthesis (Darwin plus Mendel) is the only scientifically acceptable view. Students should be allowed the freedom to draw their own conclusions even if the conclusions lead to an inference of intelligent design or supernatural creation as long as government officials, including teachers, do not encourage the religious inferences and these inferences arise from the current state of scientific knowledge which, despite claims to the contrary, is hardly completely supportive of neo-Darwinian theory.
Professor D'Agostino practiced bankruptcy and commercial law for 20 years between careers in academia. Prior to joining John Marshall in 1995 and after practicing law for some 15 years, Professor D'Agostino was a tenured professor at what is now Widener Law School in Delaware. In 1981-1982, he took a two year leave of absence from Widener to serve as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Justice under President Ronald Reagan, where he served as an Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights. Professor D'Agostino also served as Dean of John Marshall Law School from 1996 to 2000. An avid bicyclist, "Dag" is also a political activist.