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Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science Appendix B Excerpt from "Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law"2 Schools may teach about explanations of life on earth, including religious ones (such as "creationism"), in comparative religion or social studies classes. In science class, however, they may present only genuinely scientific critiques of, or evidence for, any explanation of life on earth, but not religious critiques (beliefs unverifiable by scientific methodology). Schools may not refuse to teach evolutionary theory in order to avoid giving offense to religion nor may they circumvent these rules by labeling as science an article of religious faith. Public schools must not teach as scientific fact or theory any religious doctrine, including "creationism," although any genuinely scientific evidence for or against any explanation of life may be taught. Just as they may neither advance nor inhibit any religious doctrine, teachers should not ridicule, for example, a student's religious explanation for life on earth. NOTE 2. Excerpt from the brochure, "Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law." April 1995. Full copy available by contacting Religion in the Public Schools, 15 East 84th Street, Suite 501, New York, NY 10028 or by the World Wide Web at www.ed.gov./Speeches/04-1995/prayer.html. Drafting Committee: American Jewish Congress, Chair; American Civil Liberties Union; American Jewish Committee; American Muslim Council; Anti-Defamation League; Baptist Joint Committee; Christian Legal Society; General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists; National Association of Evangelicals; National Council of Churches; People for the American Way; Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Endorsing Organizations: American Ethical Union; American Humanist Association; Americans for Religious Liberty; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; B'nai B'rith International; Christian Science Church; Church of the Brethren, Washington Office; Church of Scientology International; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Office of Governmental Affairs; Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Guru Gobind Singh Foundation; Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America; Interfaith Alliance; Interfaith Impact for Justice and Peace; National Council of Jewish Women; National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC); National Ministries, American Baptist Churches, USA; National Sikh Center; North American Council for Muslim Women; Presbyterian Church (USA); Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; United Church of Christ, Office for Church in Society.
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