"If you don't think viewpoint discrimination is alive and well in this country when it comes to Darwin's theory, then you must be living on another planet," said Dennis Wagner, announcing this year's Top Ten in Media News in the growing Darwin vs. design controversy. This year, top honors went to Texas and Louisiana for protecting students' and teachers' rights to examine and critique all sides of evolution and other controversial science issues.
"The theory of evolution has been elevated to the status of a sacred dogma in many parts of our modern culture" observed Dennis Wagner, ARN Executive Director. "Students, teachers and science professionals have suffered recrimination for challenging Darwin's theory, and political policies like those recently passed in Texas and Louisiana are now required to maintain academic freedom and freedom of speech. Critical thinking skills are key not only to the learning process, but more importantly to scientific progress," said Wagner.
Kevin Wirth, ARN Director of Media Relations, pointed out that several other stories on the 2009 Top Ten Media list indicate the growing need for this type of legislative protection: "Ben Stein was 'expelled' as the commencement speaker at the University of Vermont, Michael Behe was temporarily 'expelled' from Bloggingheads.tv, and the California Science Center censored the showing of a movie that was critical of DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theory. We thoroughly documented case after case of this type of viewpoint discrimination in the book Slaughter of the Dissidents and the list just keeps on growing."
An online version of the ARN Top 10 Darwin and Design stories for 2009 with hyperlinks to original news sources can be found at www.arn.org/top10.
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