Evolution debates in legislatures and on campaign trails

Feb. 12 marks the birthday of Charles Darwin and the celebration of Darwin Day, an observance that highlights the theory of evolution set forth in Darwin’s 1859 work, The Origin of Species. But in state legislatures and on the 2012 campaign trail, the debate over evolution has been about more than science.

Legislatures in several states have introduced or are planning to introduce bills that would mandate the teaching of Bible-based theories of the origin of the world and human beings – such as creationism or intelligent design. Other bills would require teachers to include materials that call evolution into question.

Surveys also continue to show that a significant portion of the American public embraces religious or supernatural theories on the origin of man over purely scientific explanations, and those views are also being reinforced in the political arena, especially in the Republican nominating contest.

This edition of ReligionLink provides resources and experts for reporters covering these hot-button issues.

What states are doing

What people are saying

  • “Poll: Pastors Oppose Evolution, Split on Earth’s Age”

    A January 2012 survey of Protestant pastors, conducted by LifeWay Research, shows that by a wide margin most of them believe that God did not use evolution to create humans and think Adam and Eve were literal people. It also found that ministers are almost evenly split on whether the Earth is thousands of years old.

  • “Poll finds evangelicals stand apart on evolution, climate change”

    A September 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, in partnership with Religion News Service, showed that a majority of Americans (57 percent) believe in evolution. But white evangelicals and Tea Party members — a core constituency for the GOP — are significantly less likely to believe in evolution.

Where candidates have stood

  • “Gingrich Showered With Confetti, Faith Questions”

    Read a May 17, 2011, article published by CBS Minnesota about then-GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s views on evolution. Gingrich said in May 2011 that he sees no conflict between faith and science with regard to life’s origins.

  • “Discover Interview: Newt Gingrich”

    Read a 2006 interview in which former House speaker Newt Gingrich said that “evolution should be taught as science, and intelligent design should be taught as philosophy.”

  • “Romney Elaborates on Evolution”

    Read about Mitt Romney’s stance on evolution in a May 11, 2007, article from The New York Times. Romney said that God likely used evolution as a tool when creating humanity. As for intelligent design, he said, “I’m not exactly sure what is meant” by it. Romney opposed the teaching of intelligent design in Massachusetts science classes during his governorship there.

  • “Rick Santorum Urges Teaching of Creationism in Public Schools”

    Read a Nov. 30, 2011, article from the Huffington Post about former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s views on evolution. Santorum argued for the teaching of creationism in public schools; instead, he says, “the left” and “the scientific community” aren’t allowing that because they don’t want classroom discussions about God.

  • “Jon Huntsman believes in evolution and global warming, so can he win a Republican primary?”

    Read an Aug. 18, 2011, article from The Washington Post about former GOP candidate Jon Huntsman’s views on evolution. Of the former GOP candidates, only Huntsman accepts evolution.

  • “Jon Huntsman Comes Out Swinging”

    Read an Aug. 20, 2011, article from ABC News about former GOP candidate Jon Huntsman’s response to Gov. Rick Perry’s comments on evolution. Huntsman chastised Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his evolution comments, saying such a stance puts the Republican Party in danger of being “anti-science.”

  • “Rick Perry: Evolution is ‘theory’ with ‘gaps'”

    Read an Aug. 18, 2011, article from USA Today about former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s views on evolution. Perry has said he firmly believes in intelligent design, while evolution is merely a theory — and one with “some gaps in it.”

  • “Bachmann: Schools should teach intelligent design”

    Read a June 17, 2011, article from CNN about former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s views on evolution. Bachmann is skeptical about evolution. She favors teaching public school students about competing theories, including intelligent design, “and then letting students decide.”

  • “Barack Obama on Science and Charles Darwin”

    Watch a video uploaded on Feb. 13, 2009, about President Barack Obama’s views on evolution. He believes in evolution and has praised the work of Charles Darwin.

Background and resources

The debate tends to be framed this way: Does evolution/Darwinism defeat the idea of a higher being at work in the development of life? Or is it merely a theory — one with much left to prove — that should be taught side-by-side with other theories that allow for a divine agent at work? The principal alternatives are:

  • Intelligent design, or ID, is the theory that the complexity of life points to a higher being at work.
  • Creationism is the belief that the world was created in accordance with the account in the first chapter of Genesis. There are, however, two principal schools of thought within creationism: Young Earth creationists believe the world was made in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. Old Earth creationism is a term that comprises variations of theories positing that the biblical creation process could have occurred over a long period of time, and that a single “day” in the biblical account should not be equated with a single 24-hour period.
  • A third path for many is the belief that Darwinism, evolution and the idea of a beneficent creator who made the world and all its creatures with intention and purpose can co-exist.

ID and creationism are not necessarily in accord with each other, and in fact proponents of each camp can argue as vociferously as Darwinists and anti-Darwinists.

Note: The full title of Darwin’s 1859 book is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Subsequent editions shortened the title to The Origin of Species.

Darwin Day

  • “What Has Changed Since the First Evolution Weekend?”

    Read a Feb. 11, 2011, column posted by the website Science + Religion Today about  an increase in congregations embracing the observance of Evolution Weekend since it first started in 2006.

  • “Noah’s Park: Kentucky ‘Ark Encounter’ Plans Full Scale Replica of Noah’s Ark”

    Read a Dec. 7, 2010, article from ABC news about the Ark Encounter, a $150 million biblical theme park recreating the story of Noah’s Ark as reconstructed from a literal reading of the book of Genesis.

  • “Louisiana Science Education Act Repeal Fails, Keeping Door Open For Teaching of Creationism”

    Read a May 2, 2013, article from the Huffington Post about the Louisiana Science Education Act. In 2008, Louisiana passed the Science Education Act, which protects the rights of Louisiana public schools that want to teach alternatives to evolution. Critics say this was a win for the anti-evolution camp, which changed tactics after the Dover trial. Rather than trying to promote the teaching of intelligent design, the strategy is to fight for the “academic freedom” to teach theories other than evolution in the science classroom. Yet even as Louisiana’s law passed, similar legislation in five other states — South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Michigan and Alabama — failed to pass or was returned to committee.

  • “Islamic Creationist and a Book Sent Round the World”

    In the summer of 2007, thousands of unsolicited copies of Atlas of Creation were sent to scientists, professors, legislators and others in North America and Europe. It was written by Harun Yahya, the pen name of Adnan Oktar, a Turkish Muslim who has produced many books and videos condemning the “deceit” of evolution. Read about it in a July 17, 2007, article from The New York Times.

  • “Explore Evolution Textbook and Website”

    In 2007, the Discovery Institute, the central think tank of the intelligent design movement, published Explore Evolution, its high school textbook that criticizes evolution. Critics called it a repackaging of the institute’s previous textbook The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems, which appeared in 2006. Read about it in a June 1, 2007, article posted by the Discovery Institute.

  • “Ruling in Georgia Evolution Stickers Case”

    In 2006, the state of Georgia lost an appeal in federal court to keep stickers on public school science textbooks that described evolution as “a theory, not a fact.” Read about it in a May 26, 2006, story from The New York Times.

  • “Kitzmiller v. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial”

    In 2005, a district court judge ruled in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that teaching intelligent design in public schools was unconstitutional. Many critics of intelligent design heralded the decision as the death knell for creationism, while ID proponents vowed to fight on. Read about it in an Oct. 17, 2008, article posted by the National Center for Science Education.


  • “Results of public opinion polls on naturalistic evolution, theistic evolution & creation science”

    ReligiousTolerance.org summarizes what it says are the three main belief systems Americans tend to hold regarding the origin of our species. The site includes links to pages on what scientists and the general public (in the U.S. and elsewhere) have told pollsters about it through the years.

  • “Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design”

    Read a Gallup analysis of a poll question the organization has asked since 1982, with the most recent survey from December 2010. The data show relatively stable opinions–40 percent of Americans believe that “God created man in present form,” 38 percent believe that man developed with “God guiding the process,” and 16 percent believe that “God had no part in the process.”

  • News Release: Poll shows fine line GOP candidates walk on climate change, evolution”

    Among those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party, 51 percent reject evolution, according to a September 2011 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Sixty-one percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats accept evolution, the survey found.

  • PollingReport.com: Science and Nature

    Pollingreport.com has a section on science and nature that includes poll results dealing with the origin of human life.

  • “Science in America: Religious Belief and Public Attitudes”

    Read a December 2007 analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life of American attitudes on evolution and biblical creation. As the authors write, “public opinion polling over the last few decades has shown that between 40 percent and 50 percent of Americans consistently reject the very idea of natural evolution, largely on the grounds that it conflicts with biblical accounts of creation.”


Other resources

  • “An Evolving Debate about Evolution”

    See “An Evolving Debate about Evolution,” resources from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The Pew package includes background on the evolution controversy and how that has played out in legislation and policies in various states. Pew also has a graphic showing how members of different faiths view evolutionary theory.

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science is a nonprofit organization that publishes the journal Science. It has issued a resolution on intelligent design, which it calls a challenge to science education.

  • International Darwin Day Foundation

    Feb. 11, 2005, is celebrated as Darwin Day, an international observance of Charles Darwin’s work on evolution. Check out International Darwin Day Foundation’s site that maintains a list of celebrations of the naturalist’s birthday around the world, including the United States.

  • Natural History Museum: Charles Darwin

    For five months in 2009, London’s Natural History Museum hosted Darwin200 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. The celebration included lectures, films, debates, performances and more. You can still learn about Darwin’s life and work through the museum’s website.

    Contact: +44 (0)20 7942 5654.
  • The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: Education

    The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life provides a resource page on issues relating to religion and public schools, such as the evolution debate.

Educational and advocacy groups


  • Access Research Network

    Access Research Network is a nonprofit that provides information on science, technology and social issues and includes descriptions and discussions of intelligent design.

    Contact: 719-633-1772, 805-448-9505.
  • A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

    A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism is a website where scientists can sign a document stating that they question the claims of Darwinism and call for further inquiry into it and other theories. The list includes scientists from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; the Russian, Hungarian and Czech national academies; and universities such as Yale, Princeton, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. Logan Gage manages the site, which is a project of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

  • Creation Museum

    The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., is a 70,000-square-foot exhibition that promotes a literal view of the Bible and the creation story through lifelike displays that include depictions of human beings living alongside dinosaurs. The museum’s developers announced plans in December 2010 to build the Ark Encounter, a $150 million biblical theme park re-creating the story of Noah’s Ark as reconstructed from a literal reading of the book of Genesis. Ken Ham is president of the museum and the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis.

    Contact: 888-582-4253.
  • Creation Research Society

    The Creation Research Society is an Arizona-based organization of scientists and laypeople committed to what it calls “scientific special creation.” Board members are listed on the website.

  • CreationWiki

    CreationWiki is an online community-written encyclopedia about creation research.

  • Discovery Institute

    The Discovery Institute describes its mission as “to make a positive vision of the future practical.” It is one of the main proponents of intelligent-design theory in education.

  • Institute for Creation Research

    The Institute for Creation Research is a Christian-based creation ministry.

    Contact: 800-337-0375.
  • Reasons to Believe

    Reasons to Believe is a Christian ministry that supports people who want to find scientific proof of biblical events.


  • International Darwin Day Foundation

    Feb. 11, 2005, is celebrated as Darwin Day, an international observance of Charles Darwin’s work on evolution. Check out International Darwin Day Foundation’s site that maintains a list of celebrations of the naturalist’s birthday around the world, including the United States.

  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State describes itself as a “nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving church-state separation to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.”

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania were litigants in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, in which a federal judge ruled that teaching creationism or ID was a form of religious indoctrination. Read a November 2010 update posted by Americans United on the controversy five years after the December 2005 decision.

  • Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is an online community of pro-evolutionists who scorn the intelligent design camp’s idea of a designer by ascribing the designer the personality of a giant ball of pasta. Adherents are known as “Pastafarians.” Bobby Henderson runs the site.

  • Darwin Correspondence Project

    The Darwin Correspondence Project, which focuses on the naturalist’s personal letters, has a section on Darwin and religion based on what his correspondence reveals about his personal religious beliefs.

  • Evolution Education Research Center

    The Evolution Education Research Center strives to advance the teaching and learning of biological evolution through research. It has branches at Harvard University in Massachusetts; Chapman University in Orange, Calif.; and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The center’s researchers have studied the intersection of science education and religion in both Christian and Muslim societies. Science education professor Brian Alters is founder and director of the Chapman branch. Philip Sadler, director of the science education department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is Harvard’s representative.

  • Society for the Study of Evolution

    The Society for the Study of Evolution promotes the study of organic evolution.

  • TalkOrigins Archive

    The TalkOrigins Archive explores the creationism/evolution controversy in support of mainstream scientific thought, but it includes many links to creationist and intelligent design networks and articles.

Educational resources

  • American Museum of Natural History: Darwin

    The American Museum of Natural History maintains a Darwin section on its website based on a popular exhibit that appeared at the New York City museum from 2005 to 2006. The exhibition has traveled to Boston, Toronto and Chicago before going to the Natural History Museum in London for the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth.

    Contact: 212-769-5100.
  • PBS: Evolution

    The Public Broadcasting System maintains a website for its series Evolution that includes a section on religion.

National and international sources


  • Francisco J. Ayala

    Francisco J. Ayala is professor of biological sciences and of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on population and evolutionary genetics and the interface between religion and science. He was part of a roundtable discussion on religion and evolution as part of the PBS series Evolution in which he stated there was no conflict between Catholicism and Darwinism.

  • Michael Dowd

    The Rev. Michael Dowd is a minister in the evangelical/Pentecostal tradition who calls himself an “evolutionary creationist” preaching a “gospel of evolution.” Dowd says evolution can be reconciled with orthodox Christianity. He is an author and lecturer, and his 2009 book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, addresses the “evolutionary theology” movement. He can be contacted via this website.

  • Niles Eldredge

    Niles Eldredge is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History and was curator of its popular Darwin exhibit. He has blogged as if he were channeling Charles Darwin.

  • Barbara Forrest

    Barbara Forrest is a noted secular humanist and a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La., and co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design. (Read the first chapter, posted at TalkReason.org.) She says the debate over intelligent design and evolution is necessarily a religious, and not a scientific one because intelligent design is a religious, not a scientific, belief. She continues that because intelligent design is an essentially religious viewpoint, it therefore draws in constitutional questions relating to the separation of church and state, making it a legal debate as well.

  • Karl Giberson

    Karl Giberson serves as scholar-in-residence in science and religion at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. He has written or co-written a number of books, including Worlds Apart: The Unholy War Between Science and Religion; Species of Origins: America’s Search for a Creation Story; Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists Versus God and Religion; and Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. He is critical of intelligent design theory, charging that it is a religious belief because the “intelligence” referred to is always God. Giberson has lectured on science and religion at Oxford University and the Vatican, as well as many American universities and colleges.

  • Eugenie Scott

    Eugenie Scott is the former founding director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif. She is a longtime supporter of the teaching of evolution in the public schools and a frequent critic of intelligent design. She was co-editor of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

  • Dennis Venema

    Dennis Venema is an associate professor of biology at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, and an “evolutionary creationist.” He is also a senior fellow at the BioLogos Foundation, which aims to foster dialogue about the interface of science and faith.

  • Matt Young

    Matt Young is co-author of Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism. He teaches physics at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

  • Michael Zimmerman

    Michael Zimmerman is vice-president for academic affairs and provost at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. and founder and director of the Clergy Letter Project. In 2004, he organized a letter-writing effort among Wisconsin clergy to ask Grantsburg, Wis., school officials to keep evolution at the center of the district’s science education. The district had earlier agreed to include alternative theories to be taught, but then reversed itself. About 200 clergy from Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and other churches wrote letters to school administrators asking them not to single out evolution for “special scrutiny.” The campaign turned into the nationwide campaign known as the Clergy Letter Project, which has collected more than 10,000 signatures.


  • John Bloom

    John Bloom is a physics professor at Biola University, a Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. He founded the school’s master’s degree program in science and religion, and he teaches a course in intelligent design that asks the question, “Why isn’t the evidence clearer?”

  • Steve Fuller

    Steve Fuller is a sociology professor at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, and the author of Science v. Religion?: Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution. He has written about preparing for the Darwin bicentennial on the pro-intelligent-design blog Uncommon Descent. He calls on the ID community to further develop ideas about the nature of the designer, in part to counter the Pastafarian parody of the Flying Spaghetti Monster “theory” of the designer. They should not be afraid to discuss God as the designer, he says.

  • Wayne Grudem

    Wayne Grudem is research professor  of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, Ariz. In the 2011 book Should Christians Embrace Evolution?: Biblical and Scientific Responses, for which he wrote the foreword, he asserts that the answer is no. “I am now more firmly convinced than ever that it is impossible to believe consistently in both the truthfulness of the Bible and Darwinian evolution,” he wrote.

    Contact: 888-443-1020.
  • Jonathan Wells

    Jonathan Wells is the author of Icons of Evolution and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that promotes intelligent design. He is the author of “Ten questions to ask your biology teacher about evolution.”

    Contact: 206-292-0401 ext. 107.
  • Jonathan Witt

    Jonathan Witt is the author of Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He maintains multiple blogs, including one on the future of intelligent design.

    Contact: 206-292-0401 ext. 107.

Conflict between evolution and creation

  • Denis Alexander

    Denis Alexander is the emeritus director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. He is the author of Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose?, a discussion of Christianity and evolution.

  • George Coyne

    The Rev. George Coyne is a Jesuit priest and director emeritus of the Vatican Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., which he led for more than 25 years. He presented a lecture titled “The Dance of the Fertile Universe: Evolution or Intelligent Design?” at the Houston Museum of Science in 2009. He is an expert on the religious implications of evolution.

  • Thomas Nagel

    Thomas Nagel is a professor of law and philosophy at New York University who has written a paper describing the constitutionality of “mentioning” intelligent design in science classes. He has described himself as an atheist.

  • Mark Noll

    Mark Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and one of the most cited authorities today on evangelicalism in America. He co-founded the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College, where he taught for many years. Noll’s many books include America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln.

    He was part of an online panel that discussed the conflict between religion and evolution for the PBS television series Evolution.

  • Robert Pollack

    Robert Pollack is a professor of biological sciences at Columbia University in New York City. He is the author of The Faith of Biology & the Biology of Faith and was part of an online panel that discussed the conflict between religion and evolution for the PBS series Evolution.

  • Jeffrey Schloss

    Jeffrey Schloss is professor of biology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and evolutionary research consultant for the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is interested in the relationship between evolutionary and theological understandings of altruism. Schloss co-edited Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue (Oxford University Press, 2002) and Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective (Eerdmans, 2005).

  • Keith Ward

    Keith Ward is an ordained Anglican priest and a senior fellow at the Metanexus Institute, where he gives frequent public lectures on the subject of science and religion. Topics have included “Has Science Made Belief in God Obsolete?” and “Can the Cruelty and Waste of Evolution Be Reconciled With Creation by a Good God?”

    Contact: 484-592-0304.
  • Jay D. Wexler

    Jay D. Wexler is a professor of law at Boston University School of Law, where he teaches law and religion.

    He has written extensively on the evolution-intelligent design conflict in the public schools. In 2007, he correctly predicted that the next legislative battleground would not be about teaching intelligent design but about states and localities trying to get schools to teach “arguments against evolution.”

Regional sources

In the Northeast

  • Randy Bennett

    Randy Bennett is an associate professor of biology at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. He is an expert on evolution and the relationship between religion and science. He is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Daryl P. Domning

    Daryl P. Domning is an anatomy professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is an expert on vertebrate paleontology, marine mammals and the creation-evolution controversy and can discuss evolutionary theology.

  • Laurie Godfrey

    Laurie Godfrey is an anthropology professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She and Andrew Petto are co-editors of Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

  • John Haught

    John Haught, an emeritus professor of theology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., believes that spiritual experiences are connected to the brain processes and dependent on them but not reducible to them. He says it is possible to distinguish between the chemical basis of experiences and the experiences themselves. Life and mind cannot be reduced to chemistry any more than the content of a written page can be reduced to the chemistry of ink and paper, he says. He has written extensively on the relationship between scientific and religious belief as well as on atheism.

    He is the author of God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution and Deeper than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution. Haught took part in a Jan. 21, 2009, symposium, “Evolution and God: 150 years after The Origin of Species.”

    Contact: 202-687-6119.
  • Kenneth Miller

    Kenneth Miller is a biology professor at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. He felt that the debate over intelligent design and evolution was both religious and political in that ID proponents want to enlist the government to ensure their ideas are taught in public schools under the banner of First Amendment protection.


  • Bruce Wightman

    Bruce Wightman is an associate professor of biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. He is an expert on genetics, evolution and the interface between science and religion.

In the South

  • Daniel I. Bolnick

    Daniel I. Bolnick is an associate professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He can discuss natural selection and the creationism-evolution conflict.

  • Daniel K. Brannan

    Daniel K. Brannan is a professor of biology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is an expert on evolutionary biology-Christian theology interfaces. He wrote an article for the Metanexus Institute’s online journal titled “Confessions of an Evolutionary Biologist,” in which he explored his belief in evolution and God.

  • Victor H. Hutchison

    Victor H. Hutchison is a professor emeritus of zoology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He is an expert on evolution and the creationism-evolution debate.

  • Patricia H. Kelley

    Patricia H. Kelley is a geology professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She is an expert on invertebrate paleontology, the debate between creation and evolution, and the compatibility of religion and science.

  • John W. Oller Jr.

    John W. Oller Jr. is a professor of communicative disorders at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is on the technical advisory board of the Institute for Creation Research, which lists him as a “creation scientist.”

  • J. Michael Plavcan

    J. Michael Plavcan is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He contributed a chapter titled “The Invisible Bible: The Logic of Creation Science” to Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

  • Kelly C. Smith

    Kelly C. Smith is an associate professor of philosophy and a Lemon Fellow of the Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. He can discuss the philosophy of science and the role of faith and reason in science.

  • Texas Freedom Network

    The Texas Freedom Network is a pro-evolution citizens watchdog group that monitors science education standards in the state. Its Texas Faith Network is a group of clergy and laypeople who would like to keep religious teaching about the origins of the world and of life out of the public school classroom.

  • Christopher Thrutchley

    Christopher Thrutchley is a lawyer in Tulsa, Okla., who has written a paper titled “Eroding Biblical Foundation, Exploding Judicial Activism,” about what he sees as the erosion that teaching evolution has had on the nation’s laws.

  • Todd C. Wood

    Todd C. Wood is Core Academy president and professor of biochemistry in Dayton, Tenn. He is listed by the Institute of Creation Research as a “creation scientist.”

In the Midwest

  • Daniel Harlow

    Daniel Harlow is a religion professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., whose research interests include evolutionary science and Christian theology. When Harlow wrote an article questioning the historical Adam, he faced a college investigation.

  • Christopher Hays

    Christopher Hays is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Washington County in West Bend. He is an expert on the relationship between science and religion.

  • George L. Murphy

    George L. Murphy is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has a doctorate in physics. He can discuss theology and science. He lives in Tallmadge, Ohio.

  • Andrew Petto

    Andrew Petto is a senior lecturer in biosciences at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He and Laurie Godfrey are co-editors of Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

In the West

  • Byron Adams

    Byron Adams is an associate professor in the department of microbiology and molecular biology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He can discuss evolution and its relationship to Mormonism.

  • David Leaf

    David Leaf is a biology professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He is an expert in molecular and cell biology and evolutionary developmental biology and has taught a course for high school and middle school teachers on the controversy involving evolution-creationism-intelligent design.

  • Jonathon C. Marshall

    Jonathon C. Marshall is an assistant professor of herpetology and evolutionary genetics at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He can discuss evolutionary biology and Mormonism and science.

  • Michael Oard

    Michael Oard is a meteorologist who has written widely in support of creationism. He is listed as a speaker with both the Creation Research Society and Answers in Genesis. He lives in Montana.

    Contact: via CRS at 928-636-1153.
  • Catherine Russell

    Catherine Russell is the author behind the Epic of Evolution website, which is designed to assist educators in teaching evolution. She is based in Boulder, Colo. She can discuss evolution education and celebrating grace through evolution.

  • John G. West

    John G. West is a vice-president and senior fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science. He contributed an opinion piece about the Louisiana Science Education Act to the National Review. He has a special interest in C.S. Lewis and co-edited The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia.

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