As the world celebrates the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth and the publication of On the Origin of Species, the struggle for the integrity of school science education continues in the USA.
Though new president Barack Obama included in his inaugural speech a clarion call to "restore science to its rightful place" in America, the respected National Centre for Science Education (NCSE) says that 'evolution wars' are far from over - as it publishes the second edition of a book highlighting the problem of fundamentalist 'creationism' in the classroom.
"Evolution education is being battered every day in school districts across the US by creationists, whether they're pushing young-earth creationism, intelligent design, or anti-evolutionism in the guise of 'academic freedom', says NCSE - which employs both religious and non-religious advocates for science.
The organisation says that many people are asking: "What's going on here? Why is the United States the only country where teaching evolution is so controversial? Why are scientists so sure that evolution is good science? Are people of faith truly unable to accept the central principle of modern biology? Is it really "fair" for creationism to be taught alongside evolution? What have the courts said? And will attacks on evolution ultimately undermine not only American education but American competitiveness?"
These and a range of other questions are addresses in the second edition of Evolution vs. Creationism, Dr Eugenie Scott's lucid and comprehensive look at this ongoing debate.
Dr Scott, one of the leading promoters and defenders of teaching evolution in the schools, dissects ever-changing efforts to undermine science education.
Praised for its balance and comprehensiveness (even by some creationists), the book places the issues in today's headlines into historical, cultural, religious, educational, and scientific perspective as no other book does.
Updated, revamped, and expanded, the book adds another 70 pages of new and revised material, including:
* A new foreword by US District Judge John E. Jones III, who ruled in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover case that said 'intelligent design' is not science.
* A new chapter on testing intelligent design and evidence against evolution in the courts.
* A new chapter on evolution and creationism in the media and public opinion.
* An up-to-date analysis of the most recent creationist challenges across the country.
The second edition also expands and updates the collection of primary source documents that address cosmology, law, education, popular culture, and religious issues from all sides of the debate, and details new resources for further information.
The NCSE describes Evolution vs. Creationism as "the perfect resource for teachers, professors, libraries, and anybody who wants to learn about the perennial creationism/evolution controversy."
More information: http://ncseweb.org/evc