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Science, Teachers and Clergy Strengthen Bonds at AAAS Evolution Event–Summary

ST. LOUIS — Leaders from education, religion and science convened with 400 educators and others here Sunday for a frank look at the challenges educators face in teaching evolution and defending the integrity of science in their classrooms.

Many of the teachers came from the St. Louis area for the “Evolution on the Front Line,” event held in conjunction with the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting and backed by three dozen of the nation’s biggest science and education organizations. Other teachers came from as far away as Dover, Pa., and Cobb County, Ga., two flashpoints in the effort to keep religion from being imposed on U.S. science classrooms.

Over the course of three-and-a-half hours, they heard both elegant discourse on the origins of life and practical advice on how to respond when students, parents or local school officials pressure them to avoid teaching evolution or to introduce creationism or intelligent design doctrine into classes.

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