Evolution and intelligent design: Understanding public opinion

Matthew C. Nisbet*, Erik C. Nisbet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Tensions in American society over religious and scientific accounts of human origins are centuries old, and the divide between the two contending worldviews continues today as part of an escalating political conflict over science education. At the local, state and national level, religiously motivated activists are working to change curriculum standards to allow for divine accounts of human origins. This fall, the ongoing political struggle will be catapulted into the wider public eye once again as the news media homes in on Dover, Pa. There, the school board decision to include alternatives to evolution as part of the district's official science curriculum is being challenged in federal court, and the citizens of Dover are preparing to go to the polls in a referendum on the issue. Dover will not be the only evolution hotspot, as other communities and states around the country, including Georgia and Kansas continue debates over teaching evolution in public schools. Spearheading the efforts to amend how evolution is taught is the intelligent design (ID) movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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