Voices of Reason: Teaching Evolution in America’s Classrooms

Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, March 19th 2009 at 8:00 pm
General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 W 44th St.

Join CFI on Thursday, March 19, for a freewheeling panel discussion, featuring teachers and students who’ve been on the front lines of the battle over evolution in the classroom, about how Darwin’s theory of evolution is actually taught—and not  taught—in schools around the nation. Participants include David Campbell , a high school biology teacher from Jacksonville, FLA profiled in The New York Times last year ; CFI’s Matthew LaClair , president of our campus outreach organization; and Jose Maldonado , principal of Columbia Secondary  School for Math, Science and Engineering and an adjunct faculty member at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. The panel will be moderated by CFI-NYC’s program director, Susan Jacoby , and a booksigning will follow for the new paperback edition of her book, The Age of American Unreason .  The panel discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

The event, in honor of the Darwin bicentennial, will focus on the way the forbidden E-word is discussed by teachers and students, from the southern Bible Belt to Manhattan.  Campbell is not only a teacher in a school with many students from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds; he also helped write the state’s new standards mandating the teaching of evolution. One of his major concerns has been how to reach students whose religious backgrounds make them hostile to any mention of evolution. LaClair was selected by the American Civil Liberties Union as its 2008 Youth Scholar after organizing opposition to the promotion of creationism by a faculty member at his New Jersey high school. Moldanado, in addition to his duties as a school principle, helps future train science teachers.

Admission is $10 (free for Friends of the Center ). Reservations are recommended, as space is limited. You may purchase in advance by credit card (call 212-504-2937 or e-mail nyc [at] centerforinquiry [dot] net), or by check (made payable to the Center for Inquiry-New York City; mail to 80 Broad St, 5th Fl., New York, NY 10004). Alternatively, you may pay at the door by cash, check, or credit card.