The Freedom From Religion Foundation stood up for students' rights to learn science based in facts, not the supernatural, after a middle school teacher taught and promoted intelligent design in Mead, Wash.
The science teacher at Northwood Middle School showed his seventh grade class a video called, "Unlocking the Mystery of Life," which promotes intelligent design and features academics who believe in the improvable theory. At the end of the video's screening, the teacher reportedly made his students repeat that Darwin's theory of evolution would break down if one part of the bacterial flagellum's machinery was to occur out of order or not at all.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel contacted Mead School District's Superintendent, Tom Rockefeller, in a March 20 letter to request that the district take action to make sure similar conduct does recur.
Seidel said the video, endorsed by Campus Crusade for Christ, teaches misunderstandings about DNA and bacterial flagellum. The video concludes that the universe "can only be explained by intelligent design," Seidel said, adding that showing the video did a great disservice to the scientific literacy of the students.
"Evolution, like gravity, is a scientific fact," he said. "Teaching that there is a scientific controversy about the validity of evolution is akin to teaching astronomy with astrology or alchemy beside chemistry."
Rockefeller responded on April 8 to say that the district reviewed the incident and the video will not be shown as a part of future curriculum.