Forty percent of Americans favor teaching "creation science" instead of evolution in public schools. Fully 68 percent would like to see creationism taught alongside evolution. Given those figures, the decision by the Kansas Board of Education in August to downgrade the teaching of evolution should not come as a shock.
We might well expect other states to take similar actions, especially since the Kansans apparently have found a legal way to discourage the teaching of evolution. The board did not mandate the teaching of creationism—a move that has been construed by the courts as the imposition of a religious belief and hence a violation of the First Amendment. Instead, it revised state standards to make the teaching of evolution optional, thereby encouraging local schools to omit the topic from their classrooms.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).