Nov. 9, 2004 – A Georgia school board is in court this week over "disclaimer" stickers it placed on biology textbooks stating that the theory of evolution has not been proven as fact. A Cobb County School Board spokesperson said the stickers represent a gesture to pacify parents who believe creationism should be taught along side the theory of human evolution.
The stickers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
In 2002, when Georgia schools began teaching evolution in biology, over 2,000 parents petitioned the school to include creationism in the curriculum as well. Instead, the Board decided on the disclaimer sticker. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism is a religious belief and cannot be taught in public schools.
Now, other parents, with the help of the ACLU are challenging the stickers, saying they violate the separation of church and state.
In court on Monday, Kenneth Miller, co-author of the textbook, said that his concern with the stickers is that they single out evolution and might give students the impression that "we are certain of everything in this book except evolution." Additionally, he said, "it plays on the popular understanding of the word â€˜theory,â€™ which is like a hunch, not a scientific understanding."