The Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy has sponsored a series of papers that provide the background for positions that the Center for Inquiry has adopted on major issues. These papers discuss the relevant issues in depth, providing an objective analysis of the issue in question, with a review of the available evidence and citations to supporting sources. They are listed below in alphabetical order. Each title is accompanied by a summary of the position taken.
Table of Contents
Acupuncture: A Science-Based Assessment
Robert Slack, Jr. argues that a robust and growing body of research shows that acupuncture has no intrinsic clinical value. The uncritical adoption of acupuncture adds significant costs to the United States’ already overburdened healthcare system, lowers standards of medical training and treatment, and lends dangerous and undue authority to pseudoscience, ultimately degrading respect for science in the public realm.
In recent decades, public interest in acupuncture has grown dramatically. Proponents of acupuncture repeatedly make the unjustified claim that acupuncture is an efficacious and cost effective complement to conventional medicine. These claims rely on dubious and discredited research data. During the past ten years, an increasingly robust body of research has accumulated showing that acupuncture has no intrinsic clinical value. Despite mounting empirical evidence against it, however, acupuncture has become increasingly embedded within the American healthcare system, in part through government funding of integrative medical clinics. The Center for Inquiry’s paper on acupuncture, written by Robert Slack, Jr., offers compelling evidence that the uncritical adoption of acupuncture adds significant costs to the United States’ already overburdened healthcare system, lowers standards of medical training and treatment, and lends dangerous and undue authority to pseudoscience, ultimately degrading respect for science in the public realm.
CFI’s paper was authored by Robert Slack, Jr. a writer living and working in Maryland. Mr. Slack was assisted by biophysicist Eugenie V. Mielczarek, emeritus professor of physics at George Mason University.
A Call to Legalize Physician Assistance in Dying for the Terminally Ill
Ronald A. Lindsay states the position of CFI/OPP that with appropriate safeguards, terminally ill patients should be allowed the help of physicians in dying. The argument is based on the experience of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act (ODWDA), which is appended to the paper.
Few issues in bioethics have received as much sustained attention as the question of whether the terminally ill should have the right to hasten their deaths through prescribed medication, a practice known as assisted suicide or assistance in dying. This question has been debated in Congress, state legislatures, the Supreme Court, in books and scholarly articles, and in the popular press. The Center for Inquiry believes the time is appropriate to re-examine this issue, in part because Oregon has now had in effect for a decade a statute that permits physician assistance in dying under certain circumstances. Some who oppose legalization of the practice have predicted that legalization would result in a parade of horribles: thousands being rushed to a premature death, many patients being coerced into requesting assisted dying, a decline in the quality of health care for the terminally ill, and the beginning of a slippery slope to legalizing assisted suicide on demand. Our position paper carefully examines Oregon’s experience and concludes that none of the dire predictions has proven to be accurate. Moreover, if proper safeguards are in place, there is no reason to believe that legalization will result in unacceptable consequences.
CFI’s position paper also examines perhaps the most well-known argument against legalization, namely that it will violate the “sanctity of life.” However, as demonstrated in the paper, it is inconsistent to oppose physician assistance in dying based on the “sanctity of life” while also permitting withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, which is legal throughout the United States.
Terminally ill patients deserve the right to spend their last days at peace rather than in anxiety and torment. CFI calls upon other states to legalize physician assistance in dying through legislation similar to Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.
CFI’s position paper on assistance in dying was authored by Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lindsay is Vice President and General Counsel for CFI. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown University. He has written other articles on assistance in dying and was co-author of an amicus brief submitted on behalf of prominent bioethicists and scholars in Gonzales v. Oregon, the Supreme Court case that ruled the Attorney General could not prohibit the prescription of barbiturates by physicians pursuant to the ODWDA.
The Ethics of Genetic Engineering
David Koepsell summarizes arguments for and against genetic engineering and concludes that it should be understood as an extension of already well-accepted techniques and therefore, with appropriate regulations, the benefits of genetic engineering outweigh its harms.
Genetic engineering has created both great expectations and great fears. Some believe this new technology will provide us with a cornucopia of genetically modified foods along with therapies that will rid of us of many diseases and infirmities. Others decry the prospect of “Frankenfoods” and warn us that using this technology to change our capacities and traits will rob us of our dignity and may result in a class of “superhumans.” In the Center for Inquiry’s position paper on “The Ethics of Genetic Engineering,” David Koepsell steers a middle course between those who advocate banning the technology based on irrational fears and those who would give carte blanche to the new technology, heedless of some of the technology’s risks and problems. After summarizing the basic science behind genetic engineering, Koepsell identifies and analyzes the principal ethical concerns presented by this new technology. Koepsell then advocates a reasoned, science-based approach to controlling applications of this technology. As set forth in the paper, the Center for Inquiry maintains that we should welcome the benefits of this new technology, but ensure that it is regulated appropriately.
David Koepsell earned his law degree and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from SUNY at Buffalo. He has authored numerous philosophical articles, and authored and edited several books, including The Ontology of Cyberspace (Open Court 2000), and Searle on the Institutions of Social Reality (Blackwell 2003) (with Lawrence Moss). He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Bioethics at Yale in 2007.
For God and Country: Religious Fundamentalism in the U.S. Military
James Parco argues that over the past decade there has been a disturbing expansion and entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. armed forces which remains at times both tacitly and overtly endorsed by senior military leaders. Parco examines several case studies that demonstrate a clear pattern of unconstitutional religiously sectarian behavior, then analyzes the merits of the competing philosophical perspectives on the proper role of religious expression by men and women in uniform. He concludes the paper with recommendations that should be implemented immediately.
Over the past decade there have been multiple news reports highlighting an intensified tension regarding what constitutes proper religious expression in the United States Armed Forces. However, there has been a scarce amount of thorough research examining the connection between these reports and, going further, proposing possible solutions. As a result, there has been a lack of information with which to stoke social and political will for change.
In this position paper, James Parco provides compelling evidence there has been a disturbing expansion and entrenchment of Christian fundamentalism in the U.S. military, a cultural force which remains at times both tacitly and overtly endorsed by senior military leaders. Parco supports his claim by presenting a number of case studies demonstrating a clear pattern of unconstitutional religiously sectarian behavior. He then analyzes the merits of the competing philosophical perspectives on the proper role of religious expression by men and women in uniform.
Parco concludes the report with recommendations that those in power should implement immediately in order to fully protect the U.S. military’s necessarily secular foundation and the religious freedom of all who volunteer to serve.
James Parco, PhD., Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) is an associate professor of economics and business at Colorado College. He graduated with a bachelors’ degree in economics from the U.S. Air Force Academy and was commissioned in 1991. He went on to earn an MBA from the College of William & Mary and a PhD. from the University of Arizona. After completing his doctorate, he returned to the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has also served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration, as well as in a diplomatic capacity overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. Parco retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in 2011.
To download the author’s foreword, a summary of key findings, and the full position paper, please follow these links:
Global Climate Change Triggered By Global Warming
Stuart D. Jordan, argues that global warming is a scientifically established fact. Much could be done to mitigate its effects. The obstacles to action are political rather than technological.
CFI’s paper on global climate change, written by Stuart D. Jordan, Ph.D, offers compelling evidence from a large body of research that global climate change caused by global warming is already underway and requires our immediate attention. As the paper explains, the probability is extremely high that human generated greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide as the major offender, are the primary cause of global warming and that this global warming will produce harmful climate change. The paper also points out, however, that much can be done now to mitigate the effects of global warming and the associated climate change. Difficulties in addressing the problem are not caused primarily by unavailable technology, but by the lack of sufficient incentives to implement the new technologies more aggressively.
Dr. Stuart D. Jordan is a Senior Staff Scientist (Emeritus) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Jordan is a Rhodes Scholar and he has published dozens of articles in refereed scientific journals.
The Importance of Appropriate Sexuality Education
Gwen Brewer, Margaret Brown, and Michael Migdal argue for comprehensive education in human sexuality for adolescents, as opposed to “abstinence-until-marriage” education promoted by evangelicals and funded by the Bush administration.
Protecting Scientific Integrity
Derek Araujo, Daniel Horowitz, and Ronald A. Lindsay confront the problem of ideological interference with the publication and dissemination of scientific research results and proposes specific language for legislation in three areas—scientific research, advisory boards, and dissemination of information.
The last few years have witnessed scores of complaints from government scientists concerning interference by political appointees with the scientists’ research and reports summarizing their findings. There have been other complaints about the work of some federal advisory committees, such as the Energy Task Force chaired by Vice President Cheney, on the ground that the work of these committees is carried out in secret and is subject to influence from special interests. Special interests have also taken advantage of vague statutory provisions, such as the Data Quality Act, to stall needed regulation. All of these problems are often referred to under the heading of “scientific integrity.” Congress is currently considering legislation to address these problems. The Center for Inquiry has produced a position paper that addresses this set of issues and provides very specific recommendations concerning the legislative language that is required to correct these problems. Public policy should be based on science; but it must be based on sound science, not politically manipulated science.
The paper was authored by Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D., Derek Araujo, J.D., and Daniel Horowitz, J.D. Dr. Lindsay is Director of Research and Legal Affairs for CFI. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown University. Mr. Araujo is the Executive Director of CFI-New York. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Before joining CFI, he was a litigation associate with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Mr. Horowitz is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has worked in private practice and the government for 30 years, specializing in the field of federal income taxation. While continuing in that practice part-time, he now also volunteers for CFI as well as other organizations.
Protecting Scientific Integrity: An Update
Derek Araujo, Daniel Horowitz, and Ronald A. Lindsay update the previous position paper. The update focuses on recommended statutory language to ensure that scientists can communicate their personal views on matters of public concern, and on reform of the Data Quality Act to help prevent its abuse by interests seeking to block needed regulation.
Congress is currently considering legislation to address problems relating to scientific integrity, including measures to prevent political interference with the work of government scientists. In May, the Center for Inquiry produced a position paper that proposed legislation that would prevent tampering with federally funded scientific research and promote the impartiality of federal advisory committees. The Center also recommended repeal or reform of the Data Quality Act.
The Center has continued to study and consider the problem of protecting scientific integrity following submission of our first position paper on this set of issues. Based on the Center’s further work, we have additional recommendations. Specifically, CFI recommends statutory language to ensure that scientists may communicate their personal views on matters of public concern and to re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment. CFI also has additional recommendations on reforming the Data Quality Act. Specifically, CFI recommends that any request for correction (RFC) submitted under the Data Quality Act include a representation under penalties of perjury that the complainant has presented all relevant information of which it is aware, whether or not publicly available at the time of the RFC. CFI believes this will act as a disincentive to the filing of frivolous RFCs.
CFI’s latest position paper on scientific integrity was authored by Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D., Derek Araujo, J.D., and Daniel Horowitz, J.D. Dr. Lindsay is Director of Research and Legal Affairs for CFI. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown University. Mr. Araujo is the Executive Director of CFI-New York. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Before joining CFI, he was a litigation associate with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Mr. Horowitz is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has worked in private practice and the government for 30 years, specializing in the field of federal income taxation. While continuing in that practice part-time, he now also volunteers for CFI as well as other organizations
Public Health and Contraception
Margaret Brown argues that contraception should be considered a public health not a moral issue, as religious groups have characterized it. The paper discusses recent developments in contraception, including the struggle to make Plan B available to anyone who needs an emergency contraceptive.
Two of the most controversial issues in the last few years have been the availability of safe and effective contraception, especially emergency contraception, and the Bush administration’s funding of abstinence-only education programs. Debate on these issues often has been portrayed by religious fundamentalists as a debate over sexual morality, with abstinence the presumptively “moral” way to prevent pregnancy. The Center for Inquiry’s position papers on Public Health and Contraception and on The Importance of Appropriate Sexuality Education demonstrate that this is a thoroughly misguided way to approach these issues. First and foremost, the availability of contraception is a public health issue. Safe and effective contraception is essential to protect individuals from sexually transmitted infections and prevent unwanted pregnancies. It is also critical for allowing individuals, especially women, to have appropriate control over their sexual expression. With respect to abstinence-only education, these programs have been shown to be ineffective in preventing pregnancy. Moreover, because they do not provide appropriate knowledge about sexuality, they needlessly expose teenagers and young adults to sexually transmitted infections as well as a distorted understanding of human sexual expression. The failure and dangers of abstinence-only education show, once again, the folly of basing public policy on religious doctrine instead of sound science.
Public Health and Contraception is authored by Margaret Brown, Ph.D. Dr. Brown received her doctorate degree in Family Studies from the University of Delaware. As a Family Specialist, Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware, Dr. Brown has identified for parents and legislators “recommended practices” to promote positive adolescent sexuality development based on published research studies. She has also chaired the Sexuality Committee of a national Extension group which promoted the inclusion of evidence-based practices regarding adolescent sexuality in Extension programming for youth.
The Importance of Appropriate Sexuality Education was authored by Dr. Brown, Gwen Brewer, Ph.D. and Michael J. Migdal, Ph.D. Dr. Brewer is an emeritus professor at California State University, Northridge, where she taught courses in early modern English literature and women’s studies. She is now active in numerous organizations, including the Center for Inquiry, the ACLU, and the League of Women voters. Dr. Migdal earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Syracuse University. His research focused on group perception and stereotyping.
Public Health and Contraception was released and distributed by CFI in November 2006, but is posted here for the first time in conjunction with its companion study, the Importance of Appropriate Sexuality Education.
Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Derek C. Araujo states the Center for Inquiry’s position that the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bars gay and lesbian service members from serving openly, should be repealed.
Upon the urging of the Obama administration, Congress took up legislation in 2009 and 2010 that would repeal the sixteen-year-old ban on openly gay military service members known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The policy prohibits any gay or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any gay relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the military. DADT also prohibits superiors from initiating investigation of a service member’s sexual orientation in the absence of credible evidence of “homosexual conduct.” The military has discharged thousands of gay and lesbian service members for allegedly violating the policy since it was adopted in 1993, including many service members who held critical occupations, such as engineers and interpreters. In March 2010, the Center for Inquiry produced a position paper that called for an immediate end to the policy.
CFI performed a detailed study of the arguments for and against repealing DADT. CFI’s research found that maintaining DADT has significantly compromised the quality, effectiveness and readiness of the United States military. Because of the policy, the United States’ already overstretched military has discharged thousands of valuable and experienced service members while also suffering a significant decline in recruitment. Two branches of the military have diluted their moral, aptitude and education standards to meet recruitment goals. DADT has cost the American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to discharge and train replacements for service members.
CFI’s research also showed that the arguments in favor of maintaining have little basis in evidence or experience. Opposition to allowing gay and lesbian men and women to serve openly has largely crumbled among the public, the military’s top leadership, and among service members. The notion that the presence of openly gay and lesbian service members would threaten “unit cohesion” or military effectiveness is belied by the experience of foreign militaries, by the past experience of the U.S. military, and by detailed studies commissioned by the Pentagon itself. CFI’s position paper concludes that at a time when the United States is engaged in two major wars, it is critical that the military stop discharging valued service members that are crucial to maintaining its effectiveness.
CFI’s position paper on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was authored by Derek C. Araujo, CFI’s General Counsel and director of CFI’s legal department. Mr. Araujo is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to joining CFI’s staff, Mr. Araujo practiced law at a major firm in New York City.
Safeguarding Religious Liberty in Charitable Choice and Faith-Based Initiatives
Daniel Horotwitz and Ruth Mitchell provide detailed recommendations on reforming the recently announced expansion of government funding for so-called “faith-based initiatives,” in which taxpayer dollars are doled out to sectarian religious organizations for the performance of social service programs. This government funding raises legal and constitutional concerns that the administration has yet to address directly.
The Obama administration recently announced an expansion of government funding for so-called “faith-based initiatives,” in which taxpayer dollars are doled out to sectarian religious organizations for the performance of social service programs. This government funding raises legal and constitutional concerns that the administration has yet to address directly. In February, the Center for Inquiry produced a position paper that called for an end to government funding of faith-based programs. Because government funding is scheduled to continue, the Center for Inquiry further recommended the adoption and vigorous enforcement of specific minimum safeguards to protect church-state separation and religious liberty.
CFI performed a detailed historical study of federal funding for faith-based programs, extending from the rise of “charitable choice” legislation during the Clinton administration through the explosion of taxpayer funding for religious programs under George W. Bush’s Faith Based and Community Initiative. The position paper that resulted from this study expresses deep misgivings about government funding of sectarian religious programs. CFI cited concerns that these programs may use taxpayer dollars to support or favor religious activities and beliefs; that government may give preference to particular religious organizations in doling out funds; and that under current standards, recipients of taxpayer funding for faith-based programs are allowed to engage in employment discrimination on the basis of religion.
CFI’s position paper recommends that government funding of faith-based programs be eliminated entirely. CFI’s paper endorses a limited exception for truly secular social services programs, such as Catholic Charities, that have some affiliation with a religious institution but are provided by independent 501(c)(3) charities. CFI maintains that such charities must conduct social service programs without religious content or materials and without engaging in religious discrimination. (Catholic Charities is a non-profit corporation separate and distinct from the Catholic Church.)
CFI’s paper further recommends that if taxpayer funding of faith-based programs continues, certain minimum safeguards should be implemented and enforced. Specifically, CFI recommends that such programs should be barred from discriminating against both beneficiaries and employees on the basis of religion; that such programs should be monitored vigorously to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund religious worship, instruction, or proselytization; and that government must treat programs conducted by religious and secular organizations equally in granting funds, measuring performance, and monitoring for compliance.
CFI’s position paper on charitable choice and faith based initiatives was commissioned by Toni Van Pelt, Government Affairs Director for CFI Office of Public Policy, and authored by Daniel Horowitz, J.D., and Ruth Mitchell, Ph.D. Mr. Horowitz is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has worked in private practice and the government for 30 years, specializing in the field of federal income taxation. While continuing in that practice part-time, he now also volunteers for CFI as well as other organizations. Dr. Mitchell is a graduate of Oxford University; she received her Ph.D. from UCLA. She is a writer, researcher, and analyst in CFI’s Office of Public Policy in Washington, D.C.
Same-Sex Marriage—And Marriage
Ruth Mitchell sees same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue and argues that LGBT people have a right to complete equality. This means marriage, not civil unions, unless, as CFI advocates, all unions, heterosexual or homosexual, are civil unions, leaving religious ceremonies to individual taste.
The Center for Inquiry firmly believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties as heterosexuals. They are also entitled to the same economic benefits. CFI has examined the issue of same-sex marriage and has concluded that as long as the state recognizes and regulates intimate relationships through the institution of marriage, then marriage should be available for LGBT individuals just as it is for heterosexuals. The alternative of civil unions is not acceptable as marriage provides benefits that are not available through civil unions. Moreover, as long as marriage is confined to heterosexuals, LGBT persons are effectively branded as second-class citizens. CFI’s position paper, authored by Dr. Ruth Mitchell, examines the movement for same-sex marriage and analyzes and refutes the arguments that have been offered in opposition to same-sex marriage.
Dr. Ruth Mitchell is a graduate of Oxford University; she received her Ph.D. from UCLA. Dr. Mitchell is a writer, researcher, and analyst, who has devoted much of her career to improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged children. She is the author or editor of several books on educational standards and testing.
Stem Cell Research: An Approach to Bioethics Based on Scientific Naturalism
Ronald A. Lindsay argues that embryonic stem cell research should be funded by the government because of its critical importance in the advancement of medicine. Arguments against funding based on the alleged moral equivalence of an embryo to an adult human are decisively refuted.
In this position paper, which represents the Center for Inquiry’s response to President Bush’s block on embryonic stem-rell research, Ronald A. Lindsay argues that embryonic stem cell research should be funded by the government because of its critical importance in the advancement of medicine. Arguments against funding based on the alleged moral equivalence of an embryo to an adult human are decisively refuted.
Dr. Lindsay is Director of Research and Legal Affairs for CFI. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown University.
The School Voucher Crisis
Edd Doerr argues that the renewed push for school voucher programs in the United States, combined with an unprecedented number of assaults on public schools, threatens the idea of religiously neutral, democratic public education. Doerr shows how this crisis is among the most serious in our history, and how it could have profound, perhaps irreversible, effects on our future.
The question of whether government(s) should compel taxpayers to support religion-based and other private schools has vexed the United States for over two centuries. Controversies over this question extend back to the beginning of the American republic, but have been intensifying over the past half century, reaching crisis proportions since the elections of 2010. Combined with a renewed drive to provide public funding for religious and other private schools has been an unprecedented number of assaults on the public schools that serve 90 percent of our K-12 students. Together, this two-front war on freedom of religion and public education constitutes nothing short of a major national crisis.
In this position paper, Ed Doerr shows how this crisis is among the most serious in our history, and how it could have profound, perhaps irreversible, effects on our future. Doerr argues that Americans have both the power and the duty to end the threats to our most important principles and institutions.
Edd Doerr is president of Americans for Religious Liberty, past president of the American Humanist Association, and a columnist for Free Inquiry magazine. A well-published writer, he is a former public school teacher (history, government, Spanish) and since 1966 has been a full-time professional in the religious freedom field.
The True Meaning of the Establishment Clause
Edward Tabash provides a history of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and argues that this history requires the interpretation that government may not favor religion in general or in particular. The government must remain neutral between belief and nonbelief.
Defining the proper boundaries between church and state has been a source of much debate and litigation. One reason for the continuing disputes on this issue is the lack of consensus on the true meaning and significance of the Establishment Clause.
The Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy is pleased to release a position paper that analyzes the issue from a legal and historical perspective and provides a convincing argument in support of the view that the Establishment Clause was intended to maintain strict neutrality between believers and nonbelievers. The Clause was not designed merely to prohibit government favoring of one particular religion.
The thoroughly researched paper is authored by Edward Tabash, a First Amendment scholar, prominent civil rights attorney, and a specialist in church-state litigation.
Understanding The Intelligent Design Creationist Movement
Barbara Forrest was an expert witness in the Kitzmiller. v. Dover Area School District case in 2005. She establishes that “intelligent design” is just creationism in disguise and warns that the Discovery Institute and fellow creationists will continue to invent ways to subvert the teaching of biology in the schools unless we remain true to the principles of free and critical thinking.
In this paper, Dr. Forrest provides an insightful analysis of the intelligent design (ID) movement. She demonstrates convincingly that the ID movement is simply a continuation of creationism. Proponents of ID have tried to obscure this connection by use of scientific fig leaves, but their “science” turns out to be nothing more than religious doctrine. Forrest describes in detail the ID movement’s plans to obtain public and political support for its agenda. This paper is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution/intelligent design controversy
Dr. Barbara Forrest is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a recognized expert on the intelligent design creationist movement, having published numerous articles and a book on this topic. She testified as an expert witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board, the landmark case in which a group of parents successfully challenged an attempt to introduce the teaching of intelligent design into the public schools.