"A recent national poll revealed that only 23% of biology teachers strongly agreed that evolution is the unifying theory of biology — and it's no surprise that U.S. students rank low among industrialized countries in science and match scores," the press release for a new documentary, No Dinosaurs in Heaven, states. The film trailer (embedded below), notes that 60% of Americans want creationism taught alongside of evolution in public schools.
From Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Greta Schiller, No Dinosaurs in Heaven explores the real threat of creationists getting teaching credentials in order to infiltrate science education.
The film is the cornerstone of the national "Celebrate Science" campaign that is touring tour the country, bringing the documentary and discussion to college campuses and community groups, as well as to the New York Academy of Sciences, the Los Angeles Center for Inquiry and other science institutions. Working with organizations such as the National Center for Science Education and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the campaign will cast a light on this important issue in our nation’s educational system.
The documentary explores the problem of creationists who earn science degrees in order to sneak their anti-science beliefs into the classroom. As a backdrop in the film, Dr. Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education leads a raft trip down the Grand Canyon, where the creationist and evolutionary explanations of this natural wonder are juxtaposed. Creationists say that the Grand Canyon is evidence of the Noah's Ark story in the Bible.
The film moves from the Grand Canyon to the American Museum of Natural History to actual middle school science classes in New York City, where public school teachers find themselves on the front lines of this struggle.
According to Doug Futuyma, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution at SUNY Stony Brook, ”No Dinosaurs in Heaven touches on a host of important issues, from academic freedom to the nature of science. It provides a stimulus for wide-ranging discussion.”
Emmy Award-winning director Greta Schiller (Before Stonewall, Paris Was a Woman) is also a science educator and uses her own experience – with a graduate school biology professor who refused to teach evolution – to expose the insidious dangers of so-called “creationist science” which threatens the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state and undermines scientific literacy. No Dinosaurs in Heaven intelligently argues that public education must steadfastly resist the encroachment of religion in the form of creationism, and that science literacy is essential to a healthy democracy.
Educators and supporters of science can join the “Celebrate Science” campaign and stop creationism from taking over science education. For a tax-deductible donation of $800, No Dinosaurs In Heaven Education Advocates receive 10 licensed Educational DVDs to donate to area schools and libraries, and 10 hard-copy curriculum guides to accompany the film.