As a scientist by training, it pains me when I see full-on idiocy being promoted by anyone, but of late, it's largely been the conservatives with their heads up their asses. The latest offense is the effort in promoting the teaching of "intelligent design" (read: creationism) in schools. This one galls me the most because I am a biologist. Sure, I suppose an omnipotent higher power _could have_ designed all life on this planet, and embedded fossils in the ground, but by the same token, a highly advanced race of space aliens could have done the same thing. That doesn't mean that it happened. Evolution is the simplest explanation - we've actually seen evolution at work in the adaptation of various microbes to selective pressures. Occam's Razor
applies here, folks - that's kind of the whole point of science. Science is about finding facts, and then developing the simplest theory that encompasses the totality of the facts. Inventing a higher power or an alien race is quite clearly not the simplest theory when we already have observed evolutionary events occur (albeit not on a grand scale).
From a recent article
in the Washington Post
At the state and local level, from South Carolina to California, these advocates are using lawsuits and school board debates to counter evolutionary theory. Alabama and Georgia legislators recently introduced bills to allow teachers to challenge evolutionary theory in the classroom. Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have approved new rules allowing that. And a school board member in a Tennessee county wants stickers pasted on textbooks that say evolution remains unproven.
A prominent effort is underway in Kansas, where the state Board of Education intends to revise teaching standards. That would be progress, Southern Baptist minister Terry Fox said, because "most people in Kansas don't think we came from monkeys."
Of course evolution remains unproven. You can never _prove_ a theory beyond a doubt, as it only takes one counter-example to disprove it. However, evolution has withstood all challenges to this date, and my guess is that it will continue to do so. And with (no) respect to the minister - evolution doesn't say that we came from monkeys, it says that at some point long ago in the past, it is likely that we shared a common ancestor. There is a significant difference in meaning.
Go read the rest of the article. It's not just limited to evolution, but that's the visible issue. The religious right is systematically dismantling scientific thought and replacing it with their own beliefs. It's terribly depressing that most Americans can't separate their faith from their worldview. It's one of the reasons that the U.S. is falling behind Europe, Japan, and soon China and India in innovation, research, productivity, you name it. Better go learn Mandarin soon.