Scopes Trial in PA

Having gone to college in Ohio, and lived in the midwest most of my life, I have been many places where I can imagine that the community/public schools would be teaching this new “Theory” of evolution, ie Intelligent Design. When it comes to the east coast, and near here, to find out that soon, September 26th, the Dover Public Schools will be entering a civil trial in Harrisburgh to “defend its policy requiring ninth-grade students to hear about “intelligent design” before biology lessons on evolution. “ It has me realizing that this craziness is getting close.

Now I understand that the 1925 Scopes trial upset a few people that think the bible has it right in terms of how we are here, but this is kind of crazy. First, this is putting church into our tax paid public school system. Second, these teachers aren’t teaching these kids about “Unintelligent Design”, they are forced to state, before teaching about Evolution, “keep an open mind about what we are going to tell you.” Obviously this was created by a bunch of adults who forget what it’s like being a kid. I remember in Math class asking repeatedly “Why are we learning about this? What good will it do in life?” And most of the time we were passing notes and not listening to the teachers. My point is, kids question everything, and if they are going to believe the bible and not science, then they will, I have met many people that went through school only to come out still believing.

I had thought that these legal debates were about teaching these subjects, not about telling our teachers what to say to kids. Let our teachers teach, they hardly get paid, and yet they want to teach our kids. They work the hardest job, and I feel they deserve the most respect. Doesn’t it feel wrong to MAKE them state the following before a lesson on Evolution?

“The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s theory of evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

“Because Darwin’s theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

“Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, ‘Of Pandas and People,’ is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.

“With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments.”

What’s next? Maybe in English class to tell the class first before reading a literary work that “We don’t really know the author personally, so we can’t be 100% sure of what he/she meant.” Or gee, maybe we should put a disclaimer on who discovered America first, or wait weren’t people living here already? I hope we don’t have to start putting parental warning stickers on text books. Soon we’ll be living in fear, afraid to send our kids outside as maybe they might learn something that we don’t agree with.

And yes some may say “Evolution is required to be taught” isn’t that wrong? So is English, Math and others. I can produce hundreds of books that say we come from alien lifeform, or the planent Mars. That statement says “I.D.” is an explanation, not a theory, wheras Evolution is a Theory, one that has stood for 80 years. Please prove I.D. or Creationism, or prove Darwin wrong. Until then it’ll be taught, as it should be.

My advice, let it go. Talk with your kids, invite them to question everything and to learn about it all. Knowledge is good, forcing teachers to make statements isn’t. And if you don’t like what’s on TV, turn your TV off and leave mine alone.

2 Comments so far

  1. Robert Jackson (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 9:01 pm

    I say let it go as well. Have the teachers talk to the kids and invite them to question everything including Darwinism. Knowledge is good, forcing teachers to only teach one theory is propaganda for the faith of evolution.


  2. Andrew Ridley (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 2:50 pm

    I agree that putting a disclaimer on science books that teach evolution is rediculous. However, I wouldn’t compare the validity of evolution to the validity of the unquestioned “greatness” of Columbus.



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