The Loom

The Monkeys Win

Georgia’s State Schools superintendent Kathy Cox has backed down from her ban on the word evolution.

While this is excellent news, Georgia is still left with an incompetent superintendent. For one thing, she thinks Intelligent Design is an acceptable theory to teach in schools. For another, she justified removing the word evolution from state science standards by saying: “”By putting the word in there, we thought people would jump to conclusions and think, ‘OK, we’re going to be teaching the monkeys-to-man sort of thing.’ Which is not what happens in a modern biology classroom.”

In a sense I’m sure she did not intend, Cox is right. Monkeys did not evolve into humans, no more than your cousins are your grandparents. In a modern biology classroom, students learn that molecular and fossil evidence indicate that monkeys and humans descend from a common ancestor some 25 million of years ago.

I’m pretty sure she meant something else though, something that is yet another reason why she should resign.

Comments

  1. #1 Walt
    February 5, 2004

    The monkeys shouldn’t pat themselves on the back yet. Here in Montana, a local board of education passed new curriculum standards allowing creationism to be taught in science class.

    These new standards came at the behest of a local minister and a spokesman for the Discovery Institute, which I assume needs no introduction.

    It’s an election year, with our superintendent of public education up for re-election. The current superintendent has courageously defended the teaching of evolution and has been attacked by her Republican rival for doing so.

    Expect this to become a big issue in Montana next year, when new faces take office and our Legislature meets for its biennial session.

  2. #2 Dormie
    February 6, 2004

    I live in Atlanta. The Kathy Cox statements created a firestorm in the state. I was heartened that a wide range of educators, journalists and politicians strongly opposed her proposals. She is/was an embarrassment.

    BTW, Cox has had a knack for saying remarkably stupid things about a wide range of topics. She has been viewed here as a nut case for a long time. That does not mean, however, that she is without power or stamina. It is likely that she will try – by other means – to keep her views about evolution alive in the Georgia school system.

    Keep an eye out. This is game is not over yet.

    Dormie

  3. #3 Walt
    February 6, 2004

    You got to love this:

    “Mr. Fuller is fooling himself if he thinks ‘objective origins’ and ‘intelligent design,’ or whatever you want to call them, is anything more than an attempt to put religion in our classrooms,” (Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch) said Thursday.

  4. #4 Reed A. Cartwrigh
    February 6, 2004

    It is not over yet. Cox has not promissed to put all the other omission back into the curriculum. In fact, she hasn’t even admitted that anything is missing other than “that one word.” Sure “evolution” will be part of the standards, but the science behind it will not be.

  5. #5 roger
    February 9, 2004

    It is impossible not to think of that scene in “O brother where art thou” where the segregationist southern politician rails against blacks, jews, and “all dem pointy headed Yankees think we descended fom’ monkehs!”

    Yes, indeed, modernity gets a rough reception in the South. I know — I was raised in Georgia.

  6. #6 Patricia
    March 4, 2004

    I can only conclude that if Creationists can dummy down the progress of Evolutionary Science, we will jump from Aristotle’s limited knowledge, albeit, gifted insights to a new breed of Fundamentalists who are fighting to save their own faltering faith in a supernatural God.

    As a Christian, I find that so oppressive and superstitious.

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