Well, well, well. Look what the Brunswick school board in North Carolina has been up to…
“It’s really a disgrace for the state school board to impose evolution on our students without teaching creationism,” county school board member Jimmy Hobbs said at Tuesday’s meeting. “The law says we can’t have Bibles in schools, but we can have evolution, of the atheists.”
When asked by a reporter, his fellow board members all said they were in favor of creationism being taught in the classroom.
The topic came up after county resident Joel Fanti told the board he thought it was unfair for evolution to be taught as fact, saying it should be taught as a theory because there’s no tangible proof it’s true.
“I wasn’t here 2 million years ago,” Fanti said. “If evolution is so slow, why don’t we see anything evolving now?”
The board allowed Fanti to speak longer than he was allowed, and at the end of his speech he volunteered to teach creationism and received applause from the audience.
How many fallacies can you find there? Evolution is a secular theory; it’s not our fault if atheists are copacetic with the evidence, while crazy creationists can’t abide it. Fairness is also not an issue here, since the reason evolution is taught is because it is the best explanation of the evidence. What would be unfair is bringing unsupported fairy tales into the science classroom and giving them a privileged place over hard-earned, well-supported science.
The facts of evolution, such as that the earth is old, there was a pattern of faunal succession, genetic mechanisms can account for variation, etc., are facts. Of course they should be taught! The parts of evolution that are theoretical, the way common descent explains observations in molecular biology, for instance, are no less valid and valuable for being theories. This guy is making the common mistake of thinking that calling an idea a theory is a demotion.
We do see organisms evolving now, in both the lab and in nature. We can indirectly see the effects of evolution even over time-spans which we could not live long enough to witness: we can infer evolution by comparing human and chimpanzee genomes, for instance, and by knowing rates of accumulation of mutations in populations, we can make estimates of the time course of change. Someone doesn’t have to be there to be able to assemble a convincing argument for physical events that have left physical traces.
Uh-oh. He got applause. Now people are going to push for the inclusion of this nonsense in their curriculum. Yep, here it comes…
Board attorney Joseph Causey said it might be possible for the board to add creationism to the curriculum if it doesn’t replace the teaching of evolution.
What kind of attorney is this? No, that’s not an acceptable legal solution. That state science standards mandate certain content in the public schools does not mean that if you meet the standards, you can then spin off any random line of baloney that you feel like. This was the Dover argument, remember: that they would just mumble some lip service to Intelligent Design, and all would be well.
Also like the Dover case, the proponents of introducing ID had already scuttled their case with public discussion at school board meetings of using it to introduce the religious concept of creationism, so the sectarian purpose was obvious to the court. Look here: Brunswick has already admitted that they’re floating this idea because some gomer was ranting about bringing bibles into the science class room.
Schools’ Superintendent Katie McGee said her staff would do research.
Babson said the board must look at the law to see what it says about teaching creationism, but that “if we can do it, I think we ought to do it.”
Somebody from the ACLU or NCSE ought to inform these people fast that their attorney is all wet and they are about to screw over their school district badly…before they go down that familiar path to self-destruction. The law says that they can’t do it.