Georgia's Embarrassment

The AP has a story about the string of problems Georgia has had with evolution recently and how it has hurt people's view of the state:

First, Georgia's education chief tried to take the word "evolution" out of the state's science curriculum. Now a suburban Atlanta county is in federal court over textbook stickers that call evolution "a theory, not a fact." Some here worry that Georgia is making itself look like a bunch of rubes or, worse, discrediting its own students.

"People want to project the image that Georgia is a modern state, that we're in the 21st century. Then something like this happens," said Emory University molecular biologist Carlos Moreno.

The federal lawsuit being heard this week in Atlanta concerns whether the constitutional separation of church and state was violated when suburban Cobb County school officials placed the disclaimer stickers in high school biology texts in 2002. The stickers say evolution should be "critically considered."

Earlier this year, science teachers howled when state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox proposed a new science curriculum that dropped the word "evolution" in favor of "changes over time."

That plan was quickly dropped, but comic Jimmy Fallon still cracked wise on "Saturday Night Live": "As a compromise, dinosaurs are now called `Jesus Horses'."

The article also quotes Sarah Pallas, a biologist and neuroscientist from Georgia State. She is helping prepare a brief that my organization, Michigan Citizens for Science, will likely be signing in the next couple days to be submitted in the Cobb County case. I hope to have the brief itself, as well as others in that case, available here on this website as soon as they can be made available.


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