Creationism Commotion: Georgia Church Opposes Evolution in Science Standards
Georgia doesn’t have the best track record on church-state separation, but the state is working to revise its public school science curriculum to make sure students have an understanding of natural selection and evolution.
The curriculum, called “The Next Generation Science Standards,” is being developed on a national level by 25 states and the District of Columbia. The National Academies, which laid the framework for the standards, said its goal is “to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science, the capacity to discuss and think critically about science-related issues, and the skills to pursue careers in science or engineering if they want to do so — outcomes that existing educational approaches are ill-equipped to achieve.”
That is a sound plan, so naturally a fundamentalist church in Villa Rica (an Atlanta suburb) is upset about it.
“What message are we sending to our children when they come away saying, ‘I’m an ape with less hair’?” asked Villa Rica Church of Christ Pastor Patrick Gray, according to WSBT.
The Atlanta ABC affiliate said Bob Staples, a member of the church, called Darwin’s theory “bad science” and said “it’s bad for the culture.”
“To teach it as a fact,” said Staples, “is lying to people.”
It’s curious that Staples, who is a college math teacher and also a member of the state committee working on the new science standards, is worried about lying to people. He said he believes in a literal view of the Bible, but doesn’t expect public schools to teach creationism.
So what would Staples teach? If evolution is a no go and so is creationism, what does that leave? It sounds like Staples would rather give kids extra recess time than good science classes.