Evolution Ups & Downs, and In Their Own Words–Evolution

With poetic justice, the citizens of Dover, Penn., voted on Nov. 8 to throw out eight of the nine Board members who had mandated that intelligent design” (creationism) be taught in their public schools.

The board was replaced by a bipartisan slate of pro-evolution candidates opposed to teaching intelligent design, with its biblical origins, in public schools.

The trial engendered by litigation over this mandate ended in November. The board will await the ruling by U.S. District Judge John Jones III before taking action on the science curriculum.

Meanwhile, in Kansas, it was a case of “deja vu all over again,” as Kansas members of the state board of education on Nov. 8 adopted a new science curricula standard openly questioning evolution.

The new regulations question the theory that all life has a common origin and even rewrite the definition of science(!). The standard states that science is no longer limited to searching for natural explanations for natural phenomena.

In 1999, the state board removed nearly all references to evolution, but such references were restored in 2001, after voters ousted the creationist bloc.

Ohio, Minnesota, and New Mexico have also adopted standards encouraging the questioning of evolution by local school districts. Ohio provides a classroom “lesson” for teachers.

On Dec. 5, a University of Kansas professor, who had considered a course analyzing the creationism controversy, was hospitalized after an apparent roadside beating. Prof. Maul Mirecki said the two men who beat him made references to the course, which had actually been canceled the week before. Mirecki had come under fire for referring to religious conservatives as “fundies” in an email to students, for which he had apologized.

An evolution site, http://evolution.berkeley.edu, operated by the University of California-Berkeley to help teachers teach evolution, is the subject of a lawsuit filed in October by a California couple challenging public funding of the site.

Florida’s newly-appointed chancellor for kindergarten through 12th grade, Cheri Pierson Yecke, is a believer in creationism. Yecke was forced out as Minnesota’s education commissioner last year.

In Their Own Words–Evolution

I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city.

Rev. Pat Robertson
CBN’s “700 Club”

Nov. 10, 2005

[Some people], “fooled by the atheism that they carry inside of them, imagine a universe free from direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance. . . .”

In the beginning, the creative word–this word that created everything and created this intelligent project that is the cosmos–is also love.

Pope Benedict XVI
Rome audience, Nov. 9

Associated Press, Nov. 12, 2005

Intelligent design isn’t science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.

Rev. George Coyne
Vatican’s chief astronomer

Associated Press, Nov. 19, 2005

Freedom From Religion Foundation