Friday, June 20, 2003

Creationism in Minnesota Like many states, Minnesota is currently rewriting its state education standards. These standards are intended to delineate what students are expected to know after completing various grades. It looks like Creationism will once more rear its ugly head as the science standards are rewritten.

For a brief summary of the recent trevails experienced by the committees rewriting Minnesota's standards, see this article. The article describes the views of Cheri Pierson Yecke as follows

"She said the state standards shouldn't address creationism, which is based on the belief that God created the world in six days. The other main theory, evolution, describes development of life on Earth from single-celled organisms over about 3.5 billion years."

That's comforting. Alas, the National Center for Science Education is reporting that Yecke, while being interviewed on a Minnesota radio station said,
"every local district should have the freedom to teach creationism if that is what they choose."

The NCSE article can be found here.

Balancing the need for scientific integrity with the desire to have local control over education is a difficult one. But surely there are some things that would be considered so absurd that the state has a right to limit a district's right to teach them. For example, if school's wanted to teach that the Earth is flat or that the Moon is made of green cheese the state would surley have the right to step in. Creationism is no less absurd than either of those propositions.


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