Friday, August 19, 2011

On Teaching Creationism in Texas

Take a look at this AP video shot in Portsmouth, New Hampshire of Rick Perry speaking to a boy and at the same time answering his mother’s questions.

You get that? Rick Perry actually told the boy that both Creationism and Evolution were taught in public schools.

Politifact rates this claim as false, but I take exception to that.

Now it is true that the state’s school board just went through that exercise as its young Earth Creationist members struggled to add Creationist notions to the state curriculum. As close as they could come to doing that is the recommendation that students look at all theories “from all sides.”

Assuming that one such side is the Intelligent Design side, this opens the door, at least, to teaching Creationism in Texas public schools.

So that seems to justify what Perry claimed, in a small way at least.

But here is the thing. I know for a fact that, here in Texas, if a high school biology teacher is deeply religious, and believes in the Biblical story in Genesis, that teacher will devote instructional time to the Creationist point of view.

Even if it isn’t in the curriculum.

So getting back to Perry’s claim that both Creationism and Evolution are taught in Texas public schools, I’d have to agree. Perry made a simple affirmative statement, not qualifying as to whether this was sanctioned by state standards.

The trouble is, and Perry is extremely good at doing this, the way he said it makes it sound like Texas’s curriculum standards call for doing just this.

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