Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creationism in Pennsylvania

Chambersburg, PA has taken on the debate. In a story for the Chambersburg Public Opinion, Rob Luff writes that adoption of the new biology textbook has not happened without a fight. The story notes:
The creationism-versus-evolution debate may have hit Franklin County late last month, when Chambersburg Area school board divided on whether to buy evolution-heavy high school biology textbooks.

School board President Stanley Helman voted against the textbook proposal on June 24, comparing the material in the recommended book to "science fiction movies."

The board's seven remaining members (Norman Blowers was absent) voted in favor of the purchase, which includes science textbooks for all of the district, in several subjects.

The majority vote gives administrators permission to buy "Biology" by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine.

Helman voted against the previous biology textbook in 2000, the last time the district bought science textbooks, for largely the same reasons: Inconsistency in the textbook regarding whether evolution is a theory or a fact, and the failure to present any alternative theories.

That might be because there are no competing theories. The last time there was a competing theory to evolution was in the 1860s. As for why Helman is concerned about the adoption of the Miller/Levine textbook, Luff writes:

Helman does believe in evolution within a species. It is something he has become familiar with as a dairy farmer, seeing how cows have been artificially bred over the last century to improve their milk production. The new textbook refers to that practice as artificial selection.

As for evolution between species, Helman doesn't buy it. He believes all species were created as they are.

Creationism. Hook, line and sinker. How do these people become school board heads without understanding the least bit about biology?

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