Thursday, July 09, 2009

DesMoines Addresses Evolution (Sort of)

The DesMoines answer to the problem of evolution is to make a class that critiques it an elective. The Spencer School District, according to a story by Stacy Hupp in the DesMoines Register:

Public school students in Spencer will get to study the Bible and pray at graduation if school district leaders approve a proposed "religious liberties" policy, the first of its kind in Iowa.

The plan calls for elective classes such as "Critic of Darwinism," which includes arguments against the theory of evolution, and "The Bible in History and Literature."

School officials say they want to set clear rules for religious expression without discouraging students, for example, from writing "Merry Christmas" on holiday cards in class.

Spencer Superintendent Greg Ebeling said most public educators who fear lawsuits go too far to exclude religion from schools.

"We're going to have critics, but we're not out to cram religion down anybody's throats," said Ebeling, whose northwest Iowa district enrolls about 2,000 students. "It's just about what's the right way to handle it. The way we handle it right now is to avoid it at all costs."
What about the teaching of evolution? The story doesn't say, although one would hope that if they have a class critiquing it, the students would know what they are critiquing. And how do you make the class "Critics of Darwinism" academically sound?

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