Cobb County adopts new evolution policy
The Cobb county school board voted last night to allow the teaching of alternate origins of species theories. Many of this morning's headlines on the vote announce that creationism is now allowed in the district's classrooms. The Associated Press says, "Ga. school district OKs creationism." CNN: "Ga. school board OKs teaching creationism."
This is exactly the interpretation of the board's actions that board chairman Curt Johnston apparently worried about when writing the board's only statement after making its decision. He said:
We seem to have been caught in the middle of a dispute between various parties who apparently want to use our curriculum to promote their own views. We expect teachers to continue to teach the theory of evolution. We do not expect teachers to teach creationism … Religion has no place in science instruction. The purpose of this policy is to foster critical thinking among students to allow academic freedom consistent with legal requirements to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity of opinion and to ensure a posture of neutrality toward religion.
The new policy admits that evolution and other theories of origins are regularly debated and challenged in the science community. Thus, it allows teachers to show this debate in order "to foster critical thinking among students, to allow academic freedom consistent with legal requirements, to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity of opinion, and to ensure a posture of neutrality toward religion."
In a broad-based curriculum, the policy reads, the "discussion of disputed views of academic subjects is a necessary element of providing a balanced education, including the study of the origin of species."
The much-anticipatedboard ...1