Campus personalities present and past Rebecca C. Brown and Tommaso Sciortino tackle the issues. This week on a very special CalJunket: Rebecca learns not to chew with her mouth open and Tommaso finds out his best friend is addicted to no-doze.
Friday, January 30, 2004
"There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat earth in order to defend our religious faith."
As if this debate had not been exausted thoroughly, Goergia school superintendent Kathy Cox is proposing that the word "evolution" be omitted from the state's public education curriculum, prompted by both the desires of local parents and undoubtedly her own misgivings about integrating into classrooms scientific discovery that might contradict a millenia-old text written by mortal men.
Jimmy Carter, who vaguely reminds me of my Grandpa Brown (except that my pop's pop is aging a little better), responded by rightfully accusing Cox of enforcing ingnorance and censorship. Further, he argues that faith and science need not be combatants:
"The existing and long-standing use of the word 'evolution' in our state's textbooks has not adversely affected Georgians' belief in the omnipotence of God as creator of the universe. There can be no incompatibility between Christian faith and proven facts concerning geology, biology, and astronomy."
Whatever your opinion on evolution or religion or the Bible or whether fossils of homo sapien ancestors ware elaborate hoaxes, the legality of regulating curriculum is a little hairy. The state (federal or local) has a compelling interest to teach its citizens the most provable and up to date information as possible, in my opinion. Even if you don't buy that argument, you might buy the converse argument: the state does not have the right to deliberately keep its citizens ignorant of the most provable and up to date information as possible. I don't feel this is a states' rights issue, either. States' rights issues are ones like minimum wage and immigration or issues where circumstances (cost of living, ability to accomodate immigration) vary. The facts and fictions of evolution absolutley do not vary from one locale to another; the attitudes toward this topic merely change.