Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Teachers Rebel Against Stupid Rule

You've probably been following the new ruling up in Dover, PA -- not that far from here. The school board just passed a rule that biology teachers have to read a statement to students that says that Darwin's theory "is not a fact" and that intelligent design "is an explanation of life that differs from Darwin's view."

Well, look, these are high-school science teachers, presumably they know something about science, and if that's true, then they know that "intelligent design" does not belong in a science class. So all of them have formally asked to be excused from reading the statement:
In a letter to school administrators signed by all the high-school science teachers affected by the rule, the instructors requested permission not to read the statement because it would violate Pennsylvania's professional standards and practices code for teachers.

"We believe that reading the statement violates our responsibility as educators as set forth in the code," biology teacher Jennifer Miller said in Friday's editions of the York Daily Record. "Students are allowed to opt out from hearing the statement. We should be allowed to opt out from reading it." High school teachers oppose 'intelligent design' statement

We should show some appreciation for these brave souls, holding firm for reason against the darkness of superstition. I imagine you put your job on the line when you do something like this.

"Intelligent design" is a system of beliefs that is creationist without explicitly citing the Bible. It is acceptable to some religious extremists because it's essentially just the Genesis myth in veiled language. It is not acceptable science. Only one intelligent design paper has ever been accepted by a scientific journal. The author was somehow able to bypass the journal's peer review process, and the editorial board of that journal afterwards issued a statement saying that they would not have approved that paper and would never publish a paper on that topic again.

It will be interesting to see how this all comes out in the long run.


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