Friday, January 30, 2004
Georgia Considers Banning 'Evolution' in Public Schools 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
I had to check my wall calendar, just to make sure...yep, it is 2004.

Fortunately, at least one of Georgia's favorite sons - former President Jimmy Carter, whom (I think) history is showing to be *one of our finest latter-day chief executives - has come out as a voice of reason:
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Former President Jimmy Carter on Friday called a push to remove the word "evolution" from Georgia's school curriculum an embarrassment, saying it exposes the state to nationwide ridicule. 'As a Christian, a trained engineer and scientist, and a professor at Emory University, I am embarrassed by [Georgia State schools] Superintendent Kathy Cox's attempt to censor and distort the education of Georgia's students,' Carter, a native of Plains, said in a statement. Carter went on to say the debate will hurt the reputation of Georgia's educational system.

'Nationwide ridicule of Georgia's public school system will be inevitable if this proposal is adopted,' he said. Carter, a Baptist, said that existing references to evolution in Georgia's curriculum have done nothing to damage religious faith in the state."
The California paper Contra Costa Times this morning detailed some of the other proposed changes in Georgia's official curriculum:
"The plan also omitted topics such as Charles Darwin's life, fossil evidence and the emergence of single-celled microorganisms, which means Georgia teachers would no longer be required to devote much time and effort to teaching evolution. If the curriculum is adopted, most teachers will skim over the subject, which remains unwelcome in many parts of the state, educators warned Thursday.

'This is a real infringement on the freedom of teaching, and it has serious implications,' said David Bechler, who is head of the biology department of Valdosta University."
Superintendent Cox defended the proposal Thursday, saying the term "evolution" is "a buzzword that causes a lot negative reactions."

Sad, truly sad. Well, I can think of a buzzword that causes negative reactions, too: it's a common word meaning "small, thin, crisp biscuit".

* More later, folks...he was about a lot more than just peanuts.