ATLANTA - The state's school superintendent has proposed striking the word evolution from Georgia's science curriculum and replacing it with the phrase "biological changes over time."
The change, which drew criticism from both liberals and conservatives, is included in more than 800 pages of draft revisions to Georgia's curriculum that have been posted by the Department of Education (news - web sites) on its Web site. The middle and high school standards are expected to be voted on by the state Board of Education in May, after public comments.
Superintendent Kathy Cox said the concept of evolution would still be taught under the proposal, but the word would not be used in the curriculum. The proposal would not require schools to buy new textbooks omitting the word evolution and would not prevent teachers from using it.
Cox, a Republican elected to the post in 2002, repeatedly referred to evolution as a "buzzword" Thursday and said the ban was proposed, in part, to alleviate pressure on teachers in socially conservative areas where parents object to its teaching.
"If teachers across this state, parents across this state say, 'This is not what we want,' then we'll change it," Cox said.
Educators and legislators criticized the proposal, saying science teachers understand the theories behind evolution and how to teach them.
"Here we are, saying we have to improve standards and improve education, and we're just throwing a bone to the conservatives with total disregard to what scientists say," said state Rep. Bob Holmes, a Democrat.
Former President Jimmy Carter had harsh words for the change on Friday, calling it an embarrassment and 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 Superintendent Kathy Cox's attempt to censor and distort the education of Georgia's students," Carter said in a statement.
Social conservatives who prefer religious creation to be taught instead of evolution criticized the proposal as well.
"If you're teaching the concept without the word, what's the point?" said Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican. "It's stupid. It's like teaching gravity without using the word gravity."
Carter, a Baptist, said that existing references to evolution in Georgia's curriculum have done nothing to damage religious faith in the state.
Cox spokesman Kirk Englehardt said the superintendent was reviewing Carter's statement Friday morning and did not have an immediate response.
Now, this woman tries to reduce a legitimate scientific term to a mere "buzzword". I am heartened that both Liberals and Conservatives both are finding this a bit idiotic.
As for what parents want taught, I would rather my children have an open mind about all such things, creationism and evolution, so that they can make their own choices. If parents and educators simply want to turn a blind eye to one or the other, then they do a disservice to our children.
KROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2058 times:
I'm glad the school's superintendent has so much time to worry about such a pressing issue. I mean with failing grades in school, violence, lack of good teachers, lack of solid pay for these teachers, over crowding, school budget deficits ETC, ETC, ETC, I wouldn't want those issues to get in the way of what is really important. You know, words like "evolution".
Startvalve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2030 times:
Yeah lets all throw out a widely accepted scientific theory because the ultra right wing doesn't like it. When the bible thumpers present some evidence that we sprang out of Adam and Eve I will start to give them some credit and maybe even acknowledge their ramblings. These people need more to do, like actually teach so there will be fewer retards in college taking up seats that could be filled with people that know what the hell they are doing there.
Gc From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2003, 356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1999 times:
I laughed when I read this. I'm a creationist but I still think the theory of evolution should be taught alongside it if the school wants too.. The kids will learn and benefit from having debates about the subject ( are schools scared of this now). Then they can make up their own minds, as I did. My only objection is when evolution is taught as hard fact and without the creationist argument presented too.
I just can't believe that the "word police" are telling us what words we can't use again.
Espion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1986 times:
This is the most pathetic thing ive ever seen.Its just so no one will sue.I dont care about the word "evolution" one bit.Its really the last thing on my mind for the whole week.infact this is the first time this month i thought about the word "evolution".Just shows Science and religon are still at it...
BTW,has anyone read "Angels and Demons"? it deal alot about sci/religon and is also a good book.
Any christian ever stopped and thought that God created Evolution?
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1986 times:
Currently in some Georgia school systems, they put a disclaimer about evolution, mainly put in to placate some religious groups. We've replaced one nutcase state school super with another. Once again, a Georgia politician does something to make the whole state look like we're all a bunch of backwood ignorant hillbillies, like we're the folks in Deliverance come to life. Our state's schools are the worst in the nation and they want to quibble over the term evolution. No wonder the test scores aren't going up, we've got the lunatics running the asylum.
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 9087 posts, RR: 41
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1955 times:
"Any christian ever stopped and thought that God created Evolution?"
You seem to be forgetting that this would be the logical thing to do. So it won't be done.
It's scientifically proven that simple "animals" existed first, and life became more and more complex over the millions of years.
But nobody has yet found a reason for the "Big Bang", or the power behind or the reason why the universe exists. So that's what's up to people's beliefs, just like finding a reason for bad harvests and disasters was in the Middle Ages. If you don't know the reason, you make up one.
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21599 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1946 times:
Almost everybody has an intuitive connection (positive or negative) to religion. And for personal matters, it can indeed have valid answers.
Some people, however, have no clear concept of what science actually is and how it "works". And this kind of people still keeps piping up on scientific matters which they clearly have no understanding of and confuse them with their religious beliefs.
If you´re supposed to lead your life and your personal relationships according to science, be very sceptical.
But if you´re supposed to climb into an airplane built by people who think that belief and science "somehow" are the same thing -- run for your life!!!