In the Grand Island Independent of Grand Island, Nebraska we learn that the heretofore low-profile Northwest School Board was treated to a powerful proposal for teaching creationism in science class.
Their headline is Northwest school board begins budget work. Most of the story is about budget stuff but don’t worry — we’ll only give you the creationism part, with bold font added by us for emphasis. They say:
In other business at the school board meeting Monday night, Northwest High School science teacher Dave Olson made a presentation asking that Northwest High School students “learn about both the scientific evidence for and against neo-Darwinian evolution.”
Way to go, Dave! That’s right out of the Discoveroids’ playbook. After that teaser there are several more paragraphs about budget matters, and then it gets back to Olson:
Near the end of his presentation on evolution, Olson told board members that he is not proposing that Northwest High School students learn about any religious viewpoints such as creationism and he is not proposing that students learn about intelligent design. He also said he is not proposing that students stop learning the evidence for evolution. Instead, he said he wants students to learn the evidence both for and against neo-Darwinian evolution.
Yeah — teach both sides! None of that religious stuff — heaven forbid! — just the evidence against evolution (whatever that is). Are we imagining things, or does Olson sound like he’s been brainwashed — perhaps even coached — by the Discoveroids? Let’s read on:
Olson gave a PowerPoint presentation with slides that raised questions about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, with several of the slides quoting Jonathan Wells, a Ph.D. who questions the theory of evolution. One of the slides was titled “Survival of the Fakest.” It quoted Wells as saying, “Science now knows that many of the pillars of Darwinian theory are either false or misleading. Yet biology texts continue to present them as factual evidence of evolution. What does this imply about their scientific standards?”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See Discovery Institute: The Genius of Jonathan Wells. Olson has drunk deeply of the Discoveroid Kool-Aid. We’ll skip a paragraph about Haeckel’s drawings. Ah, now we come to this:
The science teacher also took issue with neo-Darwinism that says new species arise from the accumulation of mutations in DNA to create new variations, with natural selection helping to eliminate harmful mutations. However, his slide said, “Today, genetics show that most mutations are harmful, thus new traits are not likely to occur. Traits are naturally selected, no new traits are formed.”
He didn’t miss too many clichés. Well, he didn’t mention Hitler — or maybe he did, but the newspaper didn’t report that. Then, like a good creationist, he slips in some quote-mining:
One of Olson’s slides cited Darwin himself to support teaching evidence against the theory of evolution. That slide quoted Darwin as saying, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”
That’s from the Introduction of Origin of Species. The Discoveroids use that one too — see Discovery Institute’s “Academic Freedom Day”. What the quote-miners fail to point out is that Darwin did present the objections to his theory. See, for example, Chapter 6 – Difficulties on Theory, in which he described, and rebutted, many of the arguments that are still commonly used by creationists today.
Here’s our last excerpt from the news story:
Olson asked the board’s curriculum committee to consider his request for a change so that both the scientific evidence for and against neo-Darwinism be taught.
There’s no mention of what the Board decided to do, if anything. Perhaps we’ll learn about it one of these days. Until then, all we can do is wish Mr. Olson’s students good luck. They’re going to need it.
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