Creationist on Haddam, Connecticut School Board

IN the Hartford Courant, the largest daily newspaper in Connecticut, we read Haddam School Board Member Rejects Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Chester Harris, newly elected to the Region 17 school board, is a Republican with a standard conservative outlook: He distrusts government bureaucracy, believes in fiscal restraint and thinks kids today have too many advantages and too few responsibilities.

But it is his answer to fundamental questions about the origins of life that sets him apart.

Oh goodie — another creationist in the GOP. And this one is newly-elected to the school board of Haddam, Connecticut. Let’s read on:

Harris, 53, rejects evolution. To him, the idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor takes “a whole lot more faith than believing there was a creator who set all these things in motion and allows us to operate under free will.”

The number of such people is inexhaustible, and maybe we’re wrong but it seems to be growing. We continue:

About three weeks ago he met with several high school science teachers and school administrators in the district, which serves the woodsy, Connecticut Valley towns of Haddam and Killingworth.

I sort of got stuck on one thing with them, which was basically the teaching of evolution in the schools and how it tends to ride roughshod over the fact that various religions — Christian, Hebrew, Muslim — hold a theistic world view,” Harris said one morning during a break from his job driving a school van. “Evolution is basically an assumption that there is no God.

He “sort of got stuck” on that. How surprising. Here’s more:

Harris isn’t advocating a unit on creationism, but rather respect for those students who hold dissenting views. Still, Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which promotes the teaching of evolution in schools, said that Harris’ meeting with teachers raises concerns. “In general, when school board members seek to meet with teachers, it tends to be very intimidating,” she said.

“Harris isn’t advocating” creationism — not yet. But we’ve seen his type before. Moving along:

The district has no plans to alter its science curriculum. But, Macunas [Charles J. Macunas, principal of Haddam-Killingworth High School], added, Harris is entitled to meet with anyone he chooses, as is any other parent or community member.

No plans now, perhaps. But we we have no doubt that Harris would like to see some changes. They’re all alike. Another excerpt:

An official with the state Department of Education said he cannot recall an instance of a school in the state witnessing the type of epic battle over evolution that has riven communities throughout the nation. Nor can he recall a creationist serving on a local school board.

They’d better get used to it. On with the article:

The Discovery Institute, a think tank in Seattle that funds research into alternative theories of human origin, doesn’t advocate that public schools teach intelligent design, which asserts that life is so complex that it had to be the handiwork of an intelligent being. But it does advocate that students be encouraged to view Darwin’s teachings critically.

“People should weigh the evidence and draw their own conclusions,” said Casey Luskin, a policy analyst with the institute. “We’re talking about one of the most foundational questions of humanity: Where did we come from? There are credible scientists that challenge Darwinism. It is unconscionable to censor those views from students in the classroom.

The reporter has done a decent job here. The article has a quote from Eugenie Scott and one from Casey Luskin. Very journalistic. Well, there’s that bit about the Discoveroids’ being “a think tank in Seattle that funds research,” but we can’t demand too much investigation for such a simple article. One more excerpt:

It’s an approach that Harris also favors [i.e., Casey Luskin’s Discoveroid approach]. Proponents of evolution “haven’t proven anything,” he said. “It’s all still theory and faith. If that’s what they want to hold to, fine, but don’t denigrate me because I believe the other way. We’re both operating on faith. I just have faith in someone and they have faith in something.”

[…]

“I’m not going to be fighting for the overthrow of any one way of doing things because we’ve gone past that,” he said. “It’s time for balance. … And I just want to be there so there’s a voice that says there’s room for all of us.”

It’ll be so good for the students of Haddam when Harris arranges to have their science classes balanced with Oogity Boogity. The Discoveroids have another useful idiot to do their bidding.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Creationist on Haddam, Connecticut School Board

  1. I would like to know how many Catholic students are in the school and among the teachers. The Catholic Church is not against evolution (two Popes have said so) and I try to point that out ever time I hear one of the creationist comments that evolution is against religion. People need to rebut this argument when ever it is used.

  2. Biokid says: “People need to rebut this argument when ever it is used.”

    All creationist arguments are rebuttable, but so what? It’s not as if they care. There’s no way to get through to them.

  3. Next up, special dispensations for students in math class who subscribe to numerology, or object to algebra on religious grounds….

    … or in chemistry class for students who reject atomic theory and subscribe to alchemy….

    … or in geography class for students who embrace Flat Earth theory…

    … or students in astronomy class who reject heliocentrism in favor of Ptolemaic geocentrism …

    Where does the madness end?

  4. Article quotes our favourite Discoveroid:

    “People should weigh the evidence and draw their own conclusions,” said Casey Luskin

    And in that spirit, I would like to present the following bit of evidence: a small sample of the many anagrams which are concealed in the name Casey Luskin, to wit:

    Sky Lunacies
    Slinky Cause
    Uneasy Slick
    Easily Snuck
    Sensual Icky
    Snaky Sluice
    Lackeys In Us
    Acne Is Sulky
    Sly Ink Sauce
    Us Scaly Kine
    Uses Lacy Kin
    Saucy in Elks
    Us Icy Ankles
    Ye Suck Snail
    Icy Elks Anus
    Kiss Any Clue
    Sucks Any Lie

    …and many, many more. Using the pseudo-science of Oogity-boogititonics, what conclusions may we draw from all this?

  5. Great Claw, Casey himself undoubtedly agrees that it would be “unconscionable to censor” those alternatives.

  6. I love how even the DI “doesn’t advocate teaching Intelligent Design.” Dover still hurting a bit…

    Anyway, what is this guy advocating to teach these kids anyway? Creationism is flat out. ID was blown out of the water. The only slightly credible alternatives to evolution are things like saltatation, which I extremely doubt he’d advocate. I’d guess that his pliant stance currently comes from the facts that there isn’t really a viable alternative to push right now.

  7. Obviously intelligently designed anagrams.

  8. Seasoned Casey-watchers will expect Casey to claim copyright over those anagrams and issue a cease-and-desist letter.

    Intellectual Property Law seems to have been an optional for the Monobrow Discoverrhoid Attack Hamster.

  9. The Gadfly points out

    Obviously intelligently designed anagrams

    Of course. Only a godless Darwinist could be absurd enough to think that such a plethora of apt anagrams could be built into Casey’s moniker by mere blind chance.

  10. From the article: “Harris, 53, rejects evolution. To him, the idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor takes ‘a whole lot more faith than believing there was a creator who set all these things in motion and allows us to operate under free will’.”

    Oy vay, can anyone over the age of 5 not see the bait-and-switch?

  11. retiredsciguy

    The Curmudgeon opines,
    “The number of such people is inexhaustible, and maybe we’re wrong but it seems to be growing. ” – Speaking of creationists on school boards.

    They are a highly motivated and well-organized minority and they have an ax to grind. They are very good at getting out the vote in local elections. Churches and other tax-exempt organizations are prohibited from political campaigning, but apparently they are ignoring that particular law.

    And this note to megalonyx: you’ve got WAY too much time on your hands. I hope you are retired and not involuntarily unemployed! Great anagrams!