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.
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