We can’t give you any excerpts from that story, not legally, because the Knoxville News Sentinel wants to charge 20 to 30 cents per word for excerpts. We think they have far too high an opinion of themselves, but we wish them luck with their “no free excerpts” policy.
Instead of making fair use of some excerpts, we’ll tell you about the news in our own words. But first a caveat: Our information comes from the news organ described above, and we have serious doubts about their judgment. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s what they’re reporting:
Kurt Zimmermann, the father of some high school student, and who perhaps was driven to the brink by the presence of a peculiar newspaper in his town, is challenging the use of an honors biology textbook because, he claims, it’s critical of creationism.
The Knox County Schools Superintendent, Jim McIntyre, says that the Knox County school board will hear Zimmermann’s complaint. But he seems to like the book they’re using despite the complaint. The board is going to discuss the matter today and vote on it this Wednesday.
And yes, the Knoxville News Sentinel serves Knox County, the location of this foolishness, so your Curmudgeon’s suspicion is that the newspaper is to blame for all outbreaks of madness in their market. Charge bloggers twenty cents a word for mere excerpts? What genius dreamed up that one?
The book Zimmermann complains about is “Asking About Life.” According to the newspaper, the book offends him because it contains a bias by the authors against Christianity, For example, page 319 of the offensive text describes creationism as a “biblical myth” [egad, we’ve quoted two words!] about the creation of the world. Zimmermann doesn’t like the word “myth.” At least not in that context.
The newspaper — which thinks every word they print is worth at least twenty cents — doesn’t bother to give its readers any information about the book in question, but we assume it’s this: Asking about Life by Allan J. Tobin.
Will the board go along with Zimmerman? The newspaper claims that they don’t seem inclined to go that way. But how much confidence can we place in the reporting of the Knoxville News Sentinel?
For the moment, dear reader, we’ll take our leave of Knoxville, its creationist citizens, and their strange newspaper. However, because that newspaper places such a high value on their words, and because we may have quoted two of them, we have two words of our own to send them in exchange. Yes, you know — those two.
Update: See Decision on Tennessee Biology Book Ban Demand.
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