School Board Election in Carlisle, Penn.

The last time we reported on a local school board election in which creationism was an issue was School Board Election in Durango, Colorado. Now we have another.

In The Sentinel of Carlisle, Pennsylvania we read Candidates answer questions in school board debate. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

[There are] six hopefuls vying for four open seats on the Carlisle Area School Board. They answered questions on topics as diverse as budget priorities, school safety, teacher-administration relations and the teaching of creationism in the classroom.

They appeared at a “candidates’ night hosted by the League of Women Voters.” As we always do, we’ll skip the issues that don’t interest us, and jump right to the creationism. That’s the last three paragraphs of the article. Here we go:

One question from the audience asked candidates what they thought of legislation by state Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-199, that would allow creationism to be taught as a legitimate science in public school classrooms.

Bloom’s bill? We wrote about that when it was only a proposal — see Pennsylvania Creationism: A Bill for 2013? Here’s another link to Bloom’s page at the Pennsylvania legislature’s website. We refer to him as the creationist rural sociologist.

We looked for “R-199,” but we can’t find it among the bills that Bloom has sponsored. So we read the bill with that number (actually it’s HB 199), and it’s about license plates, not about creationism. However, Bloom is sponsoring House Bill 1552, which would prohibit adopting the proposed common core standards. It’s not the “academic freedom” bill he was promoting, but it just might do the job.

Anyway, let’s get back to the question that was put to the school board candidates. This is what happened:

Five of the six candidates thought the teaching of creationism was a matter of faith best left to families and the church. The consensus was that creationism did not belong in any form in a public school setting.

That’s good. That’s very good. Ah, but then we’re told this:

Smith [Jason Smith, an incumbent Republican] said he thought creationism should be included in the context of teaching students the history of science and scientific theory. As another example, Smith cited the now-dead theory of spontaneous generation that held that living organisms could arise directly from nonliving material.

That could be okay. There’s no mention of what anybody said about Bloom’s bill, so that’s all we know. But Bloom is up to something, and we’ll be looking for it.

Election results: School Board Elections Update — 06 Nov 2013.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “School Board Election in Carlisle, Penn.

  1. I believe that R-199 indicates that he is a Republican representing District 199.

  2. Thanks, Eric. That explains it.

  3. The old quip is true…..

    Question: what do you call the part of Pennsylvania between Philly and Pittsburgh?

    Answer: Alabama

  4. Be VERY suspicious when they want to provide information about the “now-dead theory of spontaneous generation”. Before you know, this will (ahem) mutate into a claim that abiogenesis without Oogity Boogity is completely impossible, and therefore evolution is bogus. (Yes, we who read this blog know perfectly well that evolution isn’t about abiogenesis — but do we think most politicians know, or even care?)

  5. I think it is hard to tell from that clipping, I agree with Curmudgeon that could be right. He playing word games but in a short statement printed in the press it hard to say if he trying to sneak creationism in, or stating that creationism is dead as a serious topic in science.

  6. HKF: “…but do we think most politicians know, or even care [that evolution isn’t about abiogenesis]?”

    With the usual “we can’t read minds” caveat, a good bet is that very few politicians are science-literate enough to know the difference. As for “care,” a politician, almost by definition, at best doesn’t care about science, and at worst, despises its nasty habit of giving us the right (independently verifiable) answers, rather that just what they want to be true. A few politicians, though, like Rick Santorum, are almost certainly in-on-the-scam. Santorum said enough over the years to convince me that he knew he was peddling nonsense “for the cause.”