This is probably typical of what’s going on all over America. In the News & Advance of Lynchburg, Virginia (the home of Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell), we read Amherst school board hopeful questions textbooks’ inclusion of evolution, global warming. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Two candidates seeking appointment to the Amherst County School Board are laying out an early agenda for their time on the board, including a candidate who said he is concerned with the inclusion of evolution and human-caused global warming in the schools’ science textbooks.
It’s not an election, but they seem to be competing to get appointed. We’re told that the appointment will be made by 17 June. Here are the candidates:
Chairman Jones Stanley is seeking a third term on the school board after serving as trustee since 2006. Edward Olivares, of Monroe, is challenging Stanley for his seat as the District 3 representative to the school board.
Okay, the incumbent Chairman is being challenged. We’ll skip most of what the candidates said about themselves, because local politics is generally boring. We want only the good stuff. Here ya go:
Olivares [the challenger] said he has worked in the defense industry for about 30 years as an engineer, physicist and program manager, and during that time has managed multimillion dollar contracts. … Olivares, a native of the Philippines, moved to the United States at the age of 12 and is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
That sounds impressive, but don’t be too quick to reach a judgment. Let’s read on:
His interest in serving on the school board was sparked while serving as a substitute teacher with Amherst County Public Schools. During that time, Olivares said he became concerned with science textbooks that state that global warming is caused by human activity and those that teach Darwinian evolution. As part of the school board, he said he would like to review the division’s textbooks.
Aha! The engineer-physicist-West Point graduate is also a creationist. After several paragraphs about global warming (he doesn’t think it’s a problem), we come to this:
Olivares said he also is concerned with Darwinian evolution “being taught as fact and settled science which it is not.” Single-celled organisms have not changed significantly through the millions of years “that they say evolution has taken place,” he said. “It is a theory, and that theory is being blown apart,” Olivares said.
Hey — good point! Why are there still bacteria? The man obviously has what it takes to administer the public schools. What about the other contender for the office — the one who wants a third term? The news story informs us:
Stanley, a former Navy pilot, has served nine years on the Lynchburg Airport Commission in addition to his time with the school board.
He talks about what a great job he’s done, and how he wants to continue, but there’s no mention of global warming or evolution. We assume he’s okay with the way things are being taught now.
What will the county Board of Supervisors do? They’re politicians, and presumably they’re elected, so they’ll do whatever they think is in their personal interest. In a place like Lynchburg, that may require appointing the creationist. We shall see.
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