More Creationist Chaos in Maine

A few years ago we posted Paul LePage’s Creationist Train Wreck in Maine. It was one of several posts about Paul LePage, who has been governor of Maine since 2011.

LePage has eluded our news sweeps since then, but today he popped up again in the Bangor Daily News of Bangor, Maine. Their headline is LePage’s new education commissioner supports teaching creationism in public schools. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Over the course of his tenure as Maine’s governor, the LePage administration has earned a reputation for cronyism by appointing friends and family members to high-ranking positions. So it should come as no surprise that the governor’s appointee for Maine’s acting education commissioner is someone who he has close ties with.

That’s not remarkable behavior for a politician. Where’s the creationism? Patience, dear reader, it’s coming:

Bill Beardsley, who will replace a retired Jim Rier, was president of LePage’s alma mater Husson University from 1987 to 2010. In 2010 Beardsley also was one of the Republican hopefuls vying for the party’s nomination for governor, which LePage wound up receiving.

Okay, now it gets interesting:

What should come as a surprise, though, is that Beardsley and LePage are both on record supporting the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in Maine public schools. Dating back to 2010, when the two were sparring for the GOP nomination with several other hopefuls, the candidates were asked about creationism in a televised debate.

We discussed some of this back then, but it’s worthy of repetition, so let’s read on:

The debate’s moderator, Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Jennifer Rooks, asked, “Do you believe in creationism, and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?” To the question, which was asked in a “lightning round” format, which gives candidates limited time to answer, LePage responded, “I would say intelligence, uh, the more education you have the more knowledge you have the better person you are and I believe yes and yes.”

Beardsley answered simply, “I would teach creationism.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Beardsley also remarked that he wasn’t interested in teaching global warming, but we’ll skip that. This is the article’s last paragraph:

The term for an acting commissioner is six months, but if LePage wishes, he can appoint him for the position permanently. The appointment would then go to hearings by the Education Committee and the Board of Education, which, if approved, would then go to the State Senate for a final confirmation vote.

So there you are. The newspaper has a comments feature, which already has 30 comments. They also have an online poll which asks: “Should creationism be taught in public schools?”, but we can’t see the results. We’ll keep watching for future developments.

Update: New Development in Maine Creationism.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “More Creationist Chaos in Maine

  1. I note that someone had to come up with:

    I believe that God made me. If you want to believe that you came from a monkey …

    To this person, and to how many others, does “evolution” mean “man came from a monkey.”

    Are not monkeys also creatures of God?

    Evolution is not about your individual origins. That is a matter of reproductive biology, and is the natural account of reproduction (molecules to “man”) in conflict with being a creature of God?

    Is it so much more pleasant to believe that “man” came from dust? Perhaps that is distant enough that one doesn’t have to deal with it.

    Comments like that reinforce my belief that the basis for hating evolution is merely the revulsion at being related to the rest of the world of life, especially where it is most obvious, because it is obvious.

  2. They also have an online poll which asks: “Should creationism be taught in public schools?”, but we can’t see the results.

    A moment ago they were 418 (14%) for, 2629 (86%) against.

  3. There being absolutely no scientific basis for creationism, creationists/ID’ers only hope is through the political and popular opinion process to impose their absurd religious propositions into the realm of the science class. With all the scientific discoveries, new technology, and understanding of our world based on our science, including evolution, the U.S. continues to stay at the forefront of this ignorant, idiotic movement pushed by religious morons.

  4. michaelfugate

    As TomS says – why would it be preferred to be designed/created by a God using cookie-cutter common design (their explanation for why living things have homologous parts) than to share common ancestry through descent with modification?

  5. “They also have an online poll which asks: “Should creationism be taught in public schools?”, but we can’t see the results.”
    There is a very simple method, SC, probably also used by DavidK. It is by clicking “no”. When I did so it was 439 (14%) yes vs. 2686 no.

  6. S**t. Silly me. It was Realthog, not DavidK.

  7. Unfortunately, there are people who enourage readers to respond to these online polls, whch makes them worthless as a guage of opinion. Not that they are all that reliable, anyway.

  8. The debate’s moderator, Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Jennifer Rooks, asked, “Do you believe in creationism, and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?” To the question, which was asked in a “lightning round” format, which gives candidates limited time to answer, [Maine’s governor Paul] LePage responded, “I would say intelligence, uh, the more education you have the more knowledge you have the better person you are and I believe yes and yes.”

    Or in other words, “Duhhhh . . . !”

    [Acting education commissioner Bill] Beardsley answered simply, “I would teach creationism.”

    Which goes to show that the governor indeed chose him on the basis of cronyism rather than actual qualifications.

    Ah, to be a public-school student in Maine over the next few years (until the Supreme Court knocks down this latest scheme to put the Bible into public school science classes).

  9. @mnbo

    It was Realthog, not DavidK.

    I’ll let you off this time. And you’re right: that was exactly how I got the figures.

  10. Things must have changed drastically since I was a kid in Catholic school… where we were taught evolution, not creationism or even intelligent design (unless you count the rote answers in Catechism class of ‘God made me’ as somehow supporting intelligent design). I believe that is still the Church’s position.

  11. Oh, the lawyers in Maine are anticipatingly rubbing their hands and licking their chops, just knowin’ lawsuits will be a-comin’.

  12. Holding the Line in Florida

    Ah to be a public school teacher in Maine!!! I would love entering the fray!!! I would be one creation teaching fool!! I think I would start with the Germanic version first. “In the beginning nothing existed except for Ginnungagap. Neither sand, sea, heaven or earth had been created. After a long span of time, a new realm emanated in the south called Muspell. It was made of fire, glowing embers, and scorching heat. In the north a second region sprang forth called Niflheim. It consisted of bitter winds, and of freezing ice and snow…….” Then after teaching the kids as many as I could, I would let them decide which one they like best! I am pulling for one with a mega babe mother goddess!! It would be fun!!!

  13. @H.L.F.: Oh, I’d like to see a graven image of Mega Babe Mother Goddess!

  14. The version with an elephant standing on tortoises is a personal favorite.