Yesterday we wrote More Creationist Chaos in Maine, abut the news that Maine’s creationist Governor, Paul LePage, had appointed Bill Beardsley, also a creationist, to be the state’s education commissioner.
Things must have been wild behind the scenes, because now the Portland Press Herald of Portland, Maine is running this story: Maine’s acting education commissioner reverses creationism comment. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The state’s new acting education commissioner said Monday that he does not support teaching creationism in Maine schools, reversing a position he took when he ran for governor in 2010.
What kind of creationist is that guy? One day he says creationism should be taught in public schools, and now it shouldn’t. The news continues:
On Monday, he said he doesn’t believe schools should teach creationism in science classes, and that he will not put forward any effort to change Maine’s current science standards to include creationism, the idea that the universe and life originated as a result of divine intervention.
How can anyone trust Beardsley? He changes his beliefs faster than some people change their clothes. Let’s read on:
“There’s a place for religion and a place for science,” Beardsley said. “Do I believe in science? Of course I believe in science. My mother was an astronomer. Am I a person of faith? Yes, I happen to be a person of faith. I keep my faith separate from my secular work,” he added.
That’s not what he said when he was running for Governor. The newspaper reminds us:
During a lightning round of questions in a gubernatorial debate in 2010, Beardsley answered “yes” when asked whether he believed in creationism and thought it should be taught in schools.
He’s all over the place. Great political appointment! We continue:
He said the Maine Department of Education doesn’t independently determine what is taught in classrooms. The state sets standards, while local school districts select the curriculum used to teach those standards. The state, for example, does not dictate the books teachers use in the classroom.
So he’ll have no power anyway. Here’s more:
A bill to update Maine’s science standards last year passed the Legislature, but LePage vetoed it. In his veto message, LePage said there was not enough funding to ask schools to review and update the science standards.
On May 22, Maine governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill which would have implemented the Next Generation Science Standards in Maine. While there were persistent rumors that his opposition stemmed from the standards coverage of evolution and climate change, the ostensible reason offered was the potential cost of implementing those standards.
Poor Paul LePage. First he vetoes the NGSS, like a good creationist, then he appoints a creationist to be his education commissioner. Everything was going his way — but then the man he appointed suddenly changes his position.
The article drones on and on, but that’s the creationism news. However, this is interesting:
Beardsley also faced a challenge from Democratic legislators during his confirmation hearings in 2012 for the State Board of Education. The year before, the Rev. Bob Carlson, a former chaplain at Husson University while Beardsley was president, committed suicide after learning that state police were investigating allegations that he sexually abused several children over 40 years.
Beardsley was drawn into the scandal because he was named in a report published by the state police. In the 104-page report, Beardsley told investigators that he received two phone calls, one in 2005 and another in 2006, that suggested that Carlson had participated in a homosexual relationship. Beardsley told police that he confronted Carlson after the second caller in 2006 threatened to make the relationship public.
They have a few more paragraphs on that, but it’s not the kind of story we post about, so we’ll leave it up to you to read the news article for yourself. Anyway, that’s the creationism news. Make of it what you will.
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