This is an amusing story we found in Clay Today, a weekly newspaper published in Fleming Island, located in Clay County, Florida: Darwin on trial in textbook adoption hearing. They have a comments feature, but there aren’t any comments yet. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Clay County School Board Member Ashley Gilhousen is unhappy with the current selection of science textbooks for grades K-12 and found herself in the presence of others who shared that feeling, and those who didn’t, during the Feb. 1 school board meeting.
Ah, a school board battle over science textbooks. And what, in particular, did the lady find objectionable? The newspaper says:
During a public hearing to approve the advertised science textbook adoption, Gilhousen expressed the problems she had with how the textbooks teach evolution, claiming that it’s presented more as fact rather than theory. She also showed concern that evolution is the only theory in the textbook used to teach the origin of life.
Evolution is the only theory about life in the district’s science books? How unfair! Then they quote her, and the bracketed material is at the newspaper’s website:
“I think what we heard tonight is a whole lot of science that’s been left out of our textbooks and there is scientific argument to the theory of evolution that is not being presented,” Gilhousen said. “If you look at what the state requires, it only requires our students to know the supporting evidence for [the scientific theory of evolution] and that’s my point of contention.”
Gasp — what do the textbooks leave out? We’re told:
Gilhousen, who is running for re-election this year, said her faith is not a part of this discussion [Hee hee!], and that rather, she wants a comprehensive science education that challenges students to think critically and make their own decisions based on empirical evidence and scientific data.
We can’t find her campaign website, but this is her write-up at Balotpedia: Ashley Gilhousen. She has a degree in nursing and works as a “patient care specialist” at a children’s hospital. The news story continues with comments from the audience, and again, the bracketed material is at the newspaper’s website:
Scott Yirka, pastor of Hibernia Baptist Church on Fleming Island, said it’s a shame that students can’t have supplementary material when teaching the origin of man. “I’d like to see our kids have [supplementary material],” Yirka said. “I’m not necessarily espousing that you teach creationism but to at least have the opportunity to have a conversation about the flaws that are in evolution.”
The preacher is very fair-minded. He isn’t necessarily espousing creationism — but hey, give the kiddies a chance to attack evolution. Let’s read on:
Yirka believes that the reason many educated people disagree with much of what is taught when it comes to evolution is because they see that the cosmology is more intricate than some sort of accident, that we are far more than atoms and molecules that just randomly appeared.
That sounds reasonable. Then the preacher’s son commented:
Yirka’s son, Graham Yirka, a junior at Fleming Island High in the AICE program, said he does not believe in the theory of evolution and when he brings up intelligent design, he gets ridiculed. He also believes that the theory of evolution leads people to believe they are superior to others. … “At the core of evolution is the repudiation of equality and if in schools you want equality, equality of education, equality of opportunity, and equality all around, this is not something that’s going to further that and in fact, it’s something that’s going to hinder that.”
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Evolution is evil!
Skipping a lot, we’re told the result of the meeting:
[T]he board voted to approve the adoption of the advertised science textbooks for grades K-12 in a 3-2 vote with board members Betsy Condon and Gilhousen voting no.
This is Betsy’s write-up at Balotpedia: Betsy Condon. She has a degree in environmental health.
So there you are, dear reader. The two ladies lost, but we have no doubt that the battle will continue in Clay County.
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