We found today’s news in the Arizona Capitol Times, which describes itself as “the leading source of political news from the state Capitol and beyond.” Their headline is Education board rebuffs Christian-centric academic standards. The last time we wrote about this subject was Even More Creationist Madness in Arizona. Here are some excerpts from today’s news, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The state Board of Education on Oct. 22 rebuffed a bid by schools chief Diane Douglas to adopt standards for Arizona’s public schools crafted by a Christian college.
Excellent! As you know, Arizona’s current Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, a flaming creationist, was defeated in a recent primary election, but until her eventual successor is elected and takes office, she’s still running things — more or less. The newspaper says:
But whether schools can use the standards crafted by Hillsdale College remains an open question.
That was discussed in our earlier post. Then the Arizona Capitol Times tells us:
What is clear is that the new standards incorporate some last-minute changes proposed by the Arizona Science Teachers Association. The most notable change includes a clear statement that “the unity and diversity of organism, living and extinct, is the result of evolution.” Sara Torres, the group’s executive director, said these standards will “protect teachers of science from being put in a position of teaching non-scientific ideas.”
A humiliating defeat for the creationists! But Diane Douglas isn’t giving up. We’re told:
After the vote, Douglas insisted she is not against the teaching of evolution. [Hee hee!] And Douglas said she even is willing to concede that “science, to some degree, has proven adaptation of species.” Where she parts company is taking the next steps. “Show me where any scientist has proven or replicated that life came from non-living matter or that, in the example we see in the museums, that man evolved from an ape,” Douglas said. “There’s no proof to that,” she continued. “Let’s teach our children all those different things and let them study them.”
Hard core indeed! The news story goes on and on, but we’ve hit the important points so this is where we’ll stop. Oh wait — our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this: Victory in Arizona. They say:
The Arizona state board of education voted 6-4 to adopt a new set of state science standards at its October 22nd, 2018, meeting. These standards were recently revised in accordance with recommendations from the Arizona Science Teachers Association to restore the concepts of speciation and common ancestry as well as high school-level standards about climate change, which were previously deleted.
“This is a tremendous victory for Arizona science education,” commented NCSE’s executive director Ann Reid. “Only with a scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate treatment of evolution and climate change in their state science standards – and in their textbooks and classrooms – will Arizona’s public school students be adequately prepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”
Okay, dear reader — that’s the good news. Now the fun begins, as we await the inevitable lamentations from the usual creationist websites. Stay tuned to this blog!
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