Creationism Struggles in Minnesota

In the Brainerd Dispatch of Brainerd, Minnesota we have the latest episode in a long running creationist drama. Their headline is Brainerd Public Schools: Kern advocates for teaching creationism in science. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Before the Brainerd School Board approved a new science curriculum for seventh and eighth graders, board member Sue Kern asked about creationism, a topic she has pushed to be taught in the school district in the past.

We’ve written about Susie Kern’s creationist crusade before. See Drooling School Board Chairwoman, when she was quoted at a board meeting:

“You know, Darwin’s theory was done in the mid-1800s and it’s never been proven,” Kern said. “So I’m wondering why we’re still teaching it.”

Susie also inspired a couple of letters-to-the-editor, such as #994: Evolution’s Problems, and then #996: A Mere Theory.

Let’s find out what she’s up to now. The newspaper says:

Tim Murtha, director of teaching and learning, presented materials for seventh grade life science and eighth grade physical science curricula to the board Wednesday, May 27, as a recommendation from Forestview Middle School science teachers and the district advisory committee. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Science Dimensions curricula presented are designed to address Next Generation Science Standards, a multi-state effort to create new education standards rich in content and coherent in manner across various disciplines and grade levels. Content for seventh grade life science classes under the new curriculum includes: heredity and inheritance; structure of molecules and organisms; interactions, energy and dynamics in ecosystems; and [Here it comes!] evolution.

Egad, evolution? Susie won’t like that. We’re skipping a few paragraphs about curriculum subjects that don’t interest us, and then the newspaper says:

Science is always changing, Kern noted, and scientists are always making new discoveries. She referenced the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, which, according to its website, aims to research evidence and display exhibits supporting biblical creation. [Even Hambo rejects that stuff — see Way Down Upon the Paluxy River] Kern also mentioned the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, which some creationists believe shows evidence that geological formations believed to take millions or billions of years to form could have actually happened in much less time.

Ol’ Hambo is big on that Mt. St. Helens argument, but we won’t bother linking to his posts on that. Then the newspaper quotes Susie:

“I just am always a seeker of truth [She means The Truth™], and I would like to see that added to the curriculum,” Kern said. “I would never expect you to not teach what we’re mandated; I’m totally on board with that. But I think we could add a piece there.”

Yeah — just add a little creationism here and there. The newspaper continues by reporting Tim Murtha’s reaction:

Murtha said he appreciated Kern’s question and her respect for the district’s obligation to fulfill certain teaching standards. “But we need to be clear,” he said. “Creationism is not science because it is not falsifiable.” [Gasp!] Murtha added there are bodies of laws and court decisions in the state of Minnesota stating it is not appropriate to teach creationism in schools. “That’s not our decision to make,” he said. “We’ve committed ourselves and our teachers to teaching science. … And our teachers have done a great job of teaching science, and that’s what we need to remain to do.”

Susie wasn’t happy with that. Here comes her reaction:

Kern maintained her position, saying she wants to see the district teach the science part of creationism. “I just think that we’re missing something there,” she said.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! She got this response from the school district’s director of teaching and learning:

Murtha said he respectfully disagreed but appreciated Kern bringing her concerns forward. “I appreciate that we can discuss the concern in a responsible and safe manner,” Murtha said. “You represent a portion of the community as a school board member, who deserves to have its views honored and openly portrayed at school board. And I hope that this discussion in no way creates animosity with the district.”

Very polite — but still “No!” Let’s read on:

Kern thanked Murtha and voted against the adoption of the new seventh and eighth grade science curricula. The measure passed 5-1.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Not much to be said — until we hear from Susie Kern again.

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8 responses to “Creationism Struggles in Minnesota

  1. Fantastic article dear Curmudgeon. Thank you. ..It sounds like Sue is equivocating a bit here though. Just teach a “little” creationism here and there ??? Which parts Sue ??? But this part of the article caught my attention for sure
    “She referenced the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, which, according to its website, aims to research evidence and display exhibits supporting biblical creation. ” As a dyed in the wool Texas geoscientist and veteran explorationist, having worked for some legendary Texas wildcatters and producers, I took my kids and my wife down to the park once and visited a couple of times on field trips with employers and geologic societies. Yup. There are three toed dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy limestone on the river bed that are clearly visible. The Paluxy is a muddy deltaic formation dating from the Cretaceous. The exposures throughout the Hill Country of Texas are magnifiicent and I’ve lead professional field trips examining those units for Dallas based oil companies.
    Up on a bare hill as one approaches the entrance to the state park is a barren, wack doodle “museum” claiming to have “evidence” that humans and dinosaurs COEXISTED….Its Hambonian, only stupider. At least ol Hambo dupes the county and investors out of MILLIONS to build his fake attractions. This thing is barely more than an A frame. That said, I’ll bet the following. All those people you see walking around intentionally NOT wearing face masks? They go to these types of attractions. The Creation Museum in Glen Rose is always empty…so there’s PLENTY of room.
    Woo hoo !!!!!!!!!

  2. Dave Luckett

    The “human” footprints in Cretaceous rocks Carl Baugh is exhibiting are less convincing on closer inspection. They are usually 18 inches (50 cm) long, indicating that the human was a giant. Well, that’s in the Bible, isn’t it? Genesis 6:4. Checkmate, atheist!

    To lend further support, the “museum” also had a human femur over three feet (100 cm) long, indicating that the person it belonged to stood over eight feet (2.45 m) tall. The Bible is vindicated!

    Careful inspection showed that it was a resin cast. And the original? Ah… that is no longer available. In point of remorseless and skeptical fact, there is no original. It seems that the cast was made up from a close scientific description of one found at a dig, er, somewhere, Mr Baugh had it in a letter from a mole – an undercover creationist at the expedition, that is, not actually a mole. Of course atheist scientists suppressed – probably destroyed – the evidence. Oh? And the letter? Ah… that is a private communication, not available to the public.

    Even Ken Ham drew the line at that one.

    Though it seems rational people on the school board outnumber Ms Kern five-to-one, she still bears watching. Further, I wonder whether there are any others who might think along her lines, but are aware enough of reality – as she is not – to know that any attempt to teach creationism in a science curriculum would certainly precipitate a lawsuit, which the plaintiffs would certainly win. Absent that consideration – as seems possible, if the Supreme Court loses its collective mind, which it might – I wonder how the vote on school boards across America would go.

  3. “rational people on the school board”
    I wouldn’t call “Creationism is not science because it is not falsifiable” rational.

  4. Dave Luckett

    FrankB: If “creationism” is defined as “a belief that God created all things, including all life”, then creationism is not falsifiable. If it is defined as “a belief that the Genesis stories are literally true”, agreed, it is very much falsifiable, but that belief is better described as “Biblical literalism”.

  5. Sorry, I misread. My brains have messed things up again; it seems to get worse the older I get. Somehow I managed to read “Evolution is not science because it is not falsifiable”.
    Silly me. Thanks for correcting, DaveL.

  6. Laurette McGovern

    Proposed syllabus for teaching creationism:

    God did it
    When? We don’t know
    How? No idea
    Where? Maybe everywhere, maybe not
    Still going on? Who the heck knows

  7. @Laurette McGovern
    Don’t forget the really important lesson: whatever happened, it didn’t involve monkeys in our ancestry.

  8. Michael Fugate

    And things can never improve – no new information” – but only go down hill. How close are we to the bottom?