I know it’s Asheville, North Carolina and not a city in the Deep South, but I’m still very encouraged to see an editorial like this in the Citizen-Times… and very troubled to know who’s running for the state House of Representatives in Buncombe County:
When asked whether the General Assembly should be involved in the issue of teaching creationism or evolution in public schools, not one of the five candidates who attended would say flatly that creationism should not be taught. Republican Tim Moffitt did not attend, though he showed up for a meet-and-greet afterward.
Democrat Jane Whilden said “both sides should be taught and discussed.” Democrats Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever said the matter should be left up to the state Board of Education. Republicans Mark Crawford and John Carroll stressed their Christian faith. Crawford said such decisions should be made by local boards.
There are not two sides to the issue; there is only one. Evolution is a scientific theory that has been validated time and again over the century and a half since it was promulgated by Charles Darwin.
Creationism is a religious doctrine based on a literal reading of the first chapter of Genesis.
Are these office-seekers so ignorant they do not know this? Or, and this is more likely, were they dodging the question in order to avoid the wrath of the creationists? In either case, it was a sorry performance.
How bad are politics in our country when the only people running for certain public offices — from both major parties — are those who don’t know much about science or education?
Is it too much to ask for an intelligent candidate on the ballot?
***Update***: I’m told the editorial misrepresented one of the candidates:
Those present at the event report that Patsy Keever (a former school teacher) did say that it was up to the school board, but “our curriculum should be based on science.”