Msg # 22
Date: 15 May 91 18:15:15
From: Christopher Baker
Subj: 'creationism' rejected in Lake County Florida
Florida Today, Section A, front page, 15 May 91:
TAVARES -- The Lake County School Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to reject a
proposal to permit the teaching of creationism in science classes as an
alternate view to the theory of evolution.
Lake County Schools Superintendent Thomas Sanders said the idea, which was
opposed by the ACLU and a state teachers' union, was unworkable partly
because teachers are ill-equipped to explain creation theories.
"I asked Christian ministers...They tell me without question, they believe
in creationism but they didn't believe the school system knows how to teach
it," Sanders said before the vote.
The Rev. Bob Well of Eustis, who presented the fundamentalists' plan,
accused the board of "intellectual dishonesty and bigotry" and walked out of
the meeting, saying his group might file a lawsuit against the School Board.
Board member Patricia Hart, a creationism supporter, was the lone
dissenter, saying she had to vote her convictions.
Sanders noted that keeping scientific creationism out of science classes
was the board's only issue. He said the board did not intend to infringe on
teachers' First Amendment rights or prevent discussion of creationism in
other classes, such as comparative religion.
After a Monday workshop on the issue, School Board Chairman Jerry Smith
said the creationism debate made the board "the laughingstock among our
collegues. This has brought us a lot of unneeded publicity."
The teachers' organization, Florida Education Association-United, and the
ACLU threatened to take the board to court if it did not reject the idea.
Wells, executive director of the Lake County Christian Care Center, made
the proposal to the board April 23. The board decided to hold the workshop to
clarify the meaning of scientific creationism, but it then became a
Supporters on Monday explained that scientific creationism closely
follows the biblical account of life's origins and relies on the premise that
the universe was created by a supreme being.
The theory of evolution is taught in schools as the scientific theory of
life's beginnings, suggesting the earth and its life forms emerged from a
naturalistic process billions of years ago.
Also opposed to the proposal was the Lake County Education Association.
It pointed out in a statement that science teachers aren't required to give
"equal time or equal weight" to evolutionary theory and scientific
the article failed to mention that about 10 religious groups [mostly Baptist
and other Protestant sects] also opposed the fundamentalists' proposal. it is
becoming increasingly common for mainstream sects to oppose attempts to
'Christianize' public schools. this may be enlightened self-interest since
the slippery slope would probably lead to Roman Catholic domination of any
doctrine introduced leaving the other sects out in the cold.
the most disturbing thing about these constant assaults on the separation of
State and church, foisted mostly by fundamentalist types, is that such
proposals are not rejected outright at first suggestion. the lack of backbone
in school boards and other government offices is shameful and dangerous.
that the media give stature to so-called 'creationism' by using the fundie
term 'scientific creationism' over and over in articles and news reports is
also unfortunate. there is NOTHING scientific about 'creationism'. attempting
to legitimize mythology as fact is a tactic we will continue to see until
someone puts their foot down a few times and makes an outright rejection of
the term and its minions from wasting government time fending off these
attacks on our basic freedom from religion.
keep your eyes open in your own community. it can happen anywhere. it must be
fought at all levels.
--- D'Bridge B1046/00R
* Origin: Rights On! - Free of Religion! - Titusville_FL_USA (1:374/14)
SEEN-BY: 103/903 109/120 374/14 3610/98