West Virginia is another state where the creation/evolution issue is heating up. Even though the local school board in Kanawha County last December voted down a resolution that would have supported teachers who criticize evolution in the public school classroom, a textbook committee of science teachers recommended on March 15 that school officials purchase copies of a textbook on “intelligent design.” It is being suggested as a supplement for teachers (Charleston Gazette, March 16).
The book Of Pandas and People (sold by AiG) presents a scientific alternative to evolution (but does not “bash” it), and concludes that the incredible order and complexity we observe in our world means that it is designed. Because the book does not bring up the Bible or other religious texts, and presents evidence from various science fields that living things show evidence of intelligent design, it thereby avoids any legitimate criticism that religion is being “established” in schools.
Of Pandas and People was submitted to the teachers’ committee by Karl Priest, who served as a member of the citizen’s advisory committee and is a math teacher at a middle school. Mr. Priest is also a member of the Kanawha Creation Science Group and an AiG supporter.
The man who oversees the science programs for the county’s school system was quoted by the Charleston Gazette to say that the book “follows science to the letter.” He and other science teachers are recommending that the county purchase 47 of the textbooks—the school board will be voting on April 20 as to which science texts to purchase.
The teachers’ committee is recommending that the book be used as a reference tool for instructors, but not as a supplement for students—science classes, the committee said, do not spend much time on a study of origins anyway (a TV newscast in Charleston did report that students might be allowed to borrow the book from a teacher, but no one would be “forcing” it on them).
Interestingly, evolutionists like Dr. Kenneth Miller at Brown University are decrying the teachers’ textbook suggestion, even though students will not even be required to read Of Pandas and People! Apparently he is afraid that science teachers don’t have the intelligence to think for themselves about the question of intelligent design. Mr. Priest wrote to AiG on March 16 that “the county has some extremely dedicated and intelligent teachers in the science departments”—Dr. Miller therefore should not be too concerned.