To borrow a line from Dorothy: We’re not in Kansas anymore.
Unlike the Kansas School Board, which earlier this summer approved allowing educators to teach theories in addition to evolution that explain life on Earth, the Utah Board of Education on Friday unanimously approved a position statement supporting the continued exclusive teaching of evolution in state classrooms.
Only two people out of the dozens who attended Friday’s meeting sided with Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, and his proposal to allow teaching “intelligent design” as a theory to explain the origins of life.
Good for them. Buttars, however, remained defiant and vowed to soldier on:
The school board ignored Buttars’ complaint that board members never invited proponents of intelligent design to participate in drafting the position statement.
The board also chose to decline his request to delay voting on the document until the senator could give a two-hour presentation arguing for intelligent design.
During the public comment period, Buttars repeated his intention to either introduce legislation to require intelligent design be a school topic, or place the issue on next year’s ballot in the form of a referendum.
If you will remember, Buttars also has my favorite quote, ever, regarding intelligent design:
Buttars doesn’t disregard evolution completely, rather he believes God is the creator, but His creations have evolved within their own species.
“We get different types of dogs and different types of cats, but you have never seen a ‘dat,’ ‘’ he said.
Buttars lives up to his potential again in the hearings:
Buttars insisted that all he wants is equal time in the classroom – and it doesn’t have to be the science classroom.
“Whenever anyone challenges the evolution people, they go berserk,” he said. “[Evolution] is not a fact . . . We’re dealing with censorship here. If we only taught Shakespeare in English class, that wouldn’t be fair.”
Some of the scientists retorted that science is not a democracy.
“Legitimacy is not determined by public opinion polls, radio and TV talks shows, privately published books and, most certainly, not by legislation,” said Richard Tolman, a professor of biology and science education at Utah Valley State College.
In a summer full of crappy news, how about three cheers for the Utah Board of Education?