So what are they doing having their own creationist troubles? It just goes to show that this isn’t just a problem for southern yokels in Florida and Texas — it’s an epidemic all over the country.
The specific problem in this case is a ignorant kook who has been made director of School Administrative District 59 and has decided to flout the state standards and expectations for science classes. Look at this fellow’s arguments:
Matthew Linkletter of Athens says that both are merely theories that represent “personal beliefs and world views,” rather than proven science. Linkletter suggested during last week’s SAD 59 board meeting that the board discuss evolution, the “Big Bang Theory” and other studies he believes should be deleted from the curriculum.
The school board tabled action on the science curriculum at the April 28 meeting, and will reconsider the issue when it meets at 7 p.m. May 19.
Linkletter, a Christian, said there is no way to prove either evolution or creationism.
“You can’t show, observe or prove it,” Linkletter said of the belief systems. “It’s something you have to believe by faith. It doesn’t meet the criteria of science.
“If it’s not scientifically verifiable, then maybe we should leave it out of the science classes. When you make a statement that’s not backed by facts and just represents a world view, then it has no place.”
It’s just a “theory”; it’s a “worldview”; you can’t “prove” it. This is a guy who doesn’t know one thing about science but has clawed his way up the political ladder so he poison it. As is usual in these situations, the qualified science teachers are stuck there, trying to do their jobs, and gazing incredulously at the posturing buffoon in the administrative position.
“The empirical proof of evolution is in the study of genetics and how genes relate between organisms,” said Ward, who teaches advanced-placement senior biology, senior anatomy/physiology and 10th-grade biology. She said evolution is proven, as an empirical matter of science, through studies of the human genome.
“My personal, as well as the National Science Teachers position, is that you can’t teach genetics or ecology without evolution.
I rather like this summary:
Madison Town Manager Norman Dean, who taught science in Madison from 1962 through 1996 and once taught Linkletter, characterized his former student’s proposal as “absolutely stupid.”
Hyphoid Logic has a round-up of some of the news stories (although they are all saying about the same thing right now), and one godless Maine blogger is urging the locals to join him at at the next school board meeting on 19 May, and also provides contact information for reaching the board. Strangely, while SAD #59 does have a web page, it’s mostly blank and doesn’t even list the board of directors — if anyone has email contact information, let me know and I’ll post it so we can get a fast letter writing campaign going.