I read The Advocate’s Sept. 11 article about the Central Community School System’s new science policy, including the criticism of the policy as a thinly disguised attempt to promote creationism. Up front, I want to say that as a Central parent and a Christian believer, I would personally like nothing better than to have the schools present what I believe is the truth about life origins and other difficult subjects.
However, I am also a longtime supporter of public schools and I fully understand the reality of the current Establishment Clause environment. I accept my responsibility to teach my children about topics that are understandably controversial in a secular school system.
I studied the resolution and policy for myself, attended meetings and talked to board members and other parents. In my opinion, the policy takes great effort to accomplish two goals: to clarify the teachers’ freedom to teach all sides of controversial subjects and to keep the school system out of court.
Cutting to the chase, obviously the main battleground is the ongoing debate between evolution theorists on one side and proponents of creationism/intelligent design on the other.
Both sides will eagerly “prove” how the other has not established scientific credibility. However, activist evolution supporters vehemently insist that their side be accepted as the only “facts” that can be taught and cry foul if any flaws in their beliefs are allowed to be discussed, even if the various evolutionary theories are constantly evolving themselves. This is counterproductive to the learning environment and the scientific method, just as it would be if the public schools taught creationism as indisputable fact to the exclusion of all other theories.
Therefore, I strongly support the type of policy adopted by the Central system, and hope others will follow. Students are in school to learn the critical thinking process as well as facts, not to be indoctrinated or held hostage to the fear of litigation.