Evolution Reinstated in Georgia


According to today’s AJC, the GA evolution flap is almost over. Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox has used her better judgment–with a little help from the press and public opinion.

State education officials agreed Thursday to consider revised science standards that reinstate evolution and discussion of the big-bang theory.The scientific theories had been omitted in an initial draft released by state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox in January. After a public outcry, the superintendent agreed to include strengthened standards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the source initially recommended by teachers and science experts.

By last week, Cox had proposed a new science curriculum that introduces origins of the universe, specifically the big-bang theory, in middle school; and strengthened standards for evolution in middle and high school life science courses.

If this means what it sounds like it means (we won’t know until June when the final decision is made by the Board of Education), science will be making a comeback in GA’s science classrooms next fall. Of course, a lot appears to depend on public feedback–Cox seems dedicated to proposing her education courses based on polls. The re-revised curriculum will be posted and open for public comment until at least the end of May. Will a concerted fundamentalist effort to force creationism into the state’s science curriculum develop? If it does, will all the new hollering convince Cox to revise her re-revision and remove evolution again?

This business of deciding what constitutes science on the basis of the loudest voices of public opinion at any given moment has some definite drawbacks. Inconsistency, for one. And unpredictability–you’ll never know what will be taught from one year to the next until you see who screams the loudest at BOE meetings. There are some areas where majority rule is inappropriate, and science curricula is one of them.

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