Monkeying around in the classroom

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

By Graham Alabdulla, Staff Writer

You may remember from your middle school education of the landmark trial; The Scopes Trial formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes or commonly known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. Let’s briefly recap this important trial for American education.

John T. Scopes was accused of teaching evolution in a state-funded school, he was found guilty and fined $100, but the ruling was overturned on a technicality. The subsequent trial saw William Jennings Bryan argued for the prosecution against Scopes wile Clarence Darrow argued for Scopes.

In the wake of this trial, two ways of finding truth that American Christians proposed, one “biblical” and one “evolutionist”. Now, that history lesson is out of the way, though it seems that history repeats itself.

The Texas school system of 5.3-plus million public school students has been a struggle for years from public school teachers who were teaching creationism, or the theory of intelligent design. In 2009, the Board of Education in Texas moved to drop the phrase to teach “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution and to analyze “all sides” of the scientific theory.

Now, if the ambiguous language tripped you up like it did me, I’ll try to simplify it.

Essentially, removing this key clause of the strengths and weaknesses of evolution would close the debate for creationism and intelligent design. In addition to, the addition of the clause “all sides’ of the scientific theory opens it up to greater analysis and forming conclusions of evolution and not theories such as intelligent design or creationism.

Now, this final vote about the striking and inclusion of these phrases will take place in April by the Texan Board of Education. And, you may be asking yourself why is this so important?

An individual can believe what they want. And, I would wholeheartedly support you, but when a public-school teacher is instructing students topics, that are against the educational standards in their school district, a stand must be made.

Creationism or Intelligent Design cannot be taught in schools where there is a separation of church and state. These theories can be taught in private religious schools, but this board of education must remain firm in their decision to close the debate of creationism in the classroom and teach the scientific supported theory of evolution.

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