2010: a good year for creationists

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is warning that creationists are increasingly attacking the science curriculum to get their sweet but bonkers ideas accepted as fact in schools.

In Texas, for example, a board of education dominated by creationists has successfully shoehorned creationist language into the life and earth sciences standards.

"Having students 'analyze and evaluate all sides of scientific evidence' is code that gives creationists a green light to attack biology textbooks," said Josh Rosenau, NCSE Programs and Policy Director.

Meanwhile, South Dakota passed a resolution encouraging teachers to present "a balanced and objective" view of global warming.

With around five percent of scientists disagreeing that man-made climate change is taking place, a 'balanced view' should by rights mean devoting about three minutes of a one-hour lecture to their viewpoint. That's not, apparently, what South Dakota meant.

Other 'highlights' of the year include the dishing out of government funds to a Kentucky theme park that promoted Mickey Mouse, sorry, creationism, as fact.

And in Louisiana, creationists almost derailed the adoption of nearly two dozen high school biology textbooks that, in the words of one creationist, "devoted too much time to evolutionary theory and none to intelligent design".

The books didn't devote a great deal of time to Norse myths either, but don't worry, all in good time.

There was some hope, though, for the forces of reason. John Freshwater, an Ohio middle school science teacher, was accused of displaying Biblical posters and branding crosses on the arms of his students. One family sued, costing the school district $475,000; Freshwater may soon be one of the lilies of the field.