As we have been reporting on this website, one of the major ongoing creation/evolution controversies in the United States is being played out in a West Virginia county. The media coverage intensified recently over the possible purchase of a science textbook that does not treat evolution as a fact—or even a good theory.

A science textbook committee in Kanawha County, composed of science teachers in that county’s public schools, highly recommended that the school board purchase a few reference copies of the book Of Pandas and People, but then withdrew its endorsement after intense opposition by state education officials, the ACLU, and the secular media (see related story).

The text exposes the serious problems with evolution theory, and presents an alternative view of origins: “intelligent design.” The book contains no religious doctrine and features excellent material on how our world shows evidence of design.

The shrill opposition to the book becomes even more bizarre when you realize that teachers and students would not have been even required to read it! The original request by the textbook committee was that the school board buy a few copies as reference tools for science teachers. The choice was left up to the teachers whether to refer to the book or not for planning their science lessons.

The school board met on April 20 to consider the book, but after public comment, agreed to discuss it again on May 11.

Meanwhile, letters to the editor and mocking editorials/cartoons (especially in the Charleston Gazette, where one political cartoonist called creationists “pinheads”) have been appearing regularly. One of the more eloquent and thoughtful letters to the editor was submitted by a former Lutheran pastor, who granted AiG permission to reprint his letter to the Charleston Gazette … .

“Evolution’s side won’t allow debate”

Editor:

In your article “Creation textbook divides board,” you illustrate once again the problem posed by teaching evolution in public schools: No one is allowed to dissent from the prevailing view.

I find it ironic that the American Civil Liberties Union takes such a strong, and clearly overstated, stand against providing teachers (not students in the classroom) with a source material that presents evidence against evolutionary theory and alternative ideas proposed by scientists and based on scientific principles. In no other realm of scientific study can experts be demonized so viciously by those who conveniently forget that evolution is a theory, after all, and not a proven fact or revealed truth.

When the honest opinions of trained scientists are ridiculed and their reputations attacked, when honest dissent is squelched and those who teach our children are threatened with the loss of professional status for failing to vigorously support the prevailing doctrine, then religion is being taught in our public schools. It is the religion of evolutionism.

Terry L. Yahr
Charleston, WV

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