Georgia's top educator wants to remove evolution from the state's textbooks, and many people are upset with the plan.
As you can imagine, biologists and other scientist are outraged, saying evolution is a foundation of science education in this country, but they're not alone. People against the teaching of evolution are also upset, but for different reasons.
If Georgia's superintendent of schools, Kathy Cox, gets her way, evolution would be removed from science textbooks around the peach state.
Cox wants the word "evolution" thrown out, and replaced with the term "biological changes over time."
"By taking evolution out of the standards the way they did, what they're doing is under educating the kids and the state has an obligation to prepare the kids to move on to college, and they need to be trained in all areas and not have something fluffed over or removed altogether," says David Bechler, Ph.D., VSU Department Of Biology Director.
More than 600 educators have signed an on-line petition saying the new term "biological changes over time" dilutes a long-standing scientific standard.
"I feel there is a strong political element here and I'm afraid we may be catering to interest groups rather than the need of our students."
Others are upset that the principles of evolution would remain in schoolbooks.
"If the theory of evolution continues to be taught under this new colorful language that's being used, then it’s really a moot point. It would be like teaching the theory of gravity to students without using the word gravity," says Jason Roberts, evangelist.
While scientists and members of the faith community may disagree on evolution, both sides seem to agree that this proposal is the wrong one for Georgia students. If state education leaders stick with this plan, Georgia would become the sixth state to abandon the word evolution. It has not been finalized. Right now it’s just a proposed change by state school Superintendent Kathy Cox. A representative from her office says they welcome public comment.
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