March 6, 1998 in Nation/World

Most Back Creationism For Schools Post Falls Forum Is Hostile Ground For Evolution

Laura Shireman Staff writer
 

FROM FOR THE RECORD (Saturday, March 7, 1998):

Correction

Stance corrected: Mary Girton was misidentified in an article in Friday’s paper about teaching creation science in the schools. Girton said she wants both creation and evolution presented as scientific theories, and had voted against school bonds before and might again.

Scientific creationism should be taught in schools because there are flaws with the theory of evolution, a retired biology teacher told a forum Thursday night.

Carl Corbit, who worked for the Atomic Energy Commission for 33 years, used to teach evolution to high school biology students using a college textbook.

He believes teachers should be open-minded and present all theories about the origins of human life.

Corbit was one of at least 100 people - mostly parents - who came to Prairie View Elementary School to talk about a proposal to teach scientific creationism alongside evolution theory in Post Falls schools.

Most people Thursday supported the proposal.

“This fully complies with our state constitution … and our federal constitution,” said Kevin Krieg, one of the forum moderators.

Krieg and Ted Corder, both parents of Post Falls schoolchildren, are behind the proposal. On Feb. 9, the two unveiled their plan to a packed school board meeting.

Idaho’s Constitution forbids teaching religion in public schools. It’s unclear what, if anything, the district can do about the proposal.

Krieg and Corder said scientific creationism is the theory that a god, not necessarily a Christian one, created the universe.

They told the crowd Thursday that Bibles and other religious texts would not be used in classrooms.

But “that’s what should be done!” shouted J.J. Jarvis from the back of the room, drawing applause.

Others spoke about the imbalance of teaching only evolution.

Teaching only the “sacred cow” of evolution is wrong, said one woman.

“That’s not scientific. That’s dishonest,” she said. “Scientific creationism is just that: It’s based on science.”

Parent Gail Worden said she wanted to focus on passing the school bond.

“I hope that this issue will not splinter the community,” she said, because children would face the consequences if another bond fails.

Jodine Krieg said she’s voted against bonds before and might again.

“If you want your new school, I have to be sure that my kids will get a full education,” she said, explaining that she wants both creation and evolution presented as scientific theories.

Buell Hollister defended the theory of evolution.

“We have to acknowledge that we’ve evolved,” he said, citing the evolution of other species and the human mind.

He also asked why supporters of evolution weren’t represented on the panel, which was composed of Krieg, Corder, Corbit and Jim Pearl, a geologist who supports scientific creationism.

Organizers said the gathering was meant to educate people about the proposal.

The Post Falls School District is considering its options, said Superintendent Dick Harris.

“I appreciate their thoughts tonight. My job as superintendent is to bring a resolution of this matter that reflects the views of the whole community,” he said. “We’re hearing (here) that it’s OK according to the law. We need to research that.”

Harris said he will talk about ways to address the proposal at the school board meeting Monday night at 7 in the high school cafeteria.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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