Two parents and more than 100 supporters want the Post Falls School District to teach scientific creationism alongside evolutionary theory in the classroom.
About 130 people packed the Post Falls High School cafeteria Monday night to support Ted Corder and Kevin Krieg with applause and occasional “amens” as the two men delivered their proposal to the school board.
“It just makes no sense to not arm our children with both sides of the issue,” Krieg said.
“The theory of evolution is not any more provable than scientific creation,” he said.
Krieg does not want public schools to teach religion, he said. He wants equal footing for theories of evolution and theories that a divine entity - Christian or otherwise - created the universe.
The theory of evolution suggests that the universe evolved over time to its present state and that humans evolved from lower life forms without any intervention from a higher being.
Creationism is the theory that a god-type being created the universe essentially in its present state and that humans did not come from animals.
“I’m not advocating getting religion in schools. It’s not legal to do that,” said Krieg.
But he said he struggles with the holes in evidence supporting evolution and the tendency of textbooks to teach the theory as fact.
“We might as well be teaching our children that two and two is three and the earth is flat,” he said.
One parent at the meeting, Gail Worden, opposed the idea of schools teaching creationism.
“My daughter was taught the theory of evolution in the seventh grade. Her teacher told her that there is another theory - the Christian theory - and I had to tell her we are Christians, but our church has accepted evolution,” Worden said.
The proposal comes at a time when the district is reviewing its science curriculum - as it does every seven years. Although the two fathers serve on the curriculum committee, they don’t believe the group will endorse their proposal.
“We’ve run into a brick wall,” Corder said.
They brought the issue to the school board to encourage broader public discourse, they said.
School board member Charles Eberle suggested teaching students to critically examine the evidence supporting evolutionary theory.
“As I recall, the times that I learned the most were the times that I needed to make my own judgments after looking at both sides of an issue,” he said.
State legislation proposed a few years ago recommended allowing teachers more freedom in how they teach about the origins of humanity. Eberle recommended adopting such a policy for the school district.
“It isn’t my intent that this board adopt a position that Post Falls schools teach creationism,” he said. “But I do think that the board should encourage teachers to present both sides of the evolution debate and to bring out evidence on both sides of the issue.”
While the school board made no decision Monday night, it will examine the proposal in future meetings, said Kevin Schneidmiller, chairman of the school board.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Text of the resolution Parents Kevin Krieg and Ted Corder propose the school board adopt this resolution: “Public secondary and elementary schools must give balanced treatment to the theory of scientific creationism and the theory of evolution in classroom lectures as a whole in each individual course, in textbook materials as a whole for each course, in library materials as a whole for any subject, and in other educational programs, to the extent that such lectures, textbooks, library materials, or educational programs deal in any way with the subject of the origin of man, life, the earth or the universe. Treatment of either the theory of evolution or the theory of scientific creationism must be limited to scientific evidences and must not include religious doctrine. This resolution takes effect at the beginning of the next school year unless the Board of Education (the Post Falls School Board) upon adopting this specifies otherwise.”
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