Creationism in New Mexico
26 Aug 1996 14:53:09 -0600
I posted earlier that creationism was mandated in New Mexico's recently
revised State Board of Education guidelines to public schools.
This is *incorrect*.
According to journalist Deborah Baker (with the Associated Press), the board's
guidelines "leave open" to teachers what theories of life's origins to teach
to their students, but does not mandate (or even explicitely mention)
Creationism per se.
The guidelines omit the old requirement that evolutionary theory be
introduced to students, however, so teachers who do not feel comfortable with
evolution are free to skip it in their presentation of biology to students.
I object to this editorial licensing of teachers. They should teach the
state of the science, not push their personal ideologies, in the science
I apologize for repeating in my earlier post what I may have misheard from
the local TV news before I had verification that it was correct. This
situation is not so bad as I thought it was, but it's still pretty bad,
considering that teachers in rural NM make the news fairly regularly for
teaching creationism instead of biology in biology classes.
"Leaving the door open" is legally more viable than "mandating"
creationism in science classes, but for many unfortunate students, will
result in the same thing: Sunday school in the classroom.