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APPEAL FOR EQUALITY
by Katherine Ching
Geoscience Research Institute
Although legal decisions in some parts of the U.S. have hampered efforts to have creation presented in the public schools as an alternative theory to evolution, the struggle continues. Creationists are seeking ways in which to use the negative court rulings to their advantage. An Indiana court has ruled that the teaching of creation theory in the public school classrooms violates the U.S. constitutional provisions for separation of church and state and, further, that the use of the Creation Research Society text Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity gives a biased treatment of origins by promoting creation theory over evolution (see Origins 4:46- 49).
Because an appeal of the Indiana decision would probably be futile, and following the example of creationists in California, members of the Indiana Farm Bureau plan to petition for an evaluation of all science textbooks for bias in promoting evolution as the answer to the question of origins. It is hoped that all dogmatic statements about evolution will eventually be removed from the textbooks.
Even if the courts were to rule in favor of teaching creation, additional problems would have to be solved. One drawback has been that teachers lack both training and textbooks to use a two-model approach to the subject of origins. A possible remedy is currently being developed. In Kanawha County, the largest school district in West Virginia, the Board of Education has voted to adopt a creation-science model from grades K-12 in presenting origins. To implement this model, the Board has commissioned Robert E. Kofahl of the Creation-Science Research Center in San Diego, California, to prepare at three-unit, graduate-level course to train the teachers in the methodology of presenting a neutral two-model approach in the public school classrooms. Dr. Kofahl is currently preparing a detailed syllabus for the course. Topics covered in this syllabus will include the philosophical and logical problems in the creation-evolution controversy, legal issues of teaching creation theory in the science classes, examination of the scientific evidence for both creation and evolution models, and pedagogy involved in the two-model presentation.
If this course meets favorably with the Board of Education and is included in the university system of West Virginia, it could set an example for other states to follow in the continuing battle to see that theories of origins are presented fairly and equally.