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Anchor staff speaks out

On April 8, a Knoxville issue made its way to national news. A Farragut High School father was featured on Fox News discussing his concern over a biology textbook with a controversial definition of creationism.

Before it made the national news, the issue had been addressed locally. Kurt Zimmermann, father of an FHS freshman, took his concern with the book to the school, which formed a committee to review the text. Eventually, the committee recommended keeping the book.


Unsatisfied with the committee’s decision, Zimmermann took the issue to the Knox County School Board. At [its] April 7 meeting, the book was debated until Chairwoman Indya Kincannon invoked personal privilege, delaying decision on the issue for 30 days.

The sentence in question is from a section of the book that discusses the history of teaching evolution in schools. The book’s exact mention of creationism follows paragraphs about the Scopes Trial in 1925, and the “equal time” laws of the 1970s. The controversial sentence reads, “In 1973, antievolutionists in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana passed identical bills calling for ‘equal time’ for teaching evolution and creationism, the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in seven days.”

The book goes on to say “equal time” laws were ruled unconstitutional because they violated the separation of church and state. Furthermore, religion was not supposed to be taught at all in public schools.

The staff of The Anchor agrees with this basic idea — religion should be kept out of schools, especially in a science class. Science deals with hypotheses that have been tested and backed up with facts. Religion is based on a belief system that cannot be proven or disproven. Religion has its place in a community, but is out of place in a science book, because it isn’t concrete.

Additionally, separation of church and state mandates that religion be kept out of the classroom. Most of the staff believes that the sentence in question should not have been in the book at all.

One staff member said, “The state’s textbook does not and should not adhere to any religious rules. Government should run America; that’s not the church’s job.”

“[The textbook] shouldn’t address [creationism] at all; they should just introduce the scientific theories and that’s all,” said another staff member.

That said, some staff members agree that the use of the word “myth” to describe creationism is offensive. A myth

 

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