Tennessee not doomed

By Phil Plait | April 9, 2010 12:30 pm

In Tennessee, Kurt Zimmerman, the father of a high school student wants the biology book banned.

Guess why.

Yeah, it dismissed Biblical creationism as a myth. So he took his case to the school board and complained, asking that the book be banned. Their response was actually very cool: they said no.

One reviewer’s first impression of creationism’s definition was similar to Zimmermann’s in that “the authors must be offensively biased against this Christian view of the world,” the reviewer wrote.

"Upon further investigation, however, I quickly realized there is more than one definition of the word ‘myth.’ In this case the word is used appropriately to describe a traditional or legendary story … with or without a natural explanation," the [school board] reviewer wrote.

Not the use of the phrase "offensively biased", indicating to me that the reviewer him or herself may be sympathetic to creationist claims. But they still came to the correct conclusion: the word myth just means an explanatory story.

I’m glad the board dismissed Mr. Zimmerman’s claims, and I’ll take whatever victory I can when it comes to stopping the forces of antireality. But still, it makes me flinch somewhat to hear this. Sure, we can’t teach creationism in public school because it would be a clear violation of the First Amendment. But I can hope that in the future, everyone will know that we won’t teach creationism because it’s wrong.

Tip o’ the fossil to SciBuff.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Politics, Religion, Science
MORE ABOUT: creationism
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