|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
The Dover, Pennsylvania school board has adopted a policy concerning the teaching of evolution.
The Science Department teachers researched and recommended to the administration the science book, Biology (Prentice Hall) as the textbook for our High School Biology class. The Dover Area School District adopted, approved, and purchased 220 copies of the teacher-and administration-recommended book.
The district also received as a donation 60 copies of Of Pandas and People and the book is now listed as a reference book in the curriculum. It is not a required text, but in an effort to present a balanced curriculum the book is made available to all students who wish to review the book.
The Biology curriculum was also updated to include the following statement:
“Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to Intelligent Design. The Origins of Life is not taught.”
The Assistant Superintendent in charge of curriculum development, Mr. Baksa, in coordination with the Science department teachers, the district solicitor, and the School Board has developed the following procedural statement to use in implementing the new Biology curriculum language. The following will be read to all students:
“The state standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and to eventually take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.
The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life up to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses on the standards and preparing students to be successful on standards-based assessments.”
(Source: http://www.dover.k12.pa.us/doversd/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=261852 , as of 2004/11/19)
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker