Senator Plans Bill to Address Evolution in Public Schools
Senator Plans Bill to Address Evolution in Public SchoolsDec 21, 2010OKLAHOMA--It's been a controversial issue for years and now one Oklahoma lawmaker says he plans on introducing a bill next year dealing with teaching evolution in public schools.
Meredith Saldana has more on what the senator says is a very important issue.
State Senator Josh Brecheen stressed that the final wording of the bill is not complete but says the issues the bill deals with are vital to our children.
Senator Brecheen says children should be given all the facts when it comes to evolution.
"If we really are going to use science in the classroom, let's use the full science, let's not just be selective in our science. That's what my legislation is designed to do," Brecheen said.
The senator says he supports having creationism--the belief that God created the world without evolution--taught in public schools.
"You either remove both or you put both in," he said.
In an op-ed he wrote last week, Brecheen called evolution, "a religion," and says there are serious flaws in the theory that students ought to know.
"The main fallacy with Darwinian theory," he argued, "is the sudden appearance at about 540 million years [ago] of fossil records. It's like a guy standing at the chalkboard and saying okay here's an atom [and then writing] question mark, question mark, human--here we are. But its fact, and there's zero evidence to back it up."
But reputable scientists disagree including Murray State Professor Bruce Stewart who says the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.
He argues that the fossil record shows many transitional forms that support evolutionary theory.
"Science departments everywhere in accredited universities or any sort of legitimate research organization all work on the founding principle that we use science and evolution is science," he said.
Professor Stewart says teaching any alternatives to evolution would hurt Oklahoma kids' education.
"Teaching creationism or intelligent design would be a disastrous thing to include in a science course. It could be appropriately included in world religions or in other forums, but certainly not as science," he said.
"This is the future of our state, the future of our nation is dependent on what we teach our kidos in the classroom," said Senator Brecheen.
Oklahoma's major universities including OU and OSU all agree that evolution is the best science and that alternatives such as creationism should not be taught in public schools.
Meredith Saldana, KTEN News