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Rick Perry: Confusing Kids OK When It Comes To Evolution, Not Marriage

by David Badash on August 19, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Rick Perry: Confusing Kids OK When It Comes To Evolution, Not Marriage

In Republican Rick Perry’s Texas, it’s OK to confuse children about something so basic as evolution — a science taught around the the world as fact — but it’s not OK to teach kids about same-sex marriage and LGBT equality. Thursday in New Hampshire, Governor Perry told a nine-year old boy that “in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools, because I figured you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.” So, it’s OK to confuse kids about where mankind comes from, (an how old the earth is), but it’s not OK to think kids are “smart enough to figure out which one is right” when it comes to equality versus bigotry?

This is yet another of Governor Perry’s mind-boggling hypocrisies.

Like his investment in a pornography distribution company, despite his claim to be all about “family values.”

But worry not — the media has come to the rescue! (Seriously, don’t you some days just thank goodness for the power of journalism? I do.)

The non-partisan Politifact calls Perry’s lie that, “in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools, because I figured you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right,” well, a lie.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that teaching creationism in public schools is unconstitutional because it amounts to the endorsement of religion, according to Kristi Bowman, a Michigan State University law professor and expert in education law. She pointed to a 1987 decision striking down a Louisiana law that said evolution instruction in public schools was not allowed unless it was accompanied by instruction in “creation science.”

We looked at the state’s current science curriculum standards, which make no mention of creationism while indicating that evolutionary theory should be covered in high school classes.

The high school biology standards say that in all fields of science, students should analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including “examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking.”

According to the standards, biology classes are to present evolutionary theory as a “scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life.” Instructional details in the standards touch on fossil records, natural selection, adaptation and genetic mutation, among other topics.

The Texas State Board of Education adopted those curriculum standards in 2009, and the revision process drew national attention as some conservatives pushed for inclusion of provisions that could cast doubt on evolution.

The final version was described by some state board members as a compromise between “those who are critical of teaching evolutionary theories without scrutiny and those who feared attacks on evolution would lead to the teaching of creationism in Texas schools,” according to a March, 28, 2009, Austin American-Statesman news article.

It’s actually much longer, but the bottom line is that the Governor of Texas has no idea what is being taught in the public schools of his own state. Politifact concludes, “No doubt, some Texas teachers address the subject of creationism. But it’s not state law or policy to intermix instruction on creationism and evolution. We rate Perry’s statement False.”

Now, about that equality issue…

Here’s how “confused” kids get when they learn about same-sex marriage for the first time.

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