Maine: School Board Director Seeks to Exclude Evolution

SAD 59 debates teaching of evolution

Mike O’Risal at Hyphoid Logic points out that there is trouble brewing in Maine.

I think the following from the news report conveys the essence:

Director Matthew Linkletter claims evolution is an unprovable theory and shouldn’t be taught as fact. He’s urged the SAD 59 Board of Directors to consider his view during its May 19 meeting in Madison, with a goal of removing evolution from science classrooms.

But David Connerty-Marin of the Department of Education says evolution must be taught because, in the state’s view, it’s a proven science.

“For our students to be prepared for college work and life in the 21st century, it’s necessary,” said Connerty-Marin.

Connerty-Marin said the Maine Learning Results program mandates the study of evolution in public science classes.

You have a local school board seeking to overturn statewide standards concerning teaching of evolutionary science, with typical “equal time” and “balanced treatment” claims being made here.

The state of play has progressed since 1987’s Edwards v. Aguillard ruling, though. Now, the federal government under the “No Child Left Behind” law will withhold federal funds from schools whose students do not perform to the adopted state science standards. That means that if the state has evolutionary science in its science standards, efforts to exclude it from the classrooms and tests means that the schools involved are saying they they don’t want the monetary support that comes from compliance.

Maybe Linkletter hasn’t gotten the memo yet.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

5 thoughts on “Maine: School Board Director Seeks to Exclude Evolution

  • 2008/05/13 at 9:49 am
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    Here’s some good news from today’s Waterville Morning Sentinel:

    No vote Monday on evolution topic

    By Morning Sentinel Staff Report May 13, 2008 11:03 AM
    MADISON School Administrative District 59 directors will not vote on or even address revising the school curriculum on Monday, Superintendent Michael Gallagher said today.
    During their April 29 meeting, the SAD 59 Board of Directors tabled discussions about revising the curriculum and about how the district teaches the theory of evolution.
    Board member Matthew Linkletter of Athens last month suggested removing evolution from the science curriculum. Linkletter said that evolution is not proven, and thus should not be taught as science.
    Gallagher said that the board has no specific timetable regarding discussion and an ultimate vote on a revising the curriculum. Such a vote might not happen during the current school year, he said.

  • 2008/05/16 at 4:41 am
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    Mike O’Risal wrote:

    “Matthew Linkletter is without doubt an unabashed classical Creationist and believes in a literal six-day creation, young earth, the whole medieval enchilada. Why, we should be asking, is he saying that he doesn’t want Creationism taught in Maine’s public schools?”

    Or, heaven forbid, critically analyzed, including focus on the mutually contradictory claims of YEC and OEC.

    Sounds like Linketter did get the memo about “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

  • 2008/09/22 at 11:30 am
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    you guys all bash people that have different views than you its lame your just as bad as you say the other guy is

  • 2008/09/22 at 5:34 pm
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    That seems doubtful to me. I’m for respecting everyone’s religion by having everyone keep their particular religious doctrines out of public school curricula. This is undoubtedly a good thing to do. Efforts to insert one narrow religious doctrine that is exclusionary is undoubtedly a bad thing to do. It’s quite simple, really.

  • 2010/02/25 at 11:20 am
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    Separation of church and state.. its that simple. You don’t have to believe in evolution, people can keep their religion views. Students who believe in science should not have to suffer for other peoples religious views. While I respect that people have the freedom of religion, it should be kept out of our schools.

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