Monday, April 02, 2007
Following up on my creationism around the world post of a while back, it is hardly surprising that our closest neighbor (including both location and culture) has also "caught the bug" from us.
The battle over creationism in the classroom is not unique to small town America, prominent Canadian biologists warn. It's creeping into this country's public school science classes and it's up to parents to do something about it.
Denyse (accent on the "Deny") O'Leary (amusingly described as the "Toronto-based fundamentalist author") … [cough] … poo-poos Alters' concerns, saying he is overstating the situation:
"He and his colleagues are essentially importing a controversy that doesn't exist here," says O'Leary, who describes herself as a "post-Darwinist."
Evangelism and the religious right in Canada are much smaller than in the United States, so ideas such as creationism and intelligent design tend to have fewer followers, she says.
That means there's really not that much for Alters to worry about, she says. "He needs to find examples of fundamentalist teachers promoting their ideas in the classroom. That will get him funding."
The situation has become such a concern to scientists that an international team of biologists has put together a new journal to help teachers prepare lesson plans on evolution.
"We've got to teach the teachers," says Daniel Brooks, a University of Toronto evolutionary biologist behind the journal, to be launched in the fall by European academic publishing giant Springer.
"You can't teach biology without teaching the one thing that unifies the whole discipline."
Finally, in a statement that I strongly urge not be read unless your irony meter is shielded by at least eight inches of pure lead sheeting, Ms. O'Leary, second in command at ID Propaganda Central Headquarters Southern District, opined that intelligent design only gets attention when people like Alters make a fuss about it.
If so, it's not from the propagandists' lack of trying.