Here is a bit of instruction from a guy Superintendent Diane Douglas tapped to help review Arizona’s standards on how to teach evolution in science class:
The earth is just 6,000 years old and dinosaurs were present on Noah’s Ark. But only the young ones. The adult ones were too big to fit, don’t you know.
"Plenty of space on the Ark for dinosaurs – no problem," Joseph Kezele explained to Phoenix New Times' Joseph Flaherty.
Flaherty reports that in August, Arizona's soon-to-be ex-superintendent appointed Kezele to a working group charged with reviewing and editing the state’s proposed new state science standards on evolution.
Kezele is a biology teacher at Arizona Christian University. He also is president of the Arizona Origin Science Association and, as Flaherty puts it, “a staunch believer in the idea that enough scientific evidence exists to back up the biblical story of creation.”
Douglas has been working for awhile now to bring a little Sunday school into science class. This spring she took a red pen to the proposed new science standards, striking or qualifying the word “evolution” wherever it occurred.
This, after calling for creationism to be taught along with evolution during a candidate forum last November.
“Should the theory of intelligent design be taught along with the theory of evolution? Absolutely,” Douglas said at the time. “I had a discussion with my staff, because we're currently working on science standards, to make sure this issue was addressed in the standards we're working on.”
Thus comes Kezele, appointed last month to an eight-person panel tapped with doing a final edit on the draft standards, which will have to be approved by the state Department of Education.
At least one standard weakened
Douglas' spokesman said that Kezele didn't discuss his "personal creationist beliefs" with the committee but Flaherty reports that Kezele did convince other members to weaken the standards in at least one instance. If it stands, Arizona students will now learn that evolution is "an explanation for the unity and diversity of organisms, living and extinct" rather than "the explanation."
So much for long-established scientific theory.
Kezele told Flaherty that there is enough scientific evidence to back up the biblical account of creation. He says students should be exposed to that evidence. For example, scientific stuff about the human appendix and the Earth's magnetic field.
"I'm not saying to put the Bible into the classroom, although the real science will confirm the Bible," Kezele told Flaherty. "Students can draw their own conclusions when they see what the real science actually shows."
Because, hey, Barney floating around on Noah’s Ark.
Kezele told Flaherty that all land animals – humans and dinosaurs alike -- were created on the Sixth Day.
And there was light and the light was, well, a little dim for science class, if you ask me.
Reach Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.