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Creationism in Charles County?

Evolution is a problem for some of the members of the Charles County, Maryland, Board of Education, to judge from a recently released list of goals and suggestions compiled by its members. Among the entries were recommendations not to use 10th-grade biology textbooks "biased toward evolution" and to provide creationist books and videos to students.

Board member Margaret Young told the Washington Post, "Certainly only one [theory] has been taught in the public school system, yet the kids go to Sunday school and are taught an opposing point of view ... [They need] both theories, so they're informed students." But biology teacher John Krehbiel said that the recommendation to teach creationism in science is absurd: "Supernatural beliefs simply don't belong in a science class. We deal with the scientific evidence available."

None of the proposals on the list has been approved or even brought up for a vote, but the antievolutionist proposals, as well as suggestions to censor reading lists and provide Bibles to the students, have been taken as evidence of a radical right agenda on the part of the board. More than 200 people reportedly attended a meeting on October 12, 2004, protesting the board's apparent desire to promote a particular set of religious values; it remains to be seen whether any of the objectionable recommendations will be considered further. In an editorial, the Washington Post opined, "[W]e trust that the bright light of public scrutiny will ensure that the county schools remain a forum for education, not indoctrination."

(Story in the Washington Post)