So yet again creationism is flaring up, this time in a small Ohio town. Right now it looks like a lot of he said-she said. Did the teacher actually burn a cross on the student’s arm, or was it just an experiment gone wrong? Did he refuse to remove a Bible from his desk? Is there anything wrong about having a Bible on your desk? And most importantly, was he actually teaching creationism?
I tend to have mixed feelings about this perpetual conflict. I don’t think creationism should be in science classrooms…but I also think that people often overreact to the controversy. This teacher appears to have an exemplary record over 20-odd years–including a couple teaching awards. His transgressions are much milder than passing out from drinking too much in the middle of class, or some other horror stories we hear about. Surely we can solve this situation without suing someone. I suspect that it’s pretty hard to get top-quality science teachers in central Ohio. Is it really necessary to react so harshly for someone for disagrees with what is no more than 3 weeks of a typical high school biology class? Maybe it would be easier to find a substitute for those weeks.
Granted there are probably logistical, legal and regulatory impediments to this type of solution. But even if they could be overcome, I bet most most people would oppose this solution. There’s something about this issue that gets everyone’s blood to boil. We’re not even interested in working out what are, in my view, pretty minor disagreements. Everyone has some primal desire to crucify the other side.