Kim Kendall was a significant voice against the teaching of sound science in 2008. She polished her growing activism skills on a determined fight against the teaching of evolution when the state science standards were being revised and approved. Failing in her efforts there, she moved on to the state legislature and worked with several lawmaker friends to come within a whisker of passing an “academic freedom” bill that would have severely undermined science education, especially in the biology classroom.
She is now running for her first political office, the state House in district 17. She was among three candidates for the seat taking questions at a forum last night. I wondered if evolution instruction would be an issue and figured that it would at some point, but perhaps not early on. Well, I was wrong and in a big way. Not only did Kendall fly that flag high and proud, but her opponents did too!
Possibly the biggest stunner of the night was agreement by all three that creationism should be taught along with evolution in St. Johns County science classes, not just in church or at home.
[Ronald] Renuart said, “Evolution is still a theory. It should be taught as a theory, not as a fact. Creationism, divine intervention — a lot of people share this belief.”
Kendall agreed with that statement.
“Evolution standards are being thrust on our students in science class,” she said. “Academic freedom allows our students to question that science has it right.”
[Mike] Davis said, “The school should present both ideas.”
No one in the auditorium challenged or commented on those statements, which equated “scientific creationism,” essentially religious dogma, to empirical science.
One wonderful aspect of that story is the reporter’s decision to include that last sentence and the editor’s agreement to leave it in. We need more of that! But that positive is balanced with the negative of that sentence’s other content: no one present challenged the statements.
Election season is off to a roaring start!