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BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioners Chairman Bill Sue and commissioner Scott Phillips think creationism needs to be a part of Brunswick County Schools curriculum, taught right alongside the theory of evolution.
“Darwin started out it was a theory, and by the time he got to the sixth chapter, it was fact,” Sue said Monday at a meeting between county commissioners and school officials. “Every theory that has ever been the basis of evolution has been disproven.”
Phillips asked school officials, “What can we do to get creation taught in our schools along with the theory of evolution?”
Superintendent Edward Pruden said according to the Supreme Court, creationism cannot be taught as a part of the science curriculum in public schools. Where much confusion comes in regarding evolution is the word “theory,” he explained.
“To laypeople by ourselves, [it] sounds unproven. When scientists use it, it’s backed up by repeated observation and study,” he said, noting theories are kept open for future discoveries.
When it comes to the battle between evolution and creationism, Pruden said public schools “are caught in the middle.”
“Just about half the people believe in evolution and about half don’t,” he said. “But the entire scientific community, with very few exceptions, support the theory of evolution. And by the term theory, they mean the repeated observation by scientific method coming to the same result.”
Sue disagreed, and said the theory of evolution “is the biggest lie that’s ever been perpetrated on mankind.”
“And I know I’m not gonna convince you here, but I’m tired of my taxpayers’ dollars going to pay the price to teach our kids a lie in the schools,” he said. “And when you have a teacher who is in a position of authority standing before a class of fifth-, sixth-graders telling them they come from a monkey, it has a traumatic influence and effect on them. And I’m ready to go wherever we need to go to change that lie that’s being taught.”
Pruden said while he understood and respected the commissioners’ opinions, the decision to teach creationism as a science is not the school system’s decision.
“We can’t teach it is as religious truth in a public school classroom where everybody’s tax money—Jewish people’s tax money, Muslim people’s tax money, atheist’s tax money, agnostic, Methodist, Baptist, and all the rest,” Pruden said. “Everybody pays taxes and everybody’s children goes to the public school, and I don’t think you really want the public school teacher giving religious instruction to your children.”
Phillips said evolution and creationism need to be taught in public schools, as children who do not belong to a church community are not being exposed to both. Deanne Meadows, executive director of human resources for the school system, said an elective Bible course used to be offered, but it was cancelled due to a lack of interest.
Pruden said students are constitutionally allowed to conduct self-initiated prayer groups or clubs at school; however, school officials are not allowed to tell students who or what to pray for. He said students not being allowed to pray in school is a “myth that some people find profitable to promote but is not true.”
Sue said he understood Pruden could not allow creationism to be taught as a science, but he was going to “find somebody that can take it somewhere, because [evolution] is a lie.”