It seems appropriate in the week leading up to Charles Darwin's birthday I'm once again involved in a small but fierce debate over the validity of evolution. Like this particular debate, most are small affairs which devolve into an exercise of mental mastubation. But it is important to remember there are other times the battle really matters.
To wish Mr. Darwin a happy 198th, I'm resurrecting from nine months ago the story of one brave Georgia teacher.
On April 25, 2005, during a meeting about parent complaints with her principal, Rick Conner, she recalled: "He took a Bible off the bookshelf behind him and said, 'Patty I believe in everything in this book, do you?' I told him, 'I really feel uncomfortable about your asking that question.' He wouldn't let it go.' " The next day, she said, in the lunchroom, "he reached across the table, took my hand and said: 'I accept evolution in most things but if they ever sayGod wasn't involved I couldn't accept that. I want you to say that, Pat.' "
The teacher Pat New had received complaints from parents regarding her teaching evolution in her biology class. In the Principal, the angry parents found a sympathetic ear. Ms. New could have easily backed down, remained silent and moved on. Instead, she filed a grievance with the state Board of Education and she was supported fully in her efforts to teach her students the very cornerstone of biology.
Pat New of Lumpkin, Georgia. Just another hero in the seemingly never ending assault on our children's science education.
Also, Coturnix has an excellent list of Darwin Day links. Get thee there and read!