Educators concerned about state official's view of evolution - Tucson News Now

Educators concerned about state official's view of evolution

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Some Arizona educators are concerned by a comment from the Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, about intelligent design.

Audio recently surfaced of Douglas at a Republican candidate forum saying, "Should the theory of intelligent design be taught along with the theory of evolution? Absolutely."

The difficulty many teachers have with that view is that they feel intelligent design is based on religion and not science, which is why they say teaching it along-side evolution isn't truly teaching science. They feel it would cause students to miss out on the basic pillars of science in their education. 

"I am strongly opposed to it," Tucson High School science teacher Margaret Wilch said. "I think that intelligent design has no place in a science classroom. Evolution is the unifying theory of biology and all life sciences."  

In an effort to share both sides of the story, Tucson News Now reached out to Douglas. She sent us the following statement: 

“Evolution is still a standard that will be taught under the Arizona Science Standards. In addition, you will not find creationism or Intelligent Design included anywhere in the Arizona Science Standards. The recording of me talking about Intelligent Design was taken at a political function where I expressed my personal belief that Intelligent Design should also be taught along with the theory of evolution. Although that is my personal belief, my belief is not included in the Arizona Science Standards.” 

To read the Arizona Science Standards draft for March 2018 click here.

The prospect of teaching intelligent design alongside evolution has some educators on edge. Those who teach science specifically say that it's clear intelligent design is not science. 

"Intelligent design is basically a religious explanation for our planet and our existence and it is basically a self-consistent idea. It does not lead to predictions and does not lead to curiosity and question. So I don't think it has place in a science classroom," Wilch said. 

If you would like to contact the Arizona Department of Education you can send email to adeinbox@azed.gov.

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