Albuquerque, NM: New Superintendent from Kansas “Clueless” re Evolution

| 20 Comments

The Albuquerque Journal reported on March 17th, 2008 that

The superintendent-designate of the Albuquerque Public Schools hails from Kansas, which triggered a national backlash when it opened the door to teaching creationism in its public schools. Winston Brooks, who will move from Wichita to take the helm of APS by July 1, has some thoughts on the evolution/creation debate­ but no plans to push for teaching creation theories here. And it’s doubtful he could do so, even if he wanted, given state control of district curricula, its policies on the subject, and opposition from the APS board. …

The Money Quote comes at the end of the article:

As a Christian, Brooks said he believes God created humans.

On the other hand, I believe there’s something to evolution,

he said.

Whether or not my original ancestor was an ape, I don’t have a clue.

At least, as the article points out in detail, he’ll have a hard time getting any Intelligent Design/Creationism into district science classes, contra the Discovery Institute’s oft-repeated lie that “New Mexico’s Science Standards embrace the Intelligent Design Movement’s ‘Teach the Controversy’ Approach”

Here are some more juicy tidbits from the Journal’s copyrighted article.

Brooks said in a telephone interview that he believes in the separation of church and state and opposes any effort to remove evolution from the state standards on which local districts base their curricula. But he also said

our young people need to know all of the theories on how we came to be.

That kind of talk scares staunch evolutionists like Marshall Berman, the retired nuclear physicist who helped reverse the New Mexico Board of Education’s decision to remove all references to evolution and the Earth’s most commonly accepted age from state statutes in the late 1990s.

There are no other scientific theories to evolution,

he said.

In 2005, when Kansas and Creationism were a hot topic, New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica Garcia sent state superintendents this strong reminder:

New Mexico public schools are not permitted to endorse a particular religion, or teach religion. We believe this prohibition extends to ‘creation science’ or any of its variations that advances religious beliefs.

The Journal article also points out that

APS board member Robert Lucero said the subject of evolution never came up during Brooks’ interview. He said he was more interested in Brooks’ thoughts on improving student performance, closing the achievement gap and raising graduation rates. Evolution, he said, “wasn’t at the top of my list.” In retrospect, fellow board member Marty Esquivel said, the board might have been wise to bring it up. But considering the local climate, he added, pushing anything but evolution on Albuquerque’s public schools would be “political suicide.” It would probably take board approval to make such a change, Esquivel said,

and I don’t see that happening.

Additionally, the report notes that

… soon after the Kansas decision, the Rio Rancho School Board voted to let teachers entertain explanations other than natural selection for the diversity of life on Earth­ drawing ire from critics and teachers. Rio Rancho struck the policy down in 2007, the same year the Kansas school board rescinded its own 2005 vote.

Is Kansas import Brooks worth the $276,000 annual salary he’ll start pulling in Albuquerque?

Discuss.

20 Comments

Superintendents make $276K????? Good grief-I’m clearly in the wrong line of work.

Dave, considering that Tay has a teacher who is now frequently mentioning how evolution is an unproven theory… in Social Studies class during a unit on the civil war I have a lot of trouble thinking that any one school can get away with the kind of behaviors I’ve seen at her middle school without the board either turning it’s head or supporting it in some way. I’ve been thinking of blogging about this appointment, but honestly have been too upset to. I’m glad the girls only have a few more years of school here.

Let’s face it: If the board… or some of the board… didn’t support the IDiots, they wouldn’t have appointed someone who doubted evolution to lead our schools in a time when there is so much focus on the importance of education here.

It doesn’t have to be done by a formal decree. Putting the word out with a little wink-wink, nod-nod is more than adequate. A few informal “critical analysis” exercises during the evolution chapter that never mentions ID, creationism, or God, and everyone’s happy. And you have another generation permanently confused about what science is, and how its done.

The guy’s from Kansas. *Shrug*

Ignorance is taught as a virtue there.

I teach physics at an APS high school. Personally, I am embarrassed that my school school board has hired a superintendent who is so scientifically ignorant. Fortunately the APS board has no religious agenda and the State Department of Education does do a good job of keeping religion out of the public schools.

Hey kids, how does quote mining work? What follows is a computer simulation of DI technology (don’t try this at home).

This quote:

“Whether or not my original ancestor was an ape, I don’t have a clue.”

is transformed to:

“I don’t have a clue.”

Voila! Remarkably in this case, the speaker’s meaning is completely unchanged!

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. ; )

waldteufel:

The guy’s from Kansas. *Shrug*

Ignorance is taught as a virtue there.

Guess he’s not in Kansas anymore…

jeh:

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. ; )

Actually, wouldn’t you be a monkey’s great-great-great-great uncle? Due to their tendancy to reproduce at a younger age they have probably gone through a couple extra generations compared to humans since our common ancestor.

Rrr said: waldteufel:

The guy’s from Kansas. *Shrug*

Ignorance is taught as a virtue there.

Guess he’s not in Kansas anymore…

Well, now, his leaving certainly raised the IQ of Kansas, but unfortunately lowered that of New Mexico.

The “monkey’s uncle” phrase was originally intended to be sarcastic with respect to Darwin’s theory. Still it’s an amusing phrase.

But Huxley’s retort to Wilberforce in their renowned debate sums up my feelings: “I would rather be descended from an ape than a bishop.”

Of course that’s a simplistic and very wrong-headed notion of human evolution. But given the limited data of the time, Huxley can be excused.

The “ignorance as virtue” isn’t far from the truth. Too often we see the equating of education with liberal thought, so education must be to blame, and not having it means you’re “pure” and “untainted.” Closer to your roots. Sigh.

If only more Christians read the sections of Proverbs that decry ignorance rather than mining Genesis for science.

KL:

Superintendents make $276K????? Good grief-I’m clearly in the wrong line of work.

The public education system is broken, but not due to lack of funding.

The public education system is broken, but not due to lack of funding.

Not just due to lack of funding you mean.

William Wallace:

KL:

Superintendents make $276K????? Good grief-I’m clearly in the wrong line of work.

The public education system is broken, but not due to lack of funding.

On the other hand teachers and staff in Albuquerque Public Schools are not well paid , so APS can afford generous administrator salaries.

But Huxley’s retort to Wilberforce in their renowned debate sums up my feelings: “I would rather be descended from an ape than a bishop.”

Makes sense, given that bishops can only move diagonally, and apes can move in all sorts of directions.

Whether or not my original ancestor was an ape, I don’t have a clue.

Geez, my “original ancestor” predates apes by roughly 4 billion years.

I din’t come from no dadburn fruitfly!!!1111!!one!two!!!!1!!!?question?!

Oh wait…

I din’t come from no dadburn fruitfly!

If we are descended from dadburn fruit flies, then why are them there fruit flies still hanging around my bananas?!? Creo rant follows.

“Whether or not my original ancestor was an ape, I don’t have a clue.”

Well, he’s right…he DOESN’T have a clue. :)

“Whether or not my original ancestor was an ape, I don’t have a clue.”

Well, he’s right…he DOESN’T have a clue. :)

Prof. Plum, with the lead pipe, in the laboratory… er wait, the game doesn’t have a laboratory, so make that the library.

Henry

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on March 17, 2008 4:06 PM.

International Society for Science and Religion: Intelligent Design is neither sound science nor good theology was the previous entry in this blog.

Disparity, Diversity and the Cambrian Explosion is the next entry in this blog.

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