Illinois creationists retreat, tail between legs

March 5, 2011 • 9:01 am

Two days ago I wrote about candidates for both the Fremont and Lake Zurich school boards, in northern Illinois, who were in favor of teaching creationism alongside evolution in public school science classes.  I was distressed to learn that all four of the Lake Zurich candidates answered “yes” to the question, “Do you believe that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in science classes?”

Cue a rapid retreat of three of them (all incumbents) after they were excoriated for their stand.  As the Daily Herald reports,

In a separate telephone interview, [Doug] Goldberg said he misunderstood the context of the original question.

Goldberg said he’s researched the issue since the original Daily Herald interview session and understands teaching creationism in science class is against the law.

In a separate telephone interview, [Tony] Pietro said he misunderstood the question and didn’t remember that it specifically referred to science classes.

“I would like to retract the comment as it pertains to creationism in the science classroom,” he said. “Creationism is not a scientific theory, and creationism has no place in a science classroom.”

If creationism is taught at school, it would have to be in a world culture or sociology class that gives all religions equal time, Pietro said.

He apologized for the confusion.

[Jim] Burke could not be reached for comment Friday. At the previous night’s public forum, he said he has never supported creationism in science class and that “any quote that may make it look like I do has been taken out of context.”

Nonincumbent Chris Wallace stands by his statement.  People of Lake Zurich—DEFEAT HIM!

And, rattled, the Lake Zurich Board of Education published a letter on its web page asserting that creationism is not part of their school curriculum, that they’re scrupulously following the law, and that there is no “controversy” over creationism:

The Illinois Learning Standards and the laws of Illinois do not allow for the teaching of creationism in science class, and we do not do so.

For at least the past six years during which current Board members have been seated, never once has the subject of creationism been discussed or even mentioned. No sitting Board member has ever asked to have the issue of creationism put on a meeting agenda, nor has any current Board member expressed plans to do so. Simply put, the issue of whether to teach creationism in a science class is not a controversy that exists in District 95. It is a controversy that has been created by an article published by the Daily Herald last Friday.

That’s all well and good, and I’m pretty sure creationism won’t rear its head in Lake Zurich schools, but the letter is a bit disingenuous.  For one thing, it was signed by Burke, Goldberg, and Pietro—the very incumbents who made the pro-creationist statements.  Further, the controversy was not created by the newspaper; it was created by these three mushheads and their non-repentant crony saying stupid things in public, and betraying an ignorance of the law.  They’ve already revealed their beliefs and the incumbents have shown themselves to be weasels, politicians without honor (is that an oxymoron?) For both reasons they should be defeated.

h/t: The Sensuous Curmudgeon (who really should reveal who he/she is) and Michael

26 thoughts on “Illinois creationists retreat, tail between legs

      1. Hmmm I don’t know about that, hyena’s idea of morals leaves something to be desired. And dolphins are into pack-rape. The difference is that we should know better.

        1. Hyena’s are (just) animals, and doing what their blueprint is telling them to do. No reason for injustice to them.
          They have ‘standard’ morals though. As: do not kill your own.
          In regard to this article:
          could it be a case of: benefit of the doubt. At least the retracted (publicly) in their steps.
          No doubt, they will have to be monitored (ugly word)for future mishaps.

  1. I can see that it’s a tough question, and would need a lot of research to come up with a ‘yes’ answer. Unless you are capable of cogent thought, of course.

  2. The positive take-away is how frantically the board is working to distance themselves from creationism. Looks like SOME of the lessons of the past few years might have been learned by some of these people.

  3. How do you misunderstand “context”?

    How many people think “context” in this case means “a lawyer explained that our school board would get the arse sued off it if we went ahead with our plan” ?

  4. This is an example of why being aggressive and using ridicule can be an effective strategy. I don’t doubt these people still believe that creationism is true, but they also believe it is a political liability to say so in public.

    1. And, AND…perhaps realizing just how much of a liability it is will be the first step on their way to giving those beliefs a good hard think.

      Bullshit shenanigans don’t often fix themselves. Aggressive ridicule FTW!

  5. Hmmm. Is a person more likely to reveal their true feelings when speaking off the cuff, or after they’ve had time to craft an answer? I don’t trust anyone who even gives creationism the time of day.

  6. “politicians without honor (is that an oxymoron?)”

    No, it’s a tautology.

    An oxymoron is “pointedly foolish” usually opposites joined to give a new meaning, like “bittersweet” and “pianoforte”.

    1. Fantastically off topic, and equally pedantic, but does “pianoforte” really count as an oxymoron? It’s just an abbreviation of the original Italian name given by Cristifori to his newly invented instrument: Gravicembalo col piano e forte.

        1. Both the fortepiano and the pianoforte were successors of Cristifori’s original hammer-mechanism instrument.

          The current incarnation, our modern piano, abbreviates the name even further!

        2. I should’ve also mentioned that “soft-loud” is the abbreviation for “keyboard instrument that plays (has) soft and loud.” Keyboards instruments before this sounded by means of a plectrum or tangent, and didn’t really admit of much dynamic contrast.

      1. Antallan, please, prate no more your excessively prolix verbal superfluity.

        Which reminds me of the cartoon in which one character denies that he has stolen, filched or purloined the other’s thesaurus.

  7. The Sensuous Curmudgeon’s always quick to post on stories like these.
    I agree he should use his real name, but I’ve gotten so used to him being the Curmudgeon, it’d be hard to get used to a change.

    After recently hearing Barbara Forrest speak very highly of his blog (she even showed screenshots as part of her slide show).
    I started to get suspicious that SC was really Barbara Forrest…he says no (his avatar doesn’t look anything like her, but it could be some model’s pic), but I’m still not sure. 😉

  8. The last line of the Daily Herald article reads:

    “The Daily Herald has asked school-board candidates in other districts about creationism’s role in science curriculum, and responses have varied.”

    I think that the Herald should print the names of all the candidates that were questioned and their responses. Let’s see where the other snakes are in the Chicago area. Jerry’s post and the Herald articles have prompted me to make sure that I attend a ‘meet and greet’ for my kids’ school district board candidates. Creationism is not coming to my community’s schools. NIMBY!

  9. Today, everyone is onto political correctness. Why can’t science do the same thing? I am a Creationist, but I am not saying that scientists have to teach creationism in the classroom. What I do want to see is that people would learn to separate out the factual finds we all can agree with from theories and beliefs. For instance, dinosaur fossils prove that there were such creatures, but it does not prove where they came from. Scientists should say, “We discovered this. We theorize that.” But instead they post the creature and their interpretations equally a proven fact. It is like that with child observations. Give others the facts, and let others interpret.

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