Friday, May 1, 2009

Insert Loud Profanity

The Alberta gov't has decided that learning about evolution and gay people is bad for our kids. So, they have a bill before the legislature - supported by the Education Minister - that, if passed, would require parents being notified before their kids were exposed to evolution (in science class) and the concept of homosexuality (presumably in health class). And, parents can pull their kids from those units if they choose. Here is a link to the story:

Evolution is valid scientific theory. We can actually watch it happen. We live in a country that keeps church and state separate. Public schools are government institutions. There is no place in them for swapping out valid, accepted science. 

What else might we choose to shield our children from? Should we require parental notification in order to teach the theory of relativity to Physics students in highschool? How about asking the parents of kids taking a highschool communications course if it's ok that they learn the theory of Social Interactionism? Where do we draw the line? Grade 11 Geography and the theory of Plate Tectonics? Should we notify parents that their kids will be learning about a theory that postulates continents are constantly shifting around on an imperfect crust; contrary to biblical teachings?

Please note, I am not taking on or hammering against religion here. Not at all. Religion, belief and spirituality are very private expressions of how we view the world, where we come from, where we may be going and what it all means. The world has a varied and colourful spiritual landscape, As such, these issues need to kept out of a science classrooom. Science cuts across boundaries, belief, culture and religion. It is neither better nor worse than metaphysics; it's just different and it's teachings are just as sacrosanct as those of the church(es). We wouldn't presume to bring science into a religion class or to require notification that Religion 30 may study Buddhism as a point of comparison to Christianity. So, why the double-standard with evolution in a science class? 

And, don't even get me started on the issue of homosexuality. Seriously? Are we still at this point? There are gay people in the world. Lots of them. Your kids are going to meet them. Chances are, they already have. Get. Over. It. Requiring parental notification that kids are going to learn that the world has gay people is like requiring notification that the seasons are changing. It's a big, interconnected world out there. Fostering trust, acceptance, reverence and love for all people is hardly the worst thing we can expose our kids to.

So, while you may not be as passionate over this as I appear to be, if you feel that teachers should be able to teach valid science and that our kids should be encouraged to explore and embrace all facets of society, please write to the AB Government and to Minister Dave Hancock. His website is:
You should be able to email Education Minister Dave Hancock at or try

Thanks for listening folks. 


1 comment:

Mur said...

Hey Todd: My first time here. PZ had already posted a link about this on his blog: It seem to be a case of covering ones ears and la la la la la la la ...