KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the nation’s most conspicuous professing atheist organizations recently sent a letter to a Missouri school district to lodge a complaint about a science teacher who reportedly had been teaching students from a biblical Creation worldview instead of an evolutionary worldview.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) submitted the complaint to the Hickman Mills C-1 School District after being informed that a seventh grade science teacher at Smith-Hale Middle School had been teaching a young earth and other beliefs adhered to by Christians.
“We understand that one of his unit tests included questions to cast doubt upon evolution and our current understanding of the age of the earth,” the group wrote.
Among the reported questions, which students were to characterize as true or false, were the statements “Transitional forms have been found in the fossil record for all animals” (false), “Catastrophe supports sudden species appearance and a younger earth” (true), and “There is no evidence that dinosaurs and humans may have coexisted” (false).
FFRF opined that it was “wildly inappropriate” for the teacher to be conveying religious-based beliefs to students and to question evolution.
“Teaching that there is a scientific controversy about the validity of evolution is akin to teaching astrology with astronomy or alchemy besides chemistry,” it wrote. “Representing unconstitutional discarded misconceptions as scientific facts does a great disservice to the scientific literacy of Smith-Hale Middle School students.”
“No controversy exists in the scientific community regarding the fact of evolution,” the group claimed, “and the teaching of alternative theories or a controversy is not only inappropriate and dishonest, it is unconstitutional. … Such a practice alienates those who practice other religious faiths, those who are nonreligious and those who believe that science and religion are compatible.”
The district responded on Monday, and while it could not comment on personnel matters, it stated that the questions posed by the teacher did not align with state standards and are therefore “unacceptable.”
“The Hickman Mills C-1 School District has prescribed curriculum that is aligned with standards established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). All teachers are expected to teach the prescribed curriculum and are not allowed to develop and teach curriculum outside of what has been approved by the school district,” the response from Superintendent Yolanda Cargile read.
“The test questions you highlighted in your letter are not aligned with DESE standards and consequently are not acceptable and will not be utilized in our schools,” it stated. “I don’t anticipate any future issues with the use of curriculum outside of what the district has prescribed.”
As previously reported, John 1:1-5 outlines that Christ is the creator of all things.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made,” it reads. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”
Romans 1:20 also declares, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”