Schools boss creates a big bang with evolution policy proposal

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

The state’s top school official is trying to downplay – and in some cases remove entirely – references to evolution in the standards of what students are supposed to be taught in Arizona high schools.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is proposing to eliminate requirements that students be able to evaluate how inherited traits in a population can lead to evolution. Replacing that last word would be “biological diversity.”

Elsewhere, Douglas seeks to repeal language that student develop the understanding of how “adaptations contribute to the process of biological evolution.” Instead that verbiage would read “how traits within populations change over time.”

And a reference to the “mechanism of biological evolution” would be supplanted with “change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations.”

The word “evolution” would remain in some other places, though it would specifically be referred to as a theory.

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