Student testifies for evolution

Last modified: 2/15/2012 12:00:00 AM
Jackson Hinkle risked missing his class Valentine's Day party yesterday to testify against a bill that he says would push a troubled educational system further into disrepair.

Jackson, 10, is passionate about science, particularly the study of evolution.

Taking the morning off from his classes at Charlotte Avenue School in Nashua, he asked the House Education Committee to kill proposed legislation that would require science teachers to present evolution as a theory and discuss the theorists' political and religious views.

'It would be a blow to our educational system, which is already in a bad state,' he said. 'If evolution was not presented in the scientific sense, but rather the colloquial, people would be denied modern scientific information,' which would be disastrous for society, he said. 'I fear that students not educated in scientific methodology would end up with less skilled jobs which would potentially cause them to overuse credit cards and go into debt and in a worst case scenario, live a life of poverty.'

For the bill's sponsor, the consequences of not showing students connections between evolution, atheism and communism are just as dire.

Rep. Jerry Bergevin, a Manchester Republican, told the committee that history's worst human tragedies were perpetrated in the name of atheism and evolution.

Evolution, he has previously said, is more than a science class topic: 'It's a worldview and it's godless,' he told the Monitor in December. It leads people down a path of devaluing human life, a path that ends in murder, he said.

'Nations that supported evolution and atheism in the 20th century have destroyed more human beings than any other conflicts in previous centuries,' he said yesterday.

The United States today is immersed in a 'culture of death' propagated by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, he said, and 'it is through the lies of evolution in the public school system that they are permitted to do their current domestic atrocity.'

Education committee members did not question any of the speakers at the hearing, but commended Jackson and Matthew Lounsbury, a senior from Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro, for taking the time to testify.

Lounsbury testified as a representative of the Youth Legislative Advisory Council, which is opposed to the bill.'

'We felt that the wording of the bill . . . made the assumption that those who believe in evolution are atheists. Speaking as a Christian who does believe in evolution, I cannot understand why a teacher's faith background is relevant in the classroom,' he said.

At the end of his testimony, Bergevin asked the committee to consider amending his bill so a subcommittee could be formed to determine which school subjects would be the best fit for a discussion of evolution as it relates to atheism and communism.

The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow, when it will also consider a similar bill, which calls for teachers to tell students that no scientific theory is absolutely proven, with an emphasis on evolution.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com.)




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