Sometimes I think that anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-religion craziness is just something that goes on at the national level, but as Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local”. Same goes for craziness.
Here’s a local story from a teacher at Annville-Cleona High School, located in a little hamlet between Harrisburg and Lancaster PA, approximately 30 miles from Dover, PA, home of the Dover Area School District. Tom Ritter, the science teacher, has offered to debate anyone defending evolution, because as he says:
…no one has been able to demonstrate that life can evolve where none existed before.
This is a science teacher, no less. He claims that he has “no religious motivations” yet later in the article it is quoted that
…one of his criticisms of evolution is that it promotes atheism.
Since when does a fear of the promotion of atheism not constitute religious motivation?
Now, I’m no biologist, but it seems to me that Mr. Ritter does not even have a firm grasp of what evolution is, or what it does. The idea that life evolves where none existed before, is not a part of the evolutionary theory. Evolution posits that life evolves from a previous form of life, by the action of natural forces on populations at the gene level. So what is he talking about? Well, he’s talking about Creation.
“When evolutionists say that a creator cannot exist, they are saying God cannot exist,” Ritter said.
OK, now I get it. Teacher Ritter has no religious motivations. None at all. Check.√
The sad part of this story is embodied in a student comment. He teaches the curriculum required by the school district to his 10th grade biology classes, but
Chrissy Sollenberger, now a senior at the school and a student in Ritter’s physics class, … said he says nothing about evolution in the class.
In all fairness to the teacher, maybe Physics class is not the place to discuss evolution, unless of course you are an effective teacher and you attempt to incorporate all aspects of science into your teaching, especially one so scientifically prevalent as the Theory of Evolution. One can only imagine the enthusiasm he brings to the evolution lesson when he’s actually teaching biology.
But, hey, if you don’t “believe” in the theory, and feel that by teaching it you might just expose the students to god-forsaken atheism, then why would you be enthused about it?
Of course, at that point, you’ve lost the right to call yourself a science teacher.