According to a report from AL.com, the Alabama State Board of Education voted to have biology textbooks keep a one-page disclaimer on the theory of evolution.
The disclaimer was first put into textbooks in April of 2015 at the behest of conservative Christians. Steve Ricks of the Alabama State Department of Education agreed, saying it “encourages students to question the theory [of evolution] and ask questions about it.”
“The theory of evolution by natural selection is a controversial theory that is included in this textbook,” the disclaimer reads. “It is controversial because it states that natural selection provides the basis for the modern scientific explanation for the diversity of living things. Since natural selection has been observed to play a role in influencing small changes in a population, it is assumed that it produces large changes, even though this has not been directly observed.”
“The only reason it’s there is not because there’s any scientific reason for it, but because ignorant Christians in the state want to discredit evolution in any way they can… Since the facts aren’t on their side, they’ll use politics to get their way. And the Board of Education, setting aside what’s best for students in the state, voted unanimously to keep the one-page disclaimer in there.”
This isn’t the first time religion was introduced into education through legislation. Last year, Republican state representative Mack Butler introduced legislation that would allow teachers to incorporate religion into their teaching. The legislation is supposed to “encourage debate if a student has a problem learning he came from a monkey rather than an intelligent design.”
We can probably expect more people like Mack Butler rising to power thanks to Alabama’s religious public education.