Thursday, March 02, 2006


A Circle of Believers on the Taxpayer's Dime

"When biology teacher Dave Khaliqi teaches evolution, he begins with the minor adaptations animals make to their environments," according to Berny Morson of the Rocky Mountain News.

Then he eases into what he calls "the juicy stuff, the controversial stuff."

That would be the theory that over the course of eons, animals evolved into entirely new forms, as when apes became human beings.

But some scientists, he also tells his students at The Classical Academy, believe organisms are too complex to have evolved without help from an intelligent designer.

For example, he says, 40 chemicals must work together as a system for blood to clot.

If even one chemical is out of balance, blood may not clot - or it could clot at the wrong time and cause a stroke.

He leaves his students with this message about evolution: "You're going to have your own opinions. It's not my job to tell you what to think."

But perhaps it should be Mr. Khaliqi's job to tell his students the truth. Whales, dolphins, and puffer fish do quite nicely, for example, without the full cascade of components for blood clotting that he claims are both required and irreducibly complex.

The Colorado Springs Classical Academy, as a charter school, is free to set its own curriculum.

"We have a conservative population in the north end of Colorado Springs, and students come in with bias against evolutionary theory," Khaliqi said.

Most students at the school are religious, said Katie Stephens, 15, who is in Khaliqi's class.

"The Classical Academy is kind of a circle of believers," Stephens said. "We have mostly people who believe in the same religion. We're all pretty much tight with each other, I guess."

Now, you see the attraction of charter schools. Since they set their own curriculum standards, aren't required to meet state standards, and answer to no on one, it allows Christians fundamentalists to set up their own little religious academies at taxpayer expense.

No wonder the Kansas state school board is so anxious to wrest control of charter schools from local school boards.


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