Posted by 05 July 2018
In light of proposed changes to Arizona’s science curriculum standards, Governor Doug Ducey has come out firmly in favor of teaching evolution in the state’s schools. His stance puts him at odds with Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. She has proposed weakening the state curriculum’s language regarding evolution, and has expressed her personal support for teaching intelligent design.
The occasion for this disagreement comes as Arizona is looking to revises its existing high school science standards. As part of that, Superintendent Douglas has proposed changing how these standards refer to evolution. For instance, instead of references to “evolution,” the standards would say, “the theory of evolution.” She would also like to replace the use of “evolution” in some areas of the standards with terms like “biological diversity.”
Personally, Superintendent Douglas has also expressed that she thinks that intelligent design should also be taught in public schools. Intelligent design is a theory that an intelligence created and designed the universe, rather than it evolving through natural selection. She points out, however, that this is her own opinion and that none of the state’s science standards refers to or teaches intelligent design.
Asked about the controversy, Governor Ducey said that he believes the state should teach evolution as part of its science curriculum. He notes that creation stories can be taught in other areas, such as in literature courses. The governor has no direct say over school curriculum.
The state science standards will be set after public comments are taken into account.
Do you think that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in public schools?