Our View: One for the textbooks

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We can't answer all the arcane scientific and theological questions about evolution.

But we can answer why we chose to run a controversial front-page story about one man's effort to have the teaching of evolution banned from schools here and across the nation.

As with any newspaper, the Craig Daily Press' role is to keep readers abreast of issues facing their community. In this case, it's an issue that will affect all students and possibly the future of science education in schools.

Last week, Minnesota resident Bob Frey traveled to Craig, bringing with him a crusade to stop public schools from teaching evolution.

Frey incited among some Moffat County residents the emotional and complicated debate about how and when the world began.

Evolution is the biological study of how organisms pass on traits from generation to generation, leading to new traits and new species.

Some readers suggested we shouldn't have reported Frey's views. But we're glad we did. Publishing a news story is not an endorsement of the event or idea. It's an attempt to inform the public about a compelling issue.

We think Moffat County readers should be informed about and pay attention to the debate about evolution. Frey, after all, is not a lone crusader.

Frey, who gave a series of presentations at Yampa Valley Baptist Church, is a creationist. Creationism is the literal interpretation of the Bible and the story of how God created the earth.

In neighboring Kansas, the state Board of Education last month approved new public science standards meant to promote a more skeptical view of evolution.

Christian conservatives across the nation are pushing for "intelligent design" to be taught in public schools. Intelligent design advocates say that the universe is so complex, it had to have been created by a higher power.

Earlier this year, President Bush, according to reports, said he thought schools should discuss intelligent design alongside evolution when teaching students about the beginning of life.

It's an issue that affects everyone.

We can't and won't tell readers where to stand on evolution in public schools. But we will urge Moffat County residents to learn where local educators and school officials stand on the issue.

Meanwhile, we'll continue to attempt to keep readers informed about issues important to them and their community.

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