Planet Earth

The Monkeys Win

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerFeb 6, 2004 6:33 AM

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Georgia's State Schools superintendent Kathy Cox has backed down from her ban on the word evolution. While this is excellent news, Georgia is still left with an incompetent superintendent. For one thing, she thinks Intelligent Design is an acceptable theory to teach in schools. For another, she justified removing the word evolution from state science standards by saying: ""By putting the word in there, we thought people would jump to conclusions and think, 'OK, we're going to be teaching the monkeys-to-man sort of thing.' Which is not what happens in a modern biology classroom." In a sense I'm sure she did not intend, Cox is right. Monkeys did not evolve into humans, no more than your cousins are your grandparents. In a modern biology classroom, students learn that molecular and fossil evidence indicate that monkeys and humans descend from a common ancestor some 25 million of years ago. I'm pretty sure she meant something else though, something that is yet another reason why she should resign.

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