"Intelligent Design" Materials Sneak Onto DISD Teachers' Curriculum Site. Maybe God Did It?
What you see at right is a slide I received last night from a fellow Dallas Independent School District parent. It was, until this morning, available on the district's Curriculum Central website, accessible only to teachers and administration and a resource for instructors needing further materials to flesh out what's being taught in class.
This particular slide is part of a fairly standard-looking PowerPoint called "The Cell Theory," which is filled with benign references to the likes of Robert Hooke (the man who coined the word "cell"), Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (creator of the microscope) and the Germans who, in the 1800s, came up with cell theory. See? Educational. Except that last part you see here -- about how cells are "one of the strongest cases for intelligent design by our Creator God!"
That's what riled up this particular parent, who has a child in a district middle school. The PowerPoint, created by one Jim Sullivan of Cells Alive! and initially posted to something called The World of Teaching, was sent home for further review by a teacher. So the parent and child reviewed it. At which point the parent saw "intelligent design" in a science presentation and flipped out. So too did a lot of other parents at this particular junior high. Which is why it landed in my lap -- and why I asked district spokesman Jon Dahlander if he wouldn't mind looking into it.
[Update: Sullivan says he is not responsible for the materials. Via email he writes, "I had nothing to do with creating the PowerPoint and do not know who did, although I would certainly like to see the presentation. Often, people take materials from my website, CELLS alive!, for their own purposes but this use is a low blow."]
This morning, Dahlander called back and confirmed: The presentation was indeed on the Curriculum Central website, from which it was promptly deleted. Says Dahlander, 3700 Ross is trying to find out who made the docs available. And in the meantime, he says, a directive was sent out this afternoon in which "curriculum directors have been reminded to review their quality control system, as well as to review all links on the Curriculum Central. We were very disappointed to see it there, and it was removed immediately."