Science vs. Fiction: New social studies curriculum erases cave men

Darwin would not be pleased by this development:

Human evolution and prehistoric times would vanish from North Carolina’s social studies curriculum under new proposed standards. But some teachers are fighting to keep the Paleolithic Era alive in classrooms.

Kenneth Dailey teaches sixth-grade social studies at Quail Hollow Middle School in south Charlotte. That means he’s responsible for introducing students to a time more than 10,000 years ago, when Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens shared the planet. "The Paleolithic Era would be where people were more tribal," Dailey said. "They’re hunting and gathering, they’re nomadic, they’re moving around; you know, looking for food, looking for game."

If anything, the schools need to spend more time studying this era. The migration of humanity alone, most notably the early Americans crossing from Asia into the Northwest, is critical in understanding the later culture clash (which we are still dealing with, by the way) of Europeans crossing the Atlantic in the latter 15th Century. But that doesn't fit with the narrow biblical narrative of a young Earth:

Dailey says he was shocked when he saw the state’s proposed social studies standards. They call for sixth-grade world history to start with the Neolithic Era – the time when humans had started farming and building civilizations. The Paleolithic Era is just … gone.

In July, the General Assembly ordered the state Board of Education to review and revise its K-12 social studies standards. Lawmakers mandated specific changes in high school, where students will have to pass classes in personal finance and civic literacy to graduate.

Educators and state Department of Public Instruction staff drafted changes for elementary and middle schools.

Evolution can be controversial. Some who embrace a biblical account of creation take issue with scientific theories. DPI hasn’t explained why the Paleolithic Era was eliminated, and the official in charge of the review didn’t answer when WFAE asked for an explanation.

I agree that students need a better understanding of personal finances, but that can just as easily be incorporated into a math curriculum as it would with history, if not easier. But I have a feeling GOP Legislators were not interested in making it easier for educators, and that losing pre-history was not a flaw, but a feature for them.



About that Kentucky Ark...

Don't get me started. I mean, their genes alone would drift farther than the boat. And then their descendants would drift off into the wilderlands to be eaten by even more genetically-challenged lions & tigers & such. You catch my drift. And yet, some 850,000 people drag their kids there every year...