A California high school teacher has been banned from showing his students a debate between science educator Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham as a way to insert creationism into the classroom.
According to the Friendly Atheist, science teacher Brandon Pettenger of Arroyo Grande High School has been showing the video to his students, and then having them summarize the debate by posting on creationist websites.
Pettenger has been accused of “teaching the controversy” despite scientific consensus that the theory that God created the universe roughly 10,000 year ago has no basis in fact.
The debate, between the popular TV science personality Nye and Christian author and Creation Museum founder Ham, took place in February of last year at the Creation Museum and has been viewed by millions
Due to the efforts of the the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Pettenger has been instructed to desist from bringing creationism into the classroom via any source.
According to the FFRF, Arroyo Grande High School principal Conan Bowers and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Chuck Fiorentino instructed Pettenger, “to immediately cease using [creationist materials] and not to instruct at all on the topics of creationism, intelligent design, or anything related,” and to stick to state-adopted science standards.
Additionally, the science teacher’s school webpage was scrubbed of any mention of creationism.
FFRF Co-President Dan Barker issued a statement expressing pleasure with the school for taking swift action.
“We are very pleased with the swift response of the school district on this important matter, and are glad they are taking strong measures to take inappropriate religious teachings out of science class,” he wrote.
The entire debate between Nye and Ham can be viewed below: