Taking a Step Back

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lissau and Abby Scalf rlissau@dailyherald.com ascalf@dailyherald.com

Three candidates for the Lake Zurich Unit District 95 board are distancing themselves from comments they made about creationism's role in school.

Two of them now say they misunderstood the question asked by a Daily Herald reporter about the issue.

In a Feb. 24 interview at the Daily Herald's Lake County office, all four candidates were asked, "Do you believe that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in science classes?"

All four incumbents Jim Burke, Doug Goldberg and Tony Pietro and newcomer Chris Wallace said "yes" and explained their stances. When the group was reminded that teaching creationism in science class has been ruled unconstitutional, some amended their answers.

Burke and Wallace were the only candidates to acknowledge the law's limitations on teaching creationism. Burke said he wouldn't try to get around the law, while Wallace said people must work within the law, "or you change the law."

Pietro said creationism should still be taught, but only

if it's explained as a theory.

Goldberg said he hadn't studied the legal ramifications of teaching creationism in science classes.

The comments were reported in the Feb. 26 Daily Herald and online at dailyherald.com. A digital audio recording of the full exchange is available at dailyherald.com.

Since that discussion, the issue has been picked up by bloggers focused on the creationism-vs.-evolution debate and other media.

The candidates, running for three seats on the board, also have spoken about the issue on Facebook, on Chicago-area radio and at a public forum Thursday night in Lake Zurich.

At that forum, Burke, Goldberg and Pietro each said they do not believe creationism should be taught in science classes.

Wallace was the only candidate not to reverse his stance at the forum. He read a statement and quoted comments he's made on a Facebook page dedicated to the controversy, facebook.com/NoCreationismAtD95.

"It is unfortunate that the question that should have been asked was not: 'Does this candidate support the teaching of a unilateral curriculum of creationism vs. the current theory of evolution in a science class," Wallace's posting reads, in part. "The answer to that question is most assuredly no."

In a follow-up interview Friday, Wallace said he stands by the statements he made on Facebook but would not address his Feb. …