Gov. Christie: Decision To Teach Creationism Is Up To Local School Districts

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he believes the decision on whether to teach creationism in addition to evolution is a choice best left to local school districts.

“If there are certain school districts who want to also teach creationism or intelligent decision that’s got to be their call to make on the local level not something that we should be deciding in Trenton,” Christie said at a news conference Thursday.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sanberg reports: Creationism Question Sets Off Christie

The Republican governor, however, refused to say whether he believes in creationism.

“That’s not of your business, that’s my personal view — none of your business,” Christie told a reporter after being asked to clarify his apparent advocating of creationism at a town hall event in Manalapan last week.

Evolution is taught in New Jersey public schools under the state’s core curriculum standards. Creationism isn’t, but both theories are allowed to be discussed.

“Locality should make those decisions on things that they want to add to curiculum that’s outside of the established core curriculum,” Christie said.

What do you think schools should teach? Let us know below

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • James Demers

    There’s a Buddhist creation myth, and a Hindu creation myth, and a bunch of others… so long as the schools teach them ALL, there should be no problem.

    None of them are science, of course, so let’s put them where they belong: in a comparative religion class.

    • Adam

      Actually James, Buddhism doesn’t have an Creation myth. We do have something call the separation of Church and State. The idea of ID and Creation is a basis of faith. Faith requires no evidence to support the idea. Yet they want to create an science. Well science requires facts, evidence, and reason. ID and Creationism does not.

  • richard Allen

    Let Him Teach creationism

    as long as we get equal treatment for Jesus being a Test tube baby…artificially inseminated into Mary by the Holy Ghost which was Gods doctor

    after all virgins today can have babies, but not 2000 years ago..


  • Robby

    Why the fuss? Teach creationism the way it was taught in my rural, conservative school. “The theory of creationism proposes that a higher being created the earth and all species in it about 5,000 years ago. That’s it. There’s really not much else to say about the theory. Any questions?” It took all of five minutes and put this silly controversy to bed.

  • michael

    Why did Gov. Christie run for governor in New Jersey? He seems to want to be Governor of Mississippi or Alabama. Here people believe religion should not be taught in school but at home and in church. We believe people make the laws and the governor enforces the people’s wishes, not the governor makes the laws to subjugate the people’s wishes. And while we encourage debate and political compromise for the greater good, the governor crushes debate and refuses compromise, for his own personal gain and the good of the special interests that support him.
    As to creationism, and the people who support it. It is religion not science. A scientific theory is one whose conclusions are drawn from the facts and experimentation. Religion is something whose facts and practices are drawn from a predetermined conclusion. In other words, god exists, so we make the facts fit the conclusion. That is the basis of religion, that is also the basis of Intelligent Design or Creationism, therefore, both are religious dogma not science. Therefore, according to both the New Jersey State Constitution and the US Constitution, both of which the Gov. Christie swore to uphold in his oath of office, it is illegal to teach those religious theories in New Jersey’s public schools. It is also in very poor taste for the highest office holder in the state to advocate violating its Constitution, simply to please the monied supporters who seem to be the only people whose will he is interests he is willing to protect.

  • Gork

    Those kids taught creationism will remain in New Jersey, to pass it on to the following generation, because there’s no money to repair the roads, no new mass transit tunnel, to get them to where decent paying jobs are, annual floods, and the like. Ahhh, New Jersey.

  • David Lamontagne

    Hey Jack off, I have 3 degrees, a P.H.D, so goody for you. ,Mr know it all!, leaving what to schools? Do you want kids in different schools learning different things? What a bunch of BS! If we don’t have LAWS rules and regulations people will run wild! Just see the oil companies and ask yourself why is gas $4 a gallon! The government is there for a reason, not to strip everything away so everyone runs wild! Ever hear of a red light? If you see pictures of years before there were no lights, everyone went every which way!!!!!!!!!! Similar principle!!!!!!!

  • Jon

    I’m sure IBM is waiting with baited breath to hire graduates of schools which teach creationism.

    • Vince

      Good one John

      • Jack

        Why would IBM care? They already have both creationists & evolutionists working there. They”re not usually hiring based on that criterion (and would be up for lawsuits if they picked their scientists because they were on one side or the other)

  • RB

    Which version of creationism will be taught?

    • Jack

      Which version of evolution should they teach? Any high school biology text I know of teaches known hoaxes as fact. When the text says as fact “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” I have materials ready to show Haeckel’s hoax, and links so they can see for themselves that the whole theory was disproved by about 1900. Other areas need both evolution & creation discussed so they will understand what is going on when they get out in the real world & meet people who prove themselves fools by getting into fights about something they know nothing about. I’ve heard these fights in the break room — or online.

  • stephen kimball

    Man, Ii hope he runs for president. He is far and away the best in the field.i Much like Reagan in his ability to connect with people, and with his plain-spokeness and guts.

    • Steve Kimball

      Sorry for the typos–it’s really hard to see the text on this format!

    • Vince

      Like Reagan? That’s not saying much

  • Libs

    Rev. Wright Yes! Traditional Christianity No!

    • Carol

      Yes, I think there should be the option to teach intelligent design along with evolution.

  • Ray Gill

    My Opinion: Why is the Educational system so pre-occupied with such extraneous subjects…especiaally being taught to children??? Anyone teaching these subjects should have a minium of a MASTERS DEGREE to teach it. Also children have enough on their plate just learning basic academia and LEARNING TO LEARN at this age . Premission should be given by the child’s parent(s),guardian and the child themselves if they are interested in being subjected to these scinces…stick to the basic curriculum of academia at this age and insure that the children understand the principle of reading, writing, math,science and civics…then the children will be responsible persons to make decisions on what they need to know in their future…there are certain subjects that should be taught in the home and expanded in the class-room….Parents take control of your child’s education and their responsibilityto learn!!!…Just A thought!!!

    • Gale Breen

      I agree Ray….a complete waste of time and energy….especially in NJ. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie “The Cartel” about the NJ public school system needs to see it. NJ has far bigger problems than who or what created all things in existence.

  • pochemunyet

    “Imposing religious beliefs” by discussing the possibility that a Creator is behind all of existence? That’s not imposing beliefs. Why, I remember studying the theories of Communism and Nazism; these ideas weren’t being “imposed” on me.

    God help us all…

  • Lynn28

    Evolution is a theory, not a law. As such, it should not be taught in isolation to our students. Education is about creating well-rounded individuals who are exposed to various ideas and viewpoints.

    • Dave

      Gravity is a theory. Lets not teach kids about gravity. Nothing is truly a law in the field of Science. Anything considered a law is still just a Theory.

      There was a federal case in PA about creationism and teaching this in school. Creationism is not a science because it cannot be tested. In PA creationism cannot be taught in school.

      • Jack

        @Dave You need to study a bit more before you make incorrect statements like that. You probably hear a sound bite and (unintentionally) garbled it (or maybe heard it from someone else who didn’t understand and garbled it.
        There are lots of laws in science. Some apply (seemingly) everywhere, but once we go into a new area (say, space) we learn to understand it better. Gravity is a law. Don’t believe me? Step off the top of a randomly selected 30 story building and someone else is likely to learn you were wrong. Ah, but if you wear a parachute (probably won’t help much at that distance) or a jet pack (probably ditto). No you’ve just proved that you didn’t understand the full law.
        A case in court doesn’t prove whether a natural law is a law or not, just whether it is legal. Just as when a certain midwestern state in the 1800s decided to pass a law that pi=3 didn’t change the natural law, that pi=3.14159265358979, rather that another natural law (humans are fallible) is true. And, no, don’t jump off that building, because the Darwin Awards have enough candidates, and the Free Fall Research Page ( knows of too many unlucky fallers.

      • Dave

        @ Jack. You are wrong sir. It is called the law of gravity but like I said it is still a theory. My point is that you can test gravity and all other theories and laws. You please study also, the LAW of gravity has been proven to be partially incorrect since its original inception. The LAW or Theory of Gravity has changed when it comes to the study of things such as black holes. The main point here is that creationism is not a theory or science. It cannot be tested in any possible way. Evolution is a science because it can be tested over time. I work in the field of physical sciences. I have a very good understanding of how gravity works.

      • Dave

        @ Jack, you have said many inaccurate things to people on this topic. Please understand that creationism is not a theory or a science. This is a something that is not debatable. There is no way to prove or disprove creationism which makes it faith based not science based. I am not against people having faith. I am against specific faith of faiths being taught to children using public funding. Would you be opposed if reincarnation was taught along side of creationism? We could teach Greek mythology as fact. Most people who believe in creationism would be offended. Faith should not be taught in a public school. This is something that should be taught by ones parents.

        Again I am going to stress to you that a law in science can be fully or partially proven to be false.

  • Terry

    People become emotional when it comes to creation and evolution. What we need is an intellectual dialog. Both creation and evolution are valid theories and both can not be proven correct, because we don’t have any absolute proof for either theory, That’s why they are THEORIES and not FACTS. Let’s not close the mind of these young students and teach both theories and let them make their own choice base on the information presented to them.

    • Josh

      That is incorrect. The word theory pertaining to a scientific body of knowledge has a different meaning that the everyday usage of the word. Evolution HAS been proved correct. There is no doubt. This ‘theory’ word creates so much misunderstanding. Evolution is fact. Creationism is myth. I have no problem with teaching it, so long as it is not in a science class.

  • Jonibev

    Creationism is religion. I don’t want my child in a school that teaches religion, any kind. Especially when it masquerades as science. People imposing their religious beliefs on other people is against the constitution.

    • pochemunyet

      The Constitution of the United States, AND the constitution of each state specifically refers to a Creator in one form or another (God, the Lord, the Creator…).

      I guess you are being imposed upon already.

      • Mike

        Can you state where in the constitution there is reference to a creator – specifically?

      • Jack

        Mike, maybe you need to actually read what Pochemunyet actually said. I can’t speak for every state constitution, but Pochemunyet specified that the US Constitution specifically refers to a Creator in the form of God, Lord, Creator, etc. Look in Article VII & you will see “Lord”. So technically correct. P. was probably thinking of the Declaration of Independence.
        Ammendment I (Mason’s Bill of Rights) specifically prohibits Congress (the only law writers in the Federal govt) from making any law establishing OR prohibiting the free exercise of religion. That of course did NOT apply to the States, most of which had at least one established state church [denomination, religion in those days referring only to Christian denominations, not to ‘cults’ such as Jews or Muslims or Budhists or evolutionists]. Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter to the Danbury Baptists was clear that the (federal) govt could not restrict their free expression of their beliefs, adding that they needed to be active as Christians in govt (don’t forget to look at the drafts, as well). This is the same Jefferson who started the PUBLIC school system in the newly created DC with the Bible as a textbook (in those days it was used to teach reading to poor kids who couldn’t afford the standard [religious] primers of the day.

  • p8nt

    Public schools should not teach creationism, IF they want to, then they should also teach the views of different religions. Its an all or nothing deal.

    • Jack

      If they can’t teach scientific creation then they would be violating the First Ammendment to the US Constitution. It is the States & localities job to make those decisions. The federal govt (legally) can’t say one way or the other

  • Dave Miller

    If they want to they want to teach creationism, they should be required to send permission slips home, so the parents can opt out of having that taught to their kids.

    • Lisa Aiello Saia

      Only if I can opt my child out from being taught evolution. Seems this will always be one sided.

      • Nrichard

        Again – evolution is a fact – a scientific fact – deal with it.

      • true Patriot

        Sure, keep your kids stupid, just teach them the phrase “Welcome to WalMart”.

    • Ernie

      But I guess it’s ok to teach global warming, which is a theory.
      Or sex education without the parents permission.
      Educate on all theorys, not just the ones you happen to agree with.
      That way people can at least make informed decisions whether you agree with them or not.

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