Skip to comments.Teaching of evolution set to go under microscope (Texas)
Posted on 12/13/2007 7:06:55 PM PST by Stultis
The resignation of the [Texas] state's science curriculum director last month has signaled the beginning of what is shaping up to be a contentious and politically charged revision of the science curriculum, set to begin in earnest in January.
Former science director Chris Comer says she resigned from the Texas Education Agency to avoid being fired after officials told her she had improperly endorsed evolution. She had forwarded an e-mail announcing a speech by a prominent scholar on evolution, which the state requires schools to teach.
The [State Board of Education] must vote on any changes to the curriculum. Most board members, including the chairman, have said publicly they don't want to introduce intelligent design into the curriculum, and many of them also have said they want to keep the current language on evolution.
[...] Even small changes in the language could mean big changes in textbooks later on.
Don McLeroy, a conservative board member on the losing side of the vote [adopting textbooks in '03] and a Sunday school teacher, later told a church group that he believed he could have persuaded more members to reject the books if he had challenged the assumption [of naturalism].
"How can the materialistic philosophic naturalistic base dependency of Darwinism be brought into the discussion and used for our benefit?" Dr. McLeroy asked, according to a recording of the speech. "We didn't use it. All we did was stay with evidence, and we got run over."
Dr. McLeroy is now chairman of the board. Gov. Rick Perry appointed the Bryan dentist to the post in July.
Ten Republicans and five Democrats sit on the state board. Dr. McLeroy is part of a bloc of seven social conservatives who often vote together.
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
Here’s hoping Texas avoids the Kansas embarrasment.
Why bring Bob Dole into this, can't you let sleeping dogs lie?
It will happen. The PR model is proven to work, and it is a foregone conclusion.
Those of us who want the facts to govern in these matters are SOL.
When you need to defend your worldview with non-stop fraud, lies, censorship, persecution and intimidation, the odds are the truth is far from you.As indeed the Dover trial demonstrated. But I wouldn't be THAT rhetorically savage and hateful towards the antievolutionists. They are certainly foolish, but so are we all in one way or another.
Science as defined by the scientific method, consists of things that were observed or are repeatable. There are no observer’s records of evolution nor has it been repeated. We do however have an eyewitness record of creation. The Bible also tells us that at some point creation will also be repeated as a new heavens and a new earth will be created by God. So evolution could certainly not claim to be a more scientific theory of our origin. An unbiased Scientist would also considers all possible explanations. An explanation would not be ruled out simply because it is also an article of Christian faith. Belief in anything unproved is faith. Believing in evolution takes faith and the details of the theory itself are in a constant state of flux. Those on the leading edge of evolutionary theory willingly admit that most of what I was taught thirty years ago about evolution they now known to be impossible. So why teach as dogma the current theory of evolution which will ultimately be called impossible by evolutionists of the future. If we’re interested in teaching science we should teach kids to question the theory if we have any interest in them refining it when they grow up. If we teach kids to accept the theory how it is and not to doubt it where it conflicts with scientific evidence we are teaching it to them as a religious belief. Evolution has always gone against the second law of thermodynamics and the recent advances in genetic study have caused the theory of evolution to evolve on a daily basis as things once taught are found to be false. To not allow evidence pro and con and competing theories to be taught is close minded. And I thought only us creationists were supposed to be that way...Ha Ha Ha.
I liked Mr. Cantwell. Some of us first experienced deep time during his science lectures.
What competing theory are you referring to? I’m not aware of any alternative explanation that explains the evidence for the age of the earth, the distribution of fossils in the strata, the distribution of ERVs in various genomes, nylon-eating bacteria, and about a hundred other lines of evidence.
You can’t be referring to the proposition that some undefined entity, having undefined capabilities and limitations, did some undefined something at undefined times and places using undefined methods for undefined reasons.
How would anyone actual research that proposition? It’s been on the table for 200 years without inspiring any research.
That’s what libs rely on en lieu of actually debating -
arrogance and “intellectual” bullying (”you must be a backwards assed hayseed bible thumper to not see it my way”).
First, paragraphs are friends, not your enemy... :)
You have it exactly right - when they teach evolution as a fact without pointing out where it fails to explain the evidence, they are teaching a religion.
And actually, this is the whole point - they are teaching evolution as THE REASON TO NOT NEED A CREATOR.
The irony is, SCIENCE has been pointing to the existance of the Creator in every recent discovery of Universal origins and in the observation about the location of our Earth.
Thats what libs rely on en lieu of actually debating -
Well, in this case these folks wanting evolution watered down would probably describe themselves as conservatives, but yes: In place of debating their issues in the marketplace of scientific ideas (e.g. by developing competing theories and conducting relevant original research testing them) they're trying to effect, for their views, the status normally accorded to ideas (like evolution) that have prevailed by such means, but instead bypass scientific debate and do it purely by political fiat. That is indeed a kind of "arrogance" and "'intellectual' bullying".
And actually, this is the whole point - they are teaching evolution as THE REASON TO NOT NEED A CREATOR.Gratuitous assertion gratuitously denied.
Point to ANY instance in ANY biology textbook or ANY biology curricula ANYWHERE (outside of the old Soviet Union or other explicitly atheistic venue) that either states or directively implies that evolution denies theism.
In fact your assertion is worse than gratuitous; it's palpably false. I have never seen such a thing as you suggest, and I've read dozens and dozens of antievolution books and articles that would have eagerly hyped such an example if one existed.
I've read a couple of interviews with the chairman of the State Board of Education (who believes in Creation) and he made it abundantly clear that the Board will not be introducing anything religion-based and that they will stick to what they currently have in the curriculum.
I haven't kept up with this particularly well in recent years, but I suspect the concern is about the textbook guidelines.
Years ago antievolutionists managed to get in language, I don't remember exactly, but something to effect of "testing theories" or presenting "alternative evidence" or something of the like. The language itself was not necessarily objectionable, except that it was applied ONLY to evolution and nothing else.
Later on the language was kept in but was universalized, or rather the cross references tying it ONLY to evolution were eliminated. Of course antievolutionists fought this. They'd never say so, of course, but from their actions it's obvious that antievolutionists actually want all theories other than evolution to be taught as dogmatically as possible -- essentially as facts -- so that evolution (which is often the only theory in biology textbooks that's actually called a "theory") can be made to seem questionable or invalid by contrast.
So I suspect the worry is that there will be an attempt to tie the anti-dogmatism language back to evolution (and evolution only). This could be done while still, however superficially, meeting the claim that nothing "religion-based" was being added.
Here's betting that Freepers will cheer when Texas embarrasses itself like Kansas.
If one intends to endorse something be bold and do it properly.