Skip to comments.Evolution foes facing setback
Posted on 03/27/2009 6:23:20 AM PDT by laotzu
AUSTIN The State Board of Education gave a nearly-final nod to new science curriculum standards Thursday that would change a long-standing Texas tradition over how schoolchildren learn about evolution.
The tentative vote a final one is expected today will mean teachers and students no longer will be expected to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of evolution and the theory about the origin of life developed by Charles Darwin 150 years ago.
The move is a setback for critics of evolution, who argued that teachers and students should have to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of evolution a standard that has been a part of Texas school science standards for 20 years.
But the argument over how to teach evolution continues, with final votes today on several amendments that some scientists say seek to cast doubt on evolution.
One asks students to evaluate fossil types, as some contend gaps in fossil records create scientific evidence against universal common descent. Another questions natural selection.
Scientists are working on Rick Agosto, D-San Antonio, in an effort to switch his votes on the amendments. He voted with the social conservatives on the amendments, though he ultimately sided with scientists on the strengths and weaknesses issue. The vote was 7-7; eight votes were needed to restore it.
Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, who missed Thursday's hearing, is expected to participate in the final vote.
If you can't attack evolution through strengths and weaknesses, talk about the insufficiency of natural selection. We see this in other states. This is what creationists are doing is attacking evolution, said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education.
Scientists and more than 50 national and state science organizations urged the 15-member board Thursday not to include references to creationist-fabricated weaknesses' or other attempts to undermine instruction on evolution.
Many scientists contend basic evolutionary theory at the high school level has no weaknesses, and to suggest it does would confuse students.
However, Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, fought to restore the strengths and weaknesses clause, which board-appointed science experts removed from the proposed standards. The board's seven social conservative members supported that effort but fell one vote short.
Not all scientists agree about evolution, Mercer argued.
There are questions about evolution. ... There are weaknesses, he said.
Darwin's theory of evolution posits that all life is descended from a common ancestor.
The theory is not without its critics. Darwinists try to conceal some of the weaknesses and fallacies of evolution theory, said Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands.
They are not the sole possessors of truth. Our schoolchildren belong to the parents, and they want their children educated, she said. They don't want them indoctrinated with one side. They know that evolution has weaknesses.
The new science curriculum standards will take effect in the 2010-2011 school year and last a decade.
The standards will influence new science textbooks, not only for Texas but also for most other states. Publishers, considering the volume, typically duplicate textbooks used by Texas schools. About 4.6 million students attend K-12 grades in Texas public schools.
The 'experts' agree. Much like global warming, evolution is not science.
This is supposed to be a good thing for education? Good grief.
evolutionism is a secular humanist religion....dogma that is ENFORCED on school children.....disgusting....
Yep. What’s wrong with some debate in the classroom? Do the evos really want to steal taxpayer’s money and give them no say on what gets taught to their kids? Of course, my kids aren’t going to learn about the supposed “strengths” of that idiotic religion of evolutionary. But I will have to pay for other kids to learn it despite the first amendment.
All fields of science must be considered equal (i.e. the evil-spirit theory of disease, the flat-earth theory of geography, the Ptolemaic theory of astronomy, etc must get equal time with creationism).
Sigh - the new Dark Ages are upon us, when the religious fanatics will be burning intellectuals in the streets, and all thought will be banned.
Then you support teaching the evil-spirit theory of disease, etc.
Excellent. The biological-science version of the “Fairness Doctrine” goes down in flames.
I don’t believe anyone should take money from one person to teach another person’s kid. But regardless of that, the Religion of Evolution is just as stupid as all that voodoo junk. So I guess you’re right, debate isn’t good, evolution should just be dropped all together and they should just teach observable science and leave the metaphysical study of origins to churches and voodoo huts.
Why not? When I was in school, those earlier ideas WERE discussed. One can easily see what “theory” the evidence supports, and reject the ones that aren't supported!
(Or is that exactly what you fear?)
I don’t see why it should matter either way. The reality is that there are no weaknesses in evolution. The weakness exist only in the minds of those who are incapable or unwilling to understand.
The curriculum wouldn’t change either way.
Why does this need to be taught in the school? Like it or not, creationism is a religious belief and schools are not in the business of teaching religious doctrine. If parents do not want their kids exposed, they can home-school their kids or send them to religious schools.
Evolution is a religious belief. If you want religion out of the classroom, get ALL religions out of the classroom including evolution.
Those that question dogma like the earth is round or that it revolves around the sun are considered nuts, not scientists.
And the questions you ask are fairly valid: Why does this need to be taught in the school?
“Excellent. The biological-science version of the Fairness Doctrine goes down in flames.”
So many things wrong with this comparison that it boggles the mind.
1) We aren’t talking about a free market system of the airwaves and forcing rejected ideas to have the same treatment as accepted, popular ideas. We’re talking about a government funded monopoly that many children have no choice about attending. Such a system should be required to present alternative views.
2) We aren’t talking about political commentary. We’re talking about a scientific “theory” (In quotes because there’s nothing scientific at all about evolution. In fact, it defies the scientific method.) that shouldn’t have to be protected from its critics.
3) We aren’t talking about liberals, who are all in a tizzy and fearful because they’re ideas aren’t popular and can’t be sold to the American people no matter how they are packaged. We’re talking about scientists who are in a tizzy and fearful..... Oh wait. Maybe there are some similarities.
Hasn’t the pope come out in support of evolution?
I think he claims it is compatible with the Bible. But I’m not sure on his complete stance...
Go for it, secular humanists. You will encourage more Christian families to enroll their children in parochial schools or join the thousands who home school in Texas. You will then have ZERO influence on the education of thousands of future Texans, the best and brightest ones at that.
With every child who leaves the government school system, dollars are subtracted from the system. With every family that puts their child in parochial schools or home schools, there is less need for them to vote for the next government school bond issue. And thus the government indoctrination grows weaker.
God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
“Those that question dogma like the earth is round or that it revolves around the sun are considered nuts, not scientists.”
Such a statement betrays a serious lack of understanding about the scientific method or a serious commitment to deceit.
The nature of the Earth and its relationship to the Sun are observable, testable, predictive things.
Evolution is none of those. Therefore, it cannot be considered science.