Attack on evolution continues in Texas

Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 5:42 PM Bookmark and Share
Today, all eyes were on Texas where anti-evolution proponents nearly succeeded in their efforts to attack the teaching of scientific theories (namely, evolution) in public classrooms. Fortunately, the outcome went in favor of the pro-science and pro-education camp (though it was a very narrow win).

I highly recommend reading through some of the actual panel discussions, for example some highlights can be found on the blog Thoughts from Kansas, by Joshua Rosenau at Scienceblogs.com.

In a vote to restore subtle yet damaging anti-evolution language to the state's science curriculum rules (language that was recently pulled out of the rules by the board) the board voted in a 7-7 tie (7 Republican for the language, 3 Republican and 4 Democrats against), casting out the language (for now). For more details, see this piece by The Dallas Morning News.


The Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) - A classic example of observable microevolution, though often misused by young earth creationists in their claims that evolution doesn't lead to different "kinds" of organisms. The overwhelming body of evidence supporting the theory of evolution (it seems) will never satisfy young earth creationists. They only seek to support their beliefs and not to use science to understand natural processes like macroevolution.



Thankfully, many state and national scientists, science educators, and related organizations have been sharing their concerns and expertise with the board - pointing out where anti-evolution proponents are trying to pull a fast one and emphasizing the importance of a solid science curriculum free of political and religious tampering. Even some of the state's religious leaders are speaking out in defense of evolution.

Letters from various organizations can be found here.

The final vote on the curriculum will take place tomorrow (March 27, 2009).

More at these related links:

Baptist Press
National Center for Science Education
ScienceBlogs - Josh Rosenau
More from Josh Rosenau's coverage of the board meeting
Texas Observer (blog)
The Clergy Letter Project.
Science, Evolution and Creationism - a fantastic (and free!) electronic book by the National Academy of Sciences.

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