Texas officials plan to fight evolution in science standards


Texas political conservatives stand exposed in their plans to gut biology standards to get evolution out of the curriculum after the Dallas Morning News detailed their plans in a front-page news story today.

LEANDER, Texas – Science instruction is about to be dissected in Texas.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in biology to know that things rarely survive dissection.

The resignation of the 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.

Intelligent design advocates and other creationists are being up front with their plans to teach educationally-suspect and scientifically wrong material as “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Of course, they also plan to fail to teach the strengths of evolution theory.

“Emphatically, we are not trying to ‘take evolution out of the schools,’ ” said Mark Ramsey of Texans for Better Science Education, which wants schools to teach about weaknesses in evolution. “All good educators know that when students are taught both sides of an issue such as biologic evolution, they understand each side better. What are the Darwinists afraid of?”

Texans for Better Science is a political group set up in 2003 to advocate putting intelligent design into biology textbooks for religious reasons. It is an astro-turf organization running off of donations from religious fundamentalists. (Note their website is “strengthsandweaknesses” and notice they feature every false and disproven claim IDists have made in the last 20 years — while noting no strength of evolution theory; fairness is not the goal of these people, nor is accuracy, nor scientific literacy).

Scientists appear to be taking their gloves off in this fight. For two decades scientists have essentially stayed out of the frays in education agencies, figuring with some good reason that good sense would eventually prevail. With the global challenges to the eminence of American science, however, and with a lack of qualified graduate students from the U.S.A., this silliness in public school curricula is damaging the core of American science and competitiveness.

Can scientists develop a voice greater than the political and public relations machines of creationists.

As Bette Davis said on stage and screen: Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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2 Responses to Texas officials plan to fight evolution in science standards

  1. E. Beck says:

    Yeah, I went to a Mark Ramsey talk in Dallas, just a few weeks ago, it was hosted by the young earth creationist group, Metroplex Institute for Origin Science (MIOS). The man is like a diet version of Kent Hovind.

    The arguments are the same that have been used by creationist: misrepresentation of the science and that Darwinism is evil. In the meeting, they got really upset because I insisted several times that Intelligent Design is about God. There was a strong denial about this issue and I was accused of misrepresenting Intelligent Design because it makes no claims about the designer (weasel technique). Yet, at the end of Mr. Ramsey’s presentation there were several slides with either bible quotes or Issac Newton saying that all of his discoveries were due to answers to his prayers, I’m paraphrasing.

    Of course this is about religion.

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  2. […] Texas School Board seemingly wants to finish that sentence with […]

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