Texas votes out evolution weaknesses, according to an article in The Dallas Morning News, 22 January 2009 and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 25 January 2009. Following a very close vote, the Board of Education in Texas has removed a requirement for high school teachers to cover the “strengths and weaknesses” of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The requirement has been part of the curriculum since the 1980’s. Opponents of the requirement have claimed that it opened the door to creationism in schools and that it “suggested that the scientific community was divided on the theory of evolution when in fact there is little disagreement.” However, sceptics of evolution managed to introduce a requirement that would require teachers to present “aspects of the fossil record that do not neatly fit with the idea of species gradually changing over time, such as the relatively sudden appearance of some species and the fact that others seem to remain unchanged for millions of years.”
Although this does not question the basic tenet of evolution – descent from a common ancestor – the defenders of evolution are not happy. They claim it “was intended to engender doubt in students about what most biologists accept as fact: that evolution occurs, even if there is debate about how and why.”
Because of the large size of the student population in Texas, decisions made by the Texas Education Board have a strong influence on textbook producers. The creation/evolution debate erupted in 2003 when social conservative Board members wanted to reject textbooks they considered too pro-evolution.
Editorial Comment:Obaa-ma word I dooo deeclaair, that although they are advised by teachers, Board members are actually politicians who know where Obama stands on the subject, so once again we see politicians declaring the theory of evolution needs to be protected from the students who think. If evolution was such good science, the requirement to discuss strengths and weaknesses would have been a great opportunity to display scientific credentials of evolution, so why vote it out? (Ref. politics, philosophy, teaching)
Evidence News 4 February 2009