Under the headline “Evolution wins a round in Texas education debate,” Jordan Lite of Scientific American reported that the Texas Board of Education has passed a preliminary recommendation that students learn to evaluate explanations for phenomena using scientific criteria, a move that would make it more difficult to teach creationism.
Board members voted eight-to-seven last night to drop controversial language in the state’s curriculum that requires science teachers to discuss the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories.
The move was hailed by Eugenie Scott, executive director of the Oakland, Calif.-based National Center for Science Education. “There are no weaknesses of evolution,” she told us, echoing a comment she made to the Dallas Morning News, which reported yesterday that that panel was mulling the move.
However, given that this is just a preliminary vote, it doesn’t appear that the TX school board has resolved this issue yet. James McKinley, Jr., of the New York Times noted that some members of the board, especially Dr. Don McLeroy (a dentist who is chair of the board, are pushing amendments to “compel science teachers to instruct students about aspects of the fossil record that do not neatly fit with the idea of species’ gradually changing over time.”
Anyone taking wagers on how much mail members of that board will get from anti-science creationists and how many folks with such views will show up at the board meeting for the final vote?
Link to Mr. Lite’s Scientific American piece. Link to Mr. McKinley’s NY Times “Split Outcome in Texas Battle on Teaching of Evolution.” Also see “State Board of Education debates evolution curriculum” by Terrence Stutz of the Dallas (TX, US) Morning News