From Bibles to Biology

We’ve been writing a lot about the Bible course guidelines recently adopted by the State Board of Education. But another pressing matter before the board — and one that we should be equally worried about — is what Texas students will learn about evolution in their science classes.

Creationists have long tried to include creationism or its pseudo-scientific variant “intelligent design” in science textbooks. But federal courts, most recently in Kitzmiller v. Dover, have ruled that doing so violates the First Amendment’s prohibition against government promotion of religion. Creationists, such as Texas State Board of Education chairman Dr. Don McLeroy, R-College Station, are now putting their efforts behind requiring that students learn about the so-called “weaknesses” of evolution. Never mind, of course, that scientists have repeatedly debunked those fabricated “weaknesses.” Click here to read a Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report on the state board and how the controversy over teaching evolution has developed over time.

The Austin Chronicle today — in its science fiction issue, no less — includes an informative story on the background of the board’s creationist leanings.

[D]espite clearly worded endorsements of evolution’s validity as scientific fact from the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Science Teachers Association of Texas, and countless other scientific groups, McLeroy and six other conservative members of the 15-member SBOE remain unconvinced.

McLeroy, a dentist, obviously deems himself better versed in biology than biologists. The Texas Freedom Network is, as the Chronicle writes, standing in opposition to efforts to undermine sound science education in our public schools.

Texas Freedom Network’s Dan Quinn believes weak-evolution curricula will set back the education of Texas schoolchildren. He says Texas will have a hard time getting its high school graduates admitted to top universities, or attracting science-oriented businesses, if it develops an anti-science reputation.

“Are we going to give our kids a 19th century education in the 21st century?” Quinn asked.

Join us in Standing Up for Science! The State Board of Education isn’t.