Don McLeroy, recently ousted as Texas State Board of Education chairman, is once again defending new science curriculum standards that dumb down instruction on evolution in public schools. Writing in a Bryan-College Station Eagle op-ed, McLeroy says “only science belongs in science class.” But he then launches once again into a series of creationist attacks on evolution that have been repeatedly and forcefully rejected by mainstream scientists.
McLeroy’s op-ed highlights, as Texas Freedom Network noted in March, the roadmap creationists will use to attack evolution when new science textbooks come up for adoption in two years.
First, McLeroy suggests that students will be able to separate real science from “dogma” — by which he means support for the science of evolution. Then he essentially repeats two key arguments he made during the debate over the standards.
The new standards require greater scientific scrutiny of evolution and the hypothesis that all life is descended from a common ancestor by unguided natural processes (i.e., no designer).
Students will study evidence for common ancestry in the fossil record.
Specifically, they will “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record.”
The sequential pattern of fossils can be considered evidence for evolution, but the other patterns — sudden appearance and stasis (staying the same) — can be used to question evolution.
This pseudo-science reflects the creationist belief that God created life as we see it today in a Divine, spectacular moment in time less than 6,000 years ago.
Texas students also will get to examine “how” evolutionary processes “created” the amazing complex assemblies that are found in the cell. They now are expected to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.”
This is straight-up “intelligent design”/creationist mumbo-jumbo about “irreducible complexity” that makes real scientists roll their eyes. Yet the board’s creationist faction will demand that students learn about it in their science classrooms.
Read McLeroy’s piece here. You will see once again why the Houston Chronicle are other supporters of giving Texas kids a sound science education are very pleased the Senate didn’t confirm his nomination as state board chairman.