Is understanding of evolution “vital” to the understanding of biology? No.
That nugget of nonsense comes from Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist who serves as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy was writing about the debate over teaching evolution in a column for the Waco Tribune-Herald this weekend. McLeroy says he and other creationists don’t agree with scientists who strongly oppose watering down instruction on evolution in public school science classrooms. The state board, now controlled by McLeroy’s creationist faction, is currently revising curriculum standards for science.
There is virtually universal support among research biologists for the overwhelming scientific evidence behind evolution. The job of high school teachers is to present this consensus view of science.
TFN, of course, couldn’t agree more. If you also agree, it’s time to take action. Please sign on to TFN’s Stand Up for Science petition here. You can learn more about the Stand Up for Science campaign here. Sign the clergy petition here. If you’re a Texas scientist, please sign on also to the 21st-Century Science Coalition’s petition here.
You can act in other important ways as well, including contacting your State Board of Education member and your legislators. Tell them that you support giving Texas students a 21st-century science education that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of the future. That means making sure that the state board doesn’t require public schools to teach phony “weaknesses” of evolution fabricated by creationists. It also means telling students that science deals with the natural world, not supernatural explanations. Public schools have no business deciding whose religious beliefs to teach in science classrooms. “If public schools did so,” as the 21st-Century Science Coalition writes in the Waco paper, “they would threaten the right of families to direct the religious education of their own children.”
And they would handicap our children with a 19th-century education in their 21st-century classrooms. Texas kids deserve far better.