Standing Tall for Science in Texas

The National Center for Science Education has named three distinguished university scholars in Texas as the recipients of the organization’s 2010 Friend of Darwin award for their efforts last year to promote sound science education in public schools.

Prof. Gerald Skoog of Texas Tech, Prof. David Hillis of the University of Texas at Austin and Prof. Ron Wetherington of Southern Methodist University (standing left to right in the photo) served as expert reviewers during the State Board of Education‘s debate over proposed new science curriculum standards in 2009. All three were powerful and tireless advocates — both before the board and in the news media — in urging state board members not to dumb down the education of Texas schoolchildren with creationist-based junk science attacking evolution.

From NCSE’s press release:

They came from Texas. Big, brawny men, with big, brawny brains. They had a mission: To make evolution education safe for kids throughout the Republic of Texas.

These three men–David Hillis, Gerald Skoog and Ron Wetherington—stood tall for evolution!

Friends of Darwin: Professors Skoog, Hillis, Wetherington

The Texas Freedom Network, which received the Friend of Darwin award in 2004, was honored to stand with these scholars and with NCSE in defending sound science education last year. Together, we succeeded in stripping from the science curriculum standards a requirement that students learn phony “weaknesses” of evolution in their science classrooms. Our victory was an important setback to creationist attacks on evolution in schools across the country.

Creationists on the state board succeeded, however, in inserting other problematic standards they hope will force publishers to call evolution into question in new textbooks currently scheduled for adoption in Texas next year. So TFN hopes to work again with Professors Skoog, Hillis and Wetherington and the fine folks at NCSE — as we did successfully in 2003 — to ensure that new textbooks focus on teaching the sound science of evolution.

12 thoughts on “Standing Tall for Science in Texas

  1. From my Christian perspective, congratulations to all three in their efforts to search out the details of what God did and how He did it. It takes a mighty big God to work with all of that nearly endless detail over 600,000, 000 years on Earth. Wow!!!! I feel so humbled that He allowed it to be revealed (to some degree so far) through some very special human brains that were specially equipped to decipher the details. As we say over at my church:

    Well, that’s how I feel about it.

  2. How fortunate for all of us that there are still honest and caring people willing to stick their necks out for truth. How unfortunate that there will be a great clamoring for their heads by ideologues who see truth as a light too bright to see by.

  3. Thanks not just for your integrity, but all of the HARD WORK, PERSEVERANCE, AND DILIGENT STUDY that it took for you to get to your positions of responsibility. That’s extremely important in the education battle.

  4. We cannot allow the State Board of Education to dumb-down science curriculum any further. We need to bring the focus back educating future generations of Texans, not using the SBOE to promote a personal religious agenda. We need to use the work of experts like these to develop rigorous standards. Thank you, TFN, for highlighting these three distinguished scholars.

  5. Charles and Rebecca are right. A thousand ages in God’s sight are like an evening gone. He gave us intellect and does not require us to forego the use of it. We need not fear information that our eyes, ears, and reason show us. Thank you, too, Darwin.

  6. Charles and Rebecca, Bonnie, David and formerlyanonymous couldn’t be more right.

    I don’t know about that other chucklehead.

  7. Thank you, professors, for your bravery in standing tall to promote science.

    If it weren’t for scientists, I wouldn’t be able to type this message here.

  8. Why do they keep calling creationism “junk science?” I don’t think that any adjective gives you the right or the accuracy to put the word science in the same sentence with creationism.