Evolution at the SBOE

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Good Stuff, Public Schools, SBOE District 10 at 3:56 pm by wcnews

Yesterday’s debate which was chronicled at the Texas Freedom Network and Evo.Sphere made the New York Times today, In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate.

The latest round in a long-running battle over how evolution should be taught in Texas schools began in earnest Wednesday as the State Board of Education heard impassioned testimony from scientists and social conservatives on revising the science curriculum.

The debate here has far-reaching consequences; Texas is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of textbooks, and publishers are reluctant to produce different versions of the same material.

Many biologists and teachers said they feared that the board would force textbook publishers to include what skeptics see as weaknesses in Darwin’s theory to sow doubt about science and support the Biblical version of creation.

“These weaknesses that they bring forward are decades old, and they have been refuted many, many times over,” Kevin Fisher, a past president of the Science Teachers Association of Texas, said after testifying. “It’s an attempt to bring false weaknesses into the classroom in an attempt to get students to reject evolution.”

In the past, the conservatives on the education board have lacked the votes to change textbooks. This year, both sides say, the final vote, in March, is likely to be close.

From what it looks it appears the motions, by our very own SBOE 10 member Cynthia Dunbar (Republican), to add teaching the strengths and weaknesses of evolution to the state’s science curriculum have failed. The main argument the non-creationist Republicans should be able to understand, and should make them against this issue, is what businesses think aobut this subject.

Business leaders, meanwhile, said Texas would have trouble attracting highly educated workers and their families if the state’s science programs were seen as a laughingstock among biologists.

“The political games we are playing right now are going to burn us all,” said Eric Hennenhoefer, who owns Obsidian Software.

This is another issue that points to why the GOP has been moving backwards and the Democrats are coming back in Texas. As our President said on Tuesday, “We will restore science to its rightful place..”

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