Monday, March 30, 2009

Science wins Texas shootout

Just a week ago, EdLog reported on the Texas evolution controversy. Not the one about whether or not Texans ever evolved at all; the one eerily similar to our own legislative battle last year over the teaching of creationism.

Well, the fight in Texas is over, and science won. The stakes were much bigger for the nation than Louisiana's own Science Education Act. Had the Texas Board of Education approved Chairman Don McLeroy's plan, most of the science textbooks sold in the U.S. would have had to give equal time to non-darwinian (religious) theories about the origin of species. That's because Texas buys so many textbooks that publishers don't print other editions for other states.

As San Antonio Express-News reporter Gary Scharrer writes here:

Board Chairman Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, and six other social conservatives
lost several narrow votes designed to cast specific doubt on evolution.
The new standards no longer contain a provision allowing educators to teach the
“weaknesses” of evolutionary theory, part of the current standards.
By 8-7 votes, the board removed specific references to insufficiencies of evidence for
common ancestry and natural selection and to “the arguments for and against
universal common descent in light of fossil evidence.” All are key parts of
evolutionary theory.

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