Saturday, March 28, 2009

Texas Now Leads Nation in Requiring Critical Analysis of Evolution in High School Science Classes

RJ Note: Nice to see someone finally remember that it's the Theory of Evolution. I took a complete course in evolution in college, and it was always called theory. Somehow that word theory just seems to keep getting dropped. For example, has anyone heard of the Global Warming Theory? Keep on truckin' and show all sides of evidence, not just the ones that are politically correct.

/PRNewswire/ -- In a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution, Texas Friday moved to the head of the class by requiring students to "critique" and examine "all sides of scientific evidence" and specifically requiring students to "analyze and evaluate" the evidence for major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.

"Texas has sent a clear message that evolution should be taught as a scientific theory open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned," said Dr. John West, Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute. "Contrary to the claims of the evolution lobby, absolutely nothing the Board did promotes 'creationism' or religion in the classroom. Groups that assert otherwise are lying, plain and simple. Under the new standards, students will be expected to analyze and evaluate the scientific evidence for evolution, not religion. Period."

The new requirements were contained in revised science standards approved today by the Texas State Board of Education. The science standards include language requiring students to "analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations... including examining all sides of scientific evidence... so as to encourage critical thinking by the student." Equally important, the high school biology standards now require students to "analyze and evaluate" the scientific evidence for key parts of evolutionary theory, including common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.

Discovery Institute has long endorsed the idea that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, including its unresolved issues.

The Discovery Institute's mission is to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Their mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus media coverage and the Institute's own publications and Internet website (http://www.discovery.org/).

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