Under this new proposal, teachers would no longer be required to teach the “weaknesses” of the theory of evolution and are not allowed to discuss in biology classes other alternative conclusions like intelligent design, or creationism. However, “the state Board of Education, where a majority of members have voiced support for retaining the current mandate to cover both strengths and weaknesses of major scientific theories, notably evolution, in science courses.” Dallas News
It appears this proposal has caved in to special interest groups like the NCSE who claim creationists or ID proponents are trying to take over science classes methods of teaching while banning the teaching of evolution completely. But quite the opposite is true. Most of these special interest groups are generally opposed to the idea of calling evolution a “theory” in their attempts to dominate and keep out anything that might undermine their so-called scientific fact.
They argue that if “weaknesses” of evolution are added to biology science classes, this would mean teachers would be able to teach creationism in the public schools. Take the article in the NY Times for example, where it claims “strengths and weakness” is just replacing creator or intelligent design.
This argument has no substance as it just focuses on the label, under the guidelines what should be looked at what are exactly the strengths and weakness of evolution are they teaching with taxpayers money. So where is the evidence for this particular accusation of teaching creationism in the public schools? I have yet to see an incident of teachers in Texas who taught creationism or ID in the public schools in the past. I’m sure the NY Times would have sighted an example or what it thought was an example of teaching ID or creationism under the terms “strengths and weaknesses” which has been part of teaching science in Texas since the 1980s.
The same argument with no foundation was used in LA when that bill was proposed about teaching “critical thinking” and it continues to be the argument as the bill passed in LA this past summer 2008. Generally most creation activists that I know of say, there is not enough evolution being taught, meaning public schools are only allowed to show evolutionary strengths not weaknesses. A typical example of this is not being able to teach evolution as a “theory” or use that term in the text books when teaching science.
It will be interesting to see if this new proposal will pass, predictions have been made and some claim it’s going to be a close vote considering there are many on the Texas school board who are not militant evolutionists. I would recommend the school board to vote against the new proposal.