Texas: Classroom Creationism Under Assault

RATIONALITY may be having a good day in Texas. The Dallas Morning News has this story: Proposed curriculum standards in Texas would give Darwin a boost. Some excerpts, with bold added for emphasis:

AUSTIN – Proposed curriculum standards for science courses in Texas schools would boost the teaching of evolution by dropping the current requirement that students be exposed to “weaknesses” in Charles Darwin’s theory of how humans and other life forms evolved.

This is a startling development. “Strengths and weaknesses” has been creationists code for sneaking their Oogity Boogity into science classes. But wait, there’s more:

Science standards drafted by review committees of teachers and academics also would put up roadblocks for teachers who want to discuss creationism or “intelligent design” in biology classes when covering the subject of evolution.

Gasp! If adopted, the policy in Texas would be the opposite of what it is in Louisiana. But it’s not going to be easy. The article continues:

The standards are subject to approval by 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.

Ah yes, the state Board of Education …

State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-College Station, said Tuesday he will oppose the recommendation.

McLeroy is the creationist dentist who … well, we’ve written about him before: Texas Dentist’s Jihad Against Evolution.

Here’s the last paragraph from this morning’s article, which leaves us a bit confused:

The review committee recommendations would drop the strengths-and-weaknesses rule for all science courses except astronomy and chemistry. In addition, the biology review committee proposed language that states that supernatural and religious-based concepts such as creationism have no place in science classes.

What’s that all about? Will Texas schools still be free to bring up the Phlogiston theory in chemistry classes, and the geocentric theory while teaching astronomy? Why not? Teach the controversy!

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