YOU ALREADY KNOW that the Texas Board of Education, chaired by creationist dentist Don McLeroy, is conducting hearings about keeping or eliminating the creationism-friendly “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state’s science education standards. Here’s what your Curmudgeon has learned about the first day’s hearings:
In the Houston Chronicle we read Activists line up to testify on science standards . Excerpts, with bold added by us:
The current curriculum requires students be taught the “strengths and weaknesses” of all scientific theories, wording that some say has been used to undermine the theory of evolution.
The proposal being discussed would change the language to say “strengths and limitations,” even though a review committee had recommended removing the reference altogether.
We didn’t know that. It hardly seems worth all the bother. Reading on:
“Scientific theories are strong. They don’t have weaknesses,” Steven Schafersman, president of the advocacy group Texas Citizens for Science, told the board.
Schafersman is a good man. This is his group’s website: Texas Citizens for Science. Continuing:
The board seemed in for a long evening as 89 people had signed up to testify on the proposal, which also suggests encouraging middle school students to discuss alternative explanations for evolution.
Eighty-nine people giving testimony — all in one day? It doesn’t matter. The article says:
The State Board of Education is expected to vote on the proposal next spring. A majority of members have said they are in favor of retaining the current mandate to cover both strengths and weaknesses of major scientific theories. Standards adopted by the board will remain in place for the next decade.
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