Reaction to the ruling from Salon:
But in a compromise that alarms and dismays many science education advocates, the board did adopt language that attempts to cast a shadow of doubt over the validity of the central evolutionary concepts of natural selection and common ancestry.From the Houston Chronicle:
...Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of science education in the public schools, says that once McLeroy and his allies failed to pass the "strengths and weakness" language, "they had a fallback position, which was to continue amending the standards to achieve through the back door what they couldn't achieve upfront."
And they succeeded.
"I think we've seen some classic examples of politics interfering with science education," said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the California-based National Center for Science Education.And from the Wall Street Journal:
Critics say the requirement has been used to undermine the theory of evolution in favor of religious teachings.
Kathy Miller, president of the pro-evolution Texas Freedom Network, said, "The board crafted a road map that creationists will use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks."Depsite the National Center for Science Education and other pro-Darwin groups petitioning the school board that their opponents had religious motivations, the language passed. So why are evolutionists so angry? Does it identify God as the Creator? Endorse Creationism? Does it require Intelligent Design be taught along side Evolution?
The new science standards state that students "...in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student."
Robert Crowther of the Discovery Institute states,
In a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution, Texas today 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.While I agree with Crowther that this is a huge victory and am thankful to those who fought diligently, it is so sad that such an incredible amount of time and effort is necessary to establish something so foundational as critical thinking into our science classrooms. Anyone skeptical of evolution is painted as solely motivated by religion, anti-science, deceptive and dishonest. But it is the evolutionists who are rejecting the empirical demonstration of science for their ideological purposes.
“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.”
HT: The ID Update