Friday, March 27, 2009

Sanity Prevails in Texas

In a stunning blow to theocrats everywhere:

From Religion Clause:

3/27/09 5:30 AM Howard Friedman (

Yesterday the Texas State Board of Education again more or less reaffirmed its earlier decision to mandate teaching of evolution in a manner consistent with mainstream science. After hearings in January, the Board preliminarily voted 8-7 to drop prior languge in the state's science curriculum standards that called for students to analyze the "strength and weaknesses" of scientific theories. (See prior posting.) New, more pro-science, language was adopted that says students should "analyze and evaluate scientific explanations using empirical evidence."

The final set of hearings on these standards began Wednesay. (AP). Yesterday, according to the New York Times, the the Board by a vote of 7-7 refused to adopt a proposal to go back to the old "strengths and weaknesses" language. However, social conservatives were able to add new requirements at various specific points in the curriculum that call on teachers to evaluate the sufficiency of current scientific explanations. For example, Biology standards will now call on teachers to "analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of natural selection to explain the complexity of the cell." A final Board vote is to be taken today. It is expected to reaffirm yesterday's result since one additional Board member will participate and she has already indicated that she opposes the changes pressed by social conservatives. (Dallas Morning News.)

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