RE: [asa] The fight in Texas over evolution training in schools

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Mon Mar 23 2009 - 17:13:19 EDT

What should be required of any science curriculum especially when dealing with evolutionary theory is for teachers to specify very clearly, what basic assumptions are being made. This issue does not usually arise in the experimental sciences since it is clear from the outset what experiments one is dealing with and what mathematical models one is using to summarize the data, which may suggest some possible theoretical models. Every experimental science has a very delimited and well-defined area of applicability whereas evolutionary theory is boundless in its attempts to explain almost everything. That is to say, physicists, chemists, experimental biologists, etc. play in very limited sandboxes whereas evolutionary biologistsí sandbox is of unlimited extent.

Moorad

________________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of John Burgeson (ASA member) [hossradbourne@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 4:44 PM
To: asa
Subject: [asa] The fight in Texas over evolution training in schools

I rec'd the following email today - it speaks for itself. Move over
Kansas -- Texas wants the booby prize!

Burgy

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From: Houston Area Pastor Council
Date: March 20, 2009

Open Letter to Texas State Board of Education and members of the Texas
Legislature:

We are writing you on behalf of clergy from every corner of Texas
regarding the proposed changes to TEKS that would directly, or by
effect, eliminate the requirement of teaching both the scientific
strengths and weaknesses of Darwin's theory of evolution in public
schools. Some Clergy and organizations have testified, making public
declarations supporting the changes and declaring their support for
Darwin's theory as sound science - insinuating that they speak for the
religious community.

Let us assure you emphatically, they do not. Their rejection of open
scientific debate, years of tested policy and the basics tenets of
their own faith define them as enemies of academic, scientific and,
yes, even religious truth. We state our case as follows:

1. There are myriad documented, irrefutable and undeniable scientific
weaknesses to Darwinian evolution as a theory. You have heard factual
testimony and are aware of those weaknesses.[1]

2. This policy change is being driven by radical, pro-Darwinian
apologists[2] who are religiously committed to the teaching of that
theory as indisputable fact in spite of the extensive and rapidly
growing body of evidence which disproves it and scientists who reject
it.

3. A vote to remove the requirement to teach both sides of Darwin's
theory, which would be a vote against Darwin's own personal commitment
to discussing both the pros and cons of his theory, is a vote for
censorship and against students' access to legitimate science.

4. The SBOE should be committed to protecting educational excellence
in Texas school curriculum and not bowing to the political pressure of
liberal special interest groups driven by dogma instead of science or
academics.

On behalf of more than eighty percent of Texas clergy, parents and
other citizens who clearly wish for strengths and weaknesses of
Darwin's theory of evolution to be taught, we ask the SBOE to vote
only for language that explicitly requires full disclosure on both
sides of that theory be taught to Texas students. We also ask the
Texas Legislature to retain the existing independence of the SBOE and
let the members duly elected by the people make decisions as well as
be accountable for them.

Sincerely,

Dave Welch, Executive Director

[1] See http://www.strengthsandweaknesses.org/

[2] Texas Freedom Network petition demanding that standards "do not
undermine instruction on evolution"

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Received on Mon Mar 23 17:13:26 2009

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