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

From: William Hamilton <>
Date: Tue Mar 24 2009 - 23:45:23 EDT

Although I accept some form of evolution -- with the caveat that
everything that happens happens according to God's sovereignty -- I
think it's a pity that the limitations of scientific theories cannot
be discussed in science classes. Students need to learn to critically
evaluate experiments and historical analysis to determine whether the
theory drawn from them holds water.

On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 4:13 PM, Alexanian, Moorad <> wrote:
> 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 biologists’ sandbox is of unlimited extent.
> Moorad
> ________________________________________
> From: [] On Behalf Of John Burgeson (ASA member) []
> 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
> -------
> 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
> [2] Texas Freedom Network petition demanding that standards  "do not
> undermine instruction on evolution"
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William E (Bill) Hamilton Jr., Ph.D.
Member American Scientific Affiliation
Austin, TX
248 821 8156
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Received on Tue Mar 24 23:46:03 2009

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