Evolution and Creationism in Texas

The Texas Acadamy of Science has come out with a statement about creationism in Texas schools science classes, called “Texas Academy of Science Position Against the Inclusion of Creationism and Design Concepts in the Science Curricula in Texas Schools”

You can get the PDF here.

Among other things, the document states:

Texas science teachers have a finite amount of class time and textbook space in which to teach the many valid and foundational scientific concepts that enable students to become knowledgeable consumers, decision makers and voters. Inclusion of creationist or intelligent design concepts in science curricula would seriously diminish the effectiveness of science education by distracting teachers from covering an already overwhelming body of knowledge, and would consequently dilute student’s understanding of scientifically valid concepts and theories. Therefore, it is the position of the Texas Academy of Science that, through their policies and decisions, the State Board of Education, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board should ensure that neither “creationism” nor “intelligent design” is added to the state’s scientific curricula.


Following is a press release from the NCSE concerning this document:

In a recent statement, the Texas Academy of Sciences expressed its support for teaching evolution — which it described as “the primary unifying cognitive framework in the biological sciences” — and its opposition to including creationism (including “intelligent design”) in the state’s scientific curricula. The Academy’s statement emphasized in particular the economic importance of science education, noting, “Modern industry requires a scientifically educated workforce. In order for Texas to remain economically competitive, it is essential that all Texans, but especially our youth[,] obtain a solid foundation in the sciences.”

References in the document to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and to personnel decisions at the Texas Education Agency suggest that the Academy was prompted to issue its statement by recent controversies involving evolution education in Texas, specifically the Institute for Creation Research’s attempt to obtain certification in Texas for its graduate program in science education and the forced resignation of Chris Comer. Founded in 1892 and now boasting over 1000 members, the Texas Academy of Sciences seeks to promote scientific research among the colleges and universities of the State of Texas, to promote undergraduate research, and to enhance the professional development of its members.

Comments

  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    February 9, 2008

    The only part that I would disagree on regarding the NCSE statement is that I don’t think that it is purely an economic issue. Science leads to technology, sure, and Texas does need to keep up with the rest of the world.

    But, there also needs to be an appreciation of science. I can’t think of anything worse to tell children in school than “Sure, you can trust the workings of science when you are doing physics, chemistry and astronomy. But when it comes to biology, you really needn’t pay any attention to it because it is then an atheistic process.”

    How can they trust any sort of objective study of natural phenomena when that is the underlying message?

  2. #2 Brian
    February 9, 2008

    I agree with the statement, but I find it kind of sad that they have to dress it up with arguments about proper use of class time to justify their pro-evolution stance. Shouldn’t it just be enough that you should only teach science in science class rather than religion?

  3. #3 Matt Penfold
    February 9, 2008

    I agree with Brian. Using lack of time to teach creationism/ID is a bad argument against teaching it. The argument is simple, creationism/ID is not science and has no place in a classroom.

  4. #4 Sigmund
    February 9, 2008

    The class time argument is a good one so long as you follow it through properly. The big mistake done here is setting up a false dichotomy of Evolution versus Creationism/ID. To the public this looks like a debate between two sides. The reality is that it is evolution versus many hundreds of competing ideas, protestant creationism being just one. No teacher can possibly be an expert in all sides of this question and so we must use firm criterion for deciding which theory or theories to teach – the best we have come up with fulfilling this criterion is going with the current scientific consensus. This doesn’t rule out ID as a possible theory that can be taught, it just asks them to provide enough published evidence such that their idea will become accepted in the scientific community.

  5. #5 C. David Parsons
    February 9, 2008

    It is the position of the Texas Academy of Science through their policies and decisions to obstruct any knowledge of a loving Creator and, hence, deprive the innocents in the classroom an indept knowledge of true science.

    HAPPILY, THERE IS A WEW DISCIPLINE ON THE SCENE!

    Things will never be the same in academia after this.

    There is a new discipline on the scene: physical science, the old science of cause and effect.
    Against the backdrop of a nation embroiled in debate and legal battles over whether creationism or evolution, or both, should be taught in the classroom, The Quest for Right proclaims a

    DAY OF VICTORY!

    The Quest for Right, a series of seven textbooks designed for the public schools, represents the ultimate marriage between an in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and natural and physical sciences. As a result, the several volumes have accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between those who desire a return to physical science in the classroom and those who embrace the theory of evolution. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena which will ultimately replace the unprofitable Darwinian view.

    The backbone of Darwinism is not biological evolution per se, but electronic interpretation, the tenet that all physical, chemical, and biological processes result from a change in the electron structure of the atom which, in turn, may be deciphered through the orderly application of mathematics, as outlined in quantum mechanics. A few of the supporting theories are: degrading stars, neutron stars, black holes, extraterrestrial water, antimatter, the absolute dating systems, and the big bang, the explosion of a singularity infinitely smaller than the dot of an �i� from which space, time, and the massive stellar bodies supposedly sprang into being.

    The philosophy rejects any divine intervention. Therefore, let the philosophy of Darwinism be judged on these specifics: electron interpretation and quantum mechanics. Conversely, the view that God is both responsible for and rules all the phenomena of the universe will stand or fall when the facts are applied. The view will not hinge on faith alone, but will be tested by the weightier principle of verifiable truths � the new discipline.

    The Quest for Right is not only better at explaining natural phenomena, but also may be verified through testing. As a result, the material in the several volumes will not violate the so-called constitutional separation of church and state. Physical science, the old science of cause and effect, will have a long-term sustainability, replacing irresponsible doctrines based on whim. Teachers and students will rejoice in the simplicity of earthly phenomena when entertained by the new discipline. You will not want to miss the adventure of a lifetime that awaits you in Volume 1 of The Quest for Right, by C. David Parsons.

    Visit the official website for additional information:
    http://primordial-blog.blogspot.com/2008/02/quest-for-wrong.html

    �A book that will change the world.� � Wayne Lin, Editor, Tate Publishing LLC

    The Quest for Right in the news:

    Feb. 5th � Shipped 200 copies of Volume 1 to concerned educators, religious leaders, and politicians in Florida. Even as you read this, the books are on their desks.

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  6. #6 Brian
    February 9, 2008

    Hilarious! I love how the author describes himself as a “biblical scholar and scientist extraordinaire”. And he rates his own book with seven gold stars right on the front cover. I never seen a rating as high as seven stars out of a possible five before.

    I’m curious to read the chapter about what is really heating up the center of the earth. He claims that the biblical view is correct rather than the theories of modern geophysicists, so I’m assuming he thinks that the heat is caused by the souls being burnt in Hell.

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