I was premature in mentioning the good news from the Texas hearings: the situation is much messier than I thought. The ‘strengths and weaknesses’ amendment lost on points, but the creationists responded with a flurry of new amendments to various pieces of the science standards — most of them look like very nit-picky changes in wording that have deep meaning to creationists, I assume. Science wasn’t murdered by the Texas board, but is only being wounded and made to suffer the torture of a thousand cuts.
The word “weaknesses” no longer appears in the science standards. But the document still has plenty of potential footholds for creationist attacks on evolution to make their way into Texas classrooms.
Through a series of contradictory and convoluted amendments, the board crafted a road map that creationists will use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks.
We appreciate that the politicians on the board seek compromise, but don’t agree that compromises can be made on established mainstream science or on honest education policy.
What’s truly unfortunate is that we now have to revisit this entire debate in two years when new science textbooks are adopted. Perhaps the Texas legislature can do something to prevent that.
I am no longer confused, just unhappy.