Monday, May 18, 2009

Texas: The Aftermath Continues

An article in the Wichita Falls TimesRecordNews (As Falls Wichita...?) shows how the Texas State Board of Education decisions about the science curriculum is already having an effect. The article, by Ann Work, has this to say:
Local chemistry teacher Shelby Patrick said some tried, but failed, to bring the concept of intelligent design into the science curriculum as an alternate consideration to natural selection and other evolutionary topics.

“If an idea (like intelligent design) cannot be objectively tested, then it is not science. That was the main point many of us in the science field were trying to get across during this review of new standards,” Patrick said.

John Davison, science coordinator at Wichita Falls High School, said he liked the new verbiage that drops the old “strengths and weaknesses” approach in favor of critical analysis. “When you say something has a weakness, it conjures up the idea that there might be something wrong with it. When you’re coming up with a theory, you never really come up with a total wrong or right. You keep adding the facts and going to where they point. It’s not a situation where you’re trying to be the person who is standing up and fighting for it,” he said. “You’re just a pawn in the game, showing whatever the facts are.”

I submit that the "weaknesses" language was designed to do exactly that: promote the idea that there might be something wrong with the theory. It was designed to get in under the wire and open the door to alternative ideas such as ID or creationism. I am curious to see how the ID front will respond to the changes in wording.

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