Saturday, March 7, 2009

Texas Curriculum Debate

Interesting controversy seems to be brewing about science textbooks in Texas. Since they are the second largest consumer of textbooks in the nation, these actions could have a nationwide effect.

"Texas Debate Over Evolution Curriculum Could Affect Nation's Textbooks"
A battle is brewing in Texas that could change the nation's science textbooks and the way evolution is taught in school.

The State Board of Education is now conducting a formal review of standards it uses in its science curriculum after the board voted in January to drop a 20-year-old mandate that science teachers address both "strengths and weaknesses" of the theory of evolution.

That mandate was a compromise between religious conservatives who question evolution and scientists who embrace it. Federal courts have ruled against forcing the teaching of creationism and the similar theory of intelligent design.

The reversal of the mandate prompted the education board's Republican chairman, Don McLeroy, to tack on an amendment to the preliminary draft, essentially restoring the requirement. more...
This controversy highlights once again the two-edged sword of academic freedom, which I wrote about in a previous post. Understandably, Christians want creationism represented, but when their position is limited to young-earth creationism, which has been scientifically discredited, then there is no viable alternative. Christians need to engage in the discussion within the rules of the scientific community. We can't just expect our position to be respected because we're Christians.

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