You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Two Views: Keep requiring evolutionary explanations


Last year the Texas State Board of Education formed an advisory committee to help them streamline the state’s science standards. The committee, composed of a majority of evolutionists, has ignited a controversy by urging the board to delete the only two evolution standards that require evolutionary explanations.

To help clarify what is at stake, consider this question: Do you believe that we humans are only a bunch of molecules that enjoy having conversations? Usually, only atheists will answer “Yes.” Most of us think the idea is ridiculous and answer “No” — it goes against our scientific common sense. Yet, this purely materialistic idea is, in essence, the only officially government sanctioned lesson we may teach our children about their essential nature.

A similar question shines even more light on the controversy: How did we human beings arrive on this planet? There are fundamentally only two possible explanations: a theistic explanation, meaning God created the universe and man in his image; or a materialistic explanation, meaning matter popped into existence out of nothing, and we are simply the result of the unguided natural processes of evolution. Again, only the official government-sanctioned materialistic explanation may be taught.

Fortunately in Texas, not only may evolutionary explanations be taught, they are required to be taught. Why is this distinction so important? Since they are required, our children get the opportunity to actually see if these explanations are compelling or not. This is a big deal. Since you can’t teach theistic explanations in our schools, the only way for the theist to engage with materialistic evolution is to show the evolutionist explanations are weak. But now, evolutionists want state protection from even having to provide explanations.

At least they are consistent; they didn’t want them passed to begin with. Back in 2009, when they were first adopted, the evolution community was shocked. Eugenie Scott of the National Center of Science Education (NCSE) stated: “Let’s be clear about this. This is a setback for science education in Texas, not a draw, not a victory.”

Steve Newton, also of NCSE, claimed “the board’s actions are the most specific assault I’ve seen against the teaching of evolution and modern science.” Science, the prestigious journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported that “new science standards for Texas schools strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution.” Remember: All that the standards did was to require evolutionary explanations to be taught.

Please note, the standards did not insert creationism or intelligent design into the curriculum. Had that been the case, they would have been immediately challenged in court and thrown out. This is also confirmed in the committee’s rationale for dropping the standards. They don’t argue the standards are creationist; they argue instead that they are redundant, cognitively inappropriate or take too much time. They are not redundant; these two standards are the only ones out of all the other 42 specific biology concept standards that ask for explanations. And the cognitively inappropriate standard in question can be illustrated by a simple line chart; this doesn’t take too much time.

The key word in this debate is “explanations.” The board should keep them. Remember: If they are deleted, one removes the only line of engagement with evolution for those of us who do not accept materialist ideas that we are only molecules and that the universe popped into existence out of nothing. Deleting them would allow the teaching of evolutionary dogma in Texas to go unchallenged.

Also note: None of the grave warnings of the evolutionists have materialized. In the meantime, however, our children have been required to take a little time to analyze and evaluate evolutionary explanations for how they arrived on this planet. This is no small point; it is definitely worth keeping.

McLeroy is the former chair of the Texas State Board of Education.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Hunter: Like parts of politicians’ agenda? No need to embrace it all
Hunter: Like parts of politicians’ agenda? No need to embrace it all

When diehard Donald Trump supporters ask what you think of the president, they aren’t looking for a policy discussion. They want a thumbs up and maybe even a Make America Great Again hat to appear. The reverse is also true. When diehard Trump haters ask what you think of the president, they don’t want anything in-depth either. They want...
Commentary: Arkansas’ ‘assembly line’ executions raise issues of equity
Commentary: Arkansas’ ‘assembly line’ executions raise issues of equity

The nation has been treated this week to an unseemly spectacle: Arkansas has been champing at the bit to execute eight prisoners — in the style of an assembly line — in the first mass execution since the death penalty was restored in 1976. Opponents of the death penalty blasted the rush to death: The plan was to execute the eight over 11...
Herman: Proposal to require Texas lawmakers OK for state statue moves
Herman: Proposal to require Texas lawmakers OK for state statue moves

The battle over the University of Texas’ Jefferson Davis statue is over. So now we move on to the battle over the battle. And we all know where those are fought. Let’s say it all together: “Our State Capitol.” Quick background: The statue of the Confederate president stood (proudly in the eyes of some, disgracefully in the eyes...
John Young: Resistant to facts on climate? Wait – we have pictures
John Young: Resistant to facts on climate? Wait – we have pictures

The word is that Donald Trump isn’t much of a reader. Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Taran Killam affirms this — that then-candidate Trump “struggled to read” when preparing for a dismal guest-hosting of SNL last year. That’s OK, Mr. President. Research finds a broad swath of our population, up to...
Commentary: Funds for Texas Gulf restoration are finally flowing
Commentary: Funds for Texas Gulf restoration are finally flowing

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded almost seven long years ago, but this month marks the first time the Gulf states —including Texas — will receive money from BP’s Deepwater Horizon 2016 settlement. In total, the state will ultimately receive nearly $1 billion that can be used for Gulf coast restoration from all the different...
More Stories