SEATTLE – "Today's open letter from 550 Texas scientists and teachers that supposedly supports the teaching of evolution is so vague it is meaningless," said Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute, a public policy, think-tank. "It merely distracts from the issue of errors in textbooks."
"This is nothing more than a generic endorsement of good science standards, which we support too, of course," added Chapman. "But the issue in Texas is wehther there is complete teaching of evolution in accord with Texas law, which requires that textbooks be free of factual errors."
According to John West, associate director of Discovery's Center for Science & Culture, the news isn't that 550 scientists agree that the Texas SBOE should "choose only textbooks that present accepted, peer-reviewed science and pedagogical expertise."
"Everyone can agree with that," said West. "What would be news would be if you could find 550 scientists and teachers who didn't agree with such a statement."
Contrast this letter to the Dissent from Darwin originated in 2001 by Discovery Institute
"now with over 300 scientists including 60 biologists" which is strongly skeptical of the cardinal tenet of Darwinian theory, said West. That statement reads: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
"That is a statement that means something," said Chapman. "It means that there are serious doubts among scientists about Darwinian theory and as such is a statement that carries significant import."