The new policy makes clear that the school board is not authorizing the teaching of either creationism or the scientific theory of intelligent design.
"Students are the real winners here, because now they will be able to study all the relevant scientific evidence relating to evolutionary theory, not just a skewed selection of the evidence," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.
"This revised policy eliminates any ambiguity in earlier versions and makes clear that the new policy is focused on science, not religion," added attorney Seth Cooper, also with Discovery Institute.
The Center for Science and Culture is the nation’s leading think-tank supporting teaching students more about evolution, including peer-reviewed scientific criticisms of the theory.
The full text of the policy adopted by the school board in Grantsburg reads: "Students are expected to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This policy does not call for the teaching of Creationism or Intelligent Design."
The adoption of the Grantsburg policy follows a number of similar actions in other states earlier in 2004. In March, the Ohio State Board of Education adopted a statewide model lesson plan on the "critical analysis of evolution." In May, the Minnesota legislature enacted a science standard requiring students to be able "to explain how scientific and technological innovations as well as new evidence can challenge portions of or entire accepted theories and models including... [the] theory of evolution...."
Cooper noted that there are now hundreds of scientists who are raising criticisms of modern evolutionary theory, also known as "neo-Darwinism."
"If scientists can debate neo-Darwinism on scientific grounds," he asked, "what's wrong with students learning about some of these debates in biology class?"
About Discovery Institute
Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy, think tank which promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Current projects include: technology, the economy, science and culture, regional transportation, and the bi-national region of "Cascadia." http://www.discovery.org/.