South Carolina Has Historic Opportunity to Adopt Science Standards Calling for Critical Analysis of Evolution

Discovery Institute
January 23, 2006
Print ArticleColumbia, SC – The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee will hear testimony from two scientists today who will advise them to recommend language for the state’s science standards that calls for students to critically analyze certain aspects of evolutionary theory.

“We believe evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned,” said Casey Luskin, Program Officer for Public Policy & Legal Affairs at the Discovery Institute. “We’re encouraged that South Carolina is examining this and we’re hopeful that the state will strengthen its science standards by calling for students to critically analyze certain aspects of Darwinian evolution.”

Five other states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas, New Mexico, and Minnesota, have adopted science standards that require learning about some of the scientific controversies relating to evolution.

A science curriculum that provides students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian and chemical evolutionary theories is a common ground approach that all reasonable people can agree on,” added Luskin.

The two scientists scheduled to testify in support of strengthening the science standards are Dr. Richard Sternberg, and Dr. Rebecca Keller. Dr. Sternberg holds two PhDs in evolutionary biology, and Dr. Keller holds a PhD in molecular biology and is an expert on science curriculum development.

As a matter of policy, Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, the nation’s leading think tank dealing with scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution, seeks to increase the teaching of evolution. It believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. The Institute opposes any effort to mandate or require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education.