AUSTIN, TX—The Texas State Board of Education today voted to require students to analyze and evaluate common ancestry and natural selection, both key components of modern evolutionary theory. The surprising vote came after the Board failed to reinstate language in the overall science standards explicitly requiring coverage of the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories.
“The Texas Board of Education took one step back and two steps forward today,” said Dr. John West of the Discovery Institute. “While we wish they would have retained the strengths and weaknesses language in the overall standards, they did something truly remarkable today. They voted to require students to analyze and evaluate some of the most important and controversial aspects of modern evolutionary theory such as the fossil record, universal common descent and even natural selection.”
According to West these changes to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills means that teachers and students will be able to discuss the scientific evidence that is supportive as well as evidence that is not supportive of all scientific theories.
“Analyzing, evaluating, any additional scrutiny of evolution can only help students to learn more about the theory,” said West, who is associate director of the Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.