“In the science classroom, I think you want to teach science." National Center for Science Education Director Josh Rosenau might have a point, and it looks like Board of Education members in the state of Texas are giving him the benefit of the doubt.
A debate in Austin, TX on Thursday over the school materials that will be used in state classrooms didn’t erupt into a heated argument as originally predicted. Rather, the state’s Board of Ed. gave preliminary approval to material that will be used in the upcoming school year, only challenging a few aspects.
And even if the Board doesn’t want high schoolers to see the similarities between human skulls and those of chimps — and maybe isn’t quite ready to tackle the complexity of cells — activists rallying for a more accurate science curriculum are celebrating a lesson plan that won’t be ripe with rebuttals against evolution.
Scientists and opponents to the theory of intelligent design were concerned that the state of Texas would discourage evolution from being taught in classrooms. Back in 2009, the right-leaning Board approved new standards that would encourage schools to scrutinize “all sides” of scientific theory, which some creationists took as a win for their argument.
The Huffington Post reports that conservative collective Texans for a Better Science Education had attempted to pack Thursday’s hearing with an audience that would speak out against evolution. On the contrary, evolution-proponents came out in droves.
After the Thursday discussion, Texas Freedom Network spokesman Dan Quinn said that "There's no bad science going into classrooms.”
"Creationism isn't science," Rosenau harped. "And in the science classroom, I think you want to teach science," reports WFAA out of Dallas.
Even some members of the clergy disagreed with adding intelligent design to Texas textbooks. "I don't want my children's public school teachers to teach faith and God in a science classroom," Rev. Kelly Allen of University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio says, reports HuffPo. "True religion can handle truth in all its forms. Evolution is solid science."
They add that Dr. David Sherman, the mastermind of a software series that preps students
from a Christian worldview "acknowledging God as Creator and Author of all knowledge,” said evolution was too widely “untestable” and couldn’t be considered without the help of a
“time machine or crystal ball.”
Rosenau adds to WFAA that, though educators was weary that evolution critics would try to update the curriculum to include religion-based theories, “one never knows” when it comes to politics in the Lonestar state. "Strange things have gone on before and can always. It's Texas, interesting things always happen,” he says.