Austin, TX -- Today [March 27], the Texas Board of Education chose science over dogma and adopted science standards improving on the old "strengths and weaknesses" language by requiring students to “critique” and examine “all sides of scientific evidence.” In addition, the Board -- for the first time -- specifically required high school students to “analyze and evaluate” the evidence for major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.
The new science standards mark a significant victory for scientists and educators in favor of teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution.
“Texas now has the most progressive science standards on evolution in the entire nation,” said Dr. John West, Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute. “Contrary to the claims of the evolution lobby, absolutely nothing the Board did promotes ‘creationism’ or religion in the classroom. Groups that assert otherwise are lying, plain and simple. Like the boy who cried ‘Wolf,’ the Darwin only lobby always screams ‘creationism!’ anytime educators or policymakers try to ensure a fair presentation of the scientific evidence both for and against evolution. Let’s be absolutely clear: Under the new standards, students will be expected to analyze and evaluate the scientific evidence for evolution, not religion. Period.”
Regarding teaching creationism or religion in the public school classroom, a couple of points are worth noting.
First, this is a terrific win for academic freedom, but it should be remarked that nothing in the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution forbids teaching creationism or religion in the classroom. Entrenched secularist dogma on this matter is less than convincing.
In fact, progress in the American experiment in liberty advances from the fixed point of a knowable and objectively existing Creator who endows humanity with unalienable rights. The Constitution is a legal contract designed to protect those rights so that what Mark Levin in Liberty and Tyranny calls a "civil society" might come to actuality, which is what happened in the course of human events that we call the American Revolution.
The 1st Amendment forbids Congress from sticking its Federal Nose into our business, educational or otherwise -- something those who embrace a secularist tryanny over the minds of free human beings seem to disapprove. The 1st Amendment does not forbid Texicans or the rest of us from exercising our freedom and our sovereignity in education.
Here's the 1st Amendment in its entirety:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [emphasis added]
The question therefore is not whether creationism or religion can be taught in the classroom. Of course they can. The real question is this: What's the evidence? If the evidence for or against a particular theory of origins is scientific, then present the case for and against, let the students think for themselves, and let them make up their own minds. Even in biology class.
The second point is that the Creator acknowledged in the Declaration, and against whom Congress is prohibited from passing laws against, is not a matter of "religious" belief or "faith" in the poor sense of the word bandied about inside and outside of secularist circles today.
The more rigorous, concrete, humane, and Biblical concept of faith has to do with the commitment of the whole person to that which is rationally, empirically, and existentially knowable as true. It is a worldview commitment rooted in truth about God, man, and the cosmos -- that same worldview, by the way, which provided the critical intellectual mass needed to launch modern science in the first place.
This wholistic approach has nothing to do with subjectivist "values," privatized "faith," emotional crutches, blind believism, or other characteristics swimming about in congressional waters, "religious" meetings, secular baptisms, and marketing strategies of the ACLU.
The wonder and dignity of humanity male and female created in the image of a knowable God who endows each of us with unalienable rights cannot be squeezed into such limiting, dehumanizing, and regressive nonsense. It's time we all broke free of those chains. Bravo, Texas!