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Don McLeroy on Looming Battle over Texas Science Standards


Don McLeroy, who heads the Texas State Board of Eduction, has an editorial in my local paper:

…Texas is adopting new science standards. Scientists representing evolutionists and calling themselves the 21st Century Science Coalition say that creationists on the State Board of Education will inject religion into the science classroom. Should they be concerned? No. This will not happen.

They also say that the board will require supernatural explanations to be placed in the curriculum. This will not happen.

The National Academy of Sciences in its recent booklet Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, defines science as “the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.” This definition should be acceptable to both sides.

But, the coalition also makes claims about evolution that will be challenged by creationists.

The advocates for evolution claim that it “is vital to understanding all of the biological sciences,” that evolution “has been documented beyond any reasonable doubt” in the peer-reviewed literature and that evolution has gained the status of a scientific theory and therefore has no “weaknesses.” …


Hey Jerry, I'd like to better understand your position regarding micro evolution. Above you write:
"I believe that when the ID supporters pronounce publicly that micro evolution that is consistent with Darwinian principles can explain most of life on the planet but definitely not all..."
I'm aware that you unequivocally draw the line between micro and macro evolution, as to the capability of Darwinian processes, so I've no need for clarification there. I'm trying to ascertain whether you see micro evolution as a sorting mechanism for preexistent genetic diversity, or as the origin of that diversity. You've stated before that your position on this has been misunderstood, and I don't want to fall into that category. This is a sincere attempt to better understand what you mean by "Darwinian principles can explain most of life on the planet..." I guess I could ask this way. What's your position on whether genetic complexity and diversity are essentially front loaded, and that RV+NS has primarily sorted, grouped, and reduced that diversity over time? Does micro evolution explain most life because it creates genetic diversity, filters and reduces genetic diversity, or none of the above? Has genetic information, for instance in the average human genome, increased or decreased over the course of time? In my view there are at least three choices when considering micro evolution; either: 1) genetic complexity and diversity are front loaded, and Darwinian processes have 'directed' the flow of that complexity from generation to generation, reducing diversity among differing populations along the way; 2) RV+NS is capable of modest to moderate, unguided creativity through trial and error, adding complexity and diversity along the way; 3) there have been numerous, discreet, intelligent interventions throughout time. Thanks in advance for any clarification you wish to provide. Apollos
When Jack Krebs was allowed to roam here, I would constantly pepper him with the "fact" that Darwinian macro evolution failed the Kansas science standards. He finally admitted that the only thing supporting Darwinian macro evolution was the opinion of experts and that he could not provide any scientific evidence to support it. My guess is no matter how they word the Texas standards or any other state's standards, Darwinian macro evolution will fail to meet the standards. However, this does not say anything about the relevancy of Darwinian processes for micro evolution. I believe that when the ID supporters pronounce publicly that micro evolution that is consistent with Darwinian principles can explain most of life on the planet but definitely not all, it will take a big step to delineating the problem and prevent all the nonsense arguments against ID such as fatuous claims that ID denies that changes in microbes can cause disease or the many other nonsense claims to argue that ID is non scientific. jerry
Stelios, Neither McLeroy, nor any of the major players on the pro-ID side, are suggesting that ID should be taught in biology classes, only that the "strengths and weaknesses" of Darwinism should be discussed. The other side is saying, you can't mention any weaknesses because there aren't any and anyway this is just a ruse to get Creationism in the door. Those who say there aren't any are being totally dishonest; and why should Darwinism be the only scientific theory which enjoys legal protection from scientific criticism in the classroom? It's nice to know that my state has a board of education director with some courage and integrity--obviously an Aggie! Granville Sewell
William, What's your take on this then? Do you support changing the standards, or are the current standards acceptable to you? What changes would you like to see, if given a free hand? Speculate!
testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena
I understood ID was not a physical theory at this stage and as such I don't see that it should compete with Darwinisms level of detail in explaning some things. If ID is true and an intelligence is required for creating irreducible complexity then it makes no sense for it to compete with Darwinism in that way, in the schools and school books. After all, it just *is* at that point! Stelios

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