Evolution debate ends in compromise - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/29/09

Evolution debate ends in compromise

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas science teachers will now change the way they teach evolution. Friday, the State Board of Education adopted a new set of science curriculum standards in a 13-2 vote.

For 20 years, Texas science teachers have been required to cover the strengths and weaknesses of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Two decades later, that rule has been changed. They traded the curriculum for a new set of standards.

Board of Education member Bob Craig said the new curriculum will require students to use critical thinking to discuss, analyze and evaluate the information for yourselves.

"These words apply not only to Biology and evolution, but they apply to chemistry, earth and space, aquatics, whatever the field of science," Craig says.

By making these changes, the board of education hopes students will use reasoning and experimental testing to examine all sides of scientific explanations, including evolution.

"You need to have that critical thinking by the student," Craig said, "and you need to have a free discussion of any scientific explanation."

The revisions apply to students in kindergarten through 12th grade who take the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS test. However, they focus primarily on high school students.

"Have that free discussion, analyze and evaluate," Craig said. "Critique those scientific explanations, and encourage critical thinking because that's what we want to do in all fields."

Craig said changes will not be made to the test until the year after next, and it will take about two years before textbooks are amended.

 

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