Texas school board searching for ‘another side’ to theory of evolution
Make it stop, please, just make it stop.
We recently reviewed the documentary The Revisionaries, which chronicles the actions of the Texas state school board as it attempted to rewrite the science and history standards that had been prepared by experts in education and the relevant subjects. For biology, the board’s revisions meant that textbook publishers were instructed to help teachers and students “analyze all sides of scientific information” about evolution. Given that ideas only reach the status of theory if they have overwhelming evidence supporting them, it isn’t at all clear what “all sides” would involve.
This week, the Texas Freedom Network (also featured in the film) posted a video to YouTube, filmed when the current head of the board, Barbara Cargill, was testifying before the state Senate. In the clip, Cargill says she has been examining the biology material that has been set up to help teachers meet the state standards (called CSCOPE) and zoomed straight to the material on evolution. And she did not like what she saw.
Cargill’s complaint is that the material overwhelmingly supports the theory of evolution, which was clearly not what she intended when she voted for the “all sides” language in the standards. Of course, evolution would have never reached the status of theory if it weren’t overwhelmingly supported, so it’s not clear what Cargill was expecting.