The Texas State Board of Education is again considering a science curriculum that teaches the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, setting an example that several other states are likely to follow. This is code for teaching creationism.
It has the advantage of sounding more balanced than teaching “intelligent design,” which the courts have consistently banned from science classrooms. It has the disadvantage of being nonsense.
The chairman of the Texas board, a dentist named Don McLeroy, advocates the “strengths and weaknesses” approach, as does a near majority of the board. The system accommodates what Dr. McLeroy calls two systems of science, creationist and “naturalist.”
Actually, its great that he calls the two systems creationist and naturalist. Unlike the Intelligent Design advocates, at least he is being honest by calling his view creationist. Of course, the idiocy remains all the same:
The trouble is, a creationist system of science is not science at all. It is faith. All science is “naturalist” to the extent that it tries to understand the laws of nature and the character of the universe on their own terms, without reference to a divine creator. Every student who hopes to understand the scientific reality of life will sooner or later need to accept the elegant truth of evolution as it has itself evolved since it was first postulated by Darwin. If the creationist view prevails in Texas, students interested in learning how science really works and what scientists really understand about life will first have to overcome the handicap of their own education.
Scientists are always probing the strengths and weakness of their hypotheses. That is the very nature of the enterprise. But evolution is no longer a hypothesis. It is a theory rigorously supported by abundant evidence. The weaknesses that creationists hope to teach as a way of refuting evolution are themselves antiquated, long since filed away as solved. The religious faith underlying creationism has a place, in church and social studies courses. Science belongs in science classrooms.
Read the full editorial here. I think, we have now reached a stalemate in the fight over evolution and creationism/ID in schools. The creationists are not going to gain any new significant ground but they will keep scientists and educators busy by creating (ha ha) new code words for creationism, and advocating their inclusion in biology textbooks. I think fatigue will set in soon (if it hasn't already) and people will get tired hearing about another new code word for creationism. The Discovery Institute's "teach the controversy" strategy was new and novel few years ago and they managed to fool some people and generate sympathy regarding that. But now its old news and one can easily see through these new code-words. Unfortunately, valuable time still has to be spent countering this idiocy.