CSC Policy Position: Teach Scientific Strengths & Weakness of Neo-Darwinian Evolution
Recent events in Kansas have given Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture an occasion to repeat its policy position concerning the teaching of evolutionary theory in public schools. Now a proposed piece of legislation in New York requires another reiteration.
To restate the CSC’s policy on teaching evolutionary theory in public schools: we OPPOSE the MANDATING of intelligent design theory in public schools. Intelligent design is a promising scientific theory, but it is nonetheless an emerging theory.
A better policy would be for students to learn some of the scientific criticisms of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory and chemical origin-of-life theories, along with the best scientific arguments favoring those respective theories. Drs. John Angus Campbell and Stephen Meyer lay out such a policy in a recent op-ed with The San Jose Mercury News (available here).
Back to New York…
Recent chatter on the blogosphere has focused on a proposed piece of legislation in the Empire State, which would purportedly REQUIRE all K-12 public school students to learn both intelligent design and “evolution.” The bill, which has one sponsor, states:
ALL PUPILS IN GRADES KINDERGARTEN THROUGH TWELVE IN ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE SHALL RECEIVE INSTRUCTION IN BOTH THEORIES OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND EVOLUTION.
The bill appears similar to a few other bills over the years and in recent times that have called for the mandating of intelligent design alongside neo-Darwinian evolution. Unusual is the fact that the bill does call for ALL children in grades K through 12 to receive instruction in both theories. This sweeping provision is odd, and unlike anything we’ve yet witnessed.
Blogging and discussion of this legislation in other venues will undoubtedly continue. But it is important to keep in mind that the nation’s leading think-tank promoting intelligent design and scientific challenges to neo-Darwinian evolution opposes the mandating of intelligent design.
Further information about CSC's policy recommendations concerning scientific challenges to neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory can be found here.