In Texas Former CEO of AAAS Agrees With Teaching Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution
Anyone who is familiar with Alan Leshner will know that he is a dogmatic defender of Darwin-only science education, and so you will be shocked to find out that he now seems to agree with us. You may also be shocked to learn that he favors teaching the strengths and weaknesses of evolution.
They say that students need to hear about the strengths and weaknesses of evolution, which of course is true.Yes, we do say that, as do many scientists, teachers, educators, and school board members all over the country. Just this past summer the state of Louisiana passed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which protects teachers who discuss the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. So far, so good; we're all in agreement.
. . . Until Leshner completely misstates our views and positions in his very next sentence.
Referring to those who advocate for teaching more about evolution, for not watering down what our students are taught in science classes, for telling them about the strengths and weaknesses of evolution, Leshner mistakenly says this:
But then they argue that the universe is so complex that it required an intelligent designer and that should be taught in science classes as an alternative to evolution.Wrong. No one in any position of authority, nor any of the experts asked to participate in the standards review process, has this position. No serious people are advocating that intelligent design should be taught in Texas science classes. Leshner is either sadly misinformed or willfully misrepresenting the views of those involved in the process.
In fact, a Dallas Morning News headline earlier this year trumpeted the fact that: Education board opposes intelligent design in curricula. If that isn't clear enough for folks like Leshner, the DMN even added a subhead: Even creationists say theory doesn't belong in class with evolution.
Let's be clear: No one is advocating for including intelligent design in Texas.
The rest of Leshner's piece blathers on about religion and the faith of scientists. Who cares? That's not the issue here. The issue is the scientific evidence for and against Darwinism.
If a tenth grader can understand the evidence that supports Darwin's theory, they can certainly understand the evidence that challenges it.
Darwin himself stated it best in On the Origin of Species:"A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."
According to Leshner:
Bringing nonscientific ideas into biology classes creates unacceptable risks. It will confuse young students and teach them to distrust well-established scientific facts. Classrooms could become religious battlegrounds. Lawsuits over policy could drain local school districts. And employers everywhere would worry about the quality of Texas' students.We agree with Leshner on this as well. Students should be learning the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution -- anything less is a disservice to them.
So why is Leshner supporting proposed revisions that water down the teaching of evolution?