Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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Will Darwinists Defend Evolution's Weaknesses This Time, in Texas?

In 2002, the Ohio State Board of Education (SBOE) invited in science experts to testify about teaching both evidence for and against Darwinian evolution. In 2005 it was the Kansas SBOE's turn. The New York Times reported that the board's hearing turned into "a forum on one of the most controversial questions in education and politics: How to teach about the origin of life?"

The stunning thing about the Kansas SBOE meeting was that Darwinists refused to defend their theory, instead opting not to attend at all.

Now it is 2009, and next week the Texas SBOE will host its own meeting on the matter of how best to teach evolution. This time the board will hear testimony from six experts, including three scientists who are recommending that students should learn about scientific evidence that challenges Darwin's theory of evolution.

On Wednesday, January 21st, at least three of six experts invited by the SBOE to review a proposed update of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for science will give testimony to the board in support of their recommendation that the board retain controversial language in the TEKS calling on students to examine the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories in order to strengthen students' critical thinking skills.

The question is: will Texans hear Darwinists defend evolution? Will the experts invited to explain why students should learn about both strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution actually show up? I for one hope they do. Vigorous debate and civil discourse are good for science, good for education, and good for making wise policy decisions. Kudos to the Texas board for hosting an airing of such an important issue.