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News Alert

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The Washington Post, 3/29/09:[Excerpts] Evolution was back in the headlines as the Texas State Board of Education voted 13-2 to require students to "analyze and evaluate" major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations, as well as adopting a critical thinking standard calling on students to "critique" and examine "all sides of scientific evidence."

Defenders of evolution ...had pushed the Board to strip the "analyze and evaluate" language from the evolution standards and gut the overall critical thinking standard. Evolutionists typically cast themselves as the champions of secular reason against superstition, but in Texas they tried to inject religion into the debate at every turn.

Indeed, this past week it seemed that they couldn't stop talking about religion...boast[ing] about their credentials as Sunday School teachers and church elders, quot[ing] the Bible and appeal[ing] to theology. And, of course, they attacked the religious beliefs of their opponents, branding them religious fundamentalists.

By contrast, supporters of teaching the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution focused mostly on science, not religion. They even had a procession of Ph.D. biologists and science teachers testify before the Board of Education about their scientific skepticism of key parts of modern evolutionary theory.

Biology professor Wade Warren testified about the challenges to evolutionary theory posed by DNA, the fossil record, and the physiology of the cell. Microbiologist Donald Ewert, who spent much of his research career at the prestigious Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, discussed the limits of what experimental biology can show about natural selection's power to produce major evolutionary change.

Sarah Hicks, who earned her Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology and biology from RiceUniversity described [how] a fellow student who expressed skepticism about parts of evolutionary theory was forced to leave the program.

 
 
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