Texas risks becoming a national joke if state educators insist on clouding the teaching of evolution, scores of scientists, science teachers and concerned residents Texans told the State Board of Education on Wednesday.
They pleaded with the 15-member board not to confuse public schoolchildren with a watered-down teaching of evolution by requiring teachers to teach the weaknesses or limitations of evolution.
The board is expected to take a preliminary vote in January on new science curriculum standards that will dictate new science books for the state's 4.5 million students.
"Once again, Texas is in the national spotlight, and scientists, science teachers, and education news writers all over the United States are waiting to see what new foolishness is going to happen in Austin this time," Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, told the board. "Once again our state is going to experience the embarrassment of having anti-scientific, anti-evolutionists on the state board try to game the process and force the new science standards to contain anti-scientific language."