15 October 2008

Just jump!

The Houston Chronicle has a brief editorial about a Board of Education representative running for election. Interestingly, science is the main reason for their endorsement of a candidate, who supports teaching evolution without all the "strengths and weaknesses" talk.

There's a revealing, though tiresomely predictable, quote by vide president of the board:
One of the board members supporting the "strengths and weaknesses" provision is the vice chairman, David Bradley of Beaumont. Bradley, a Republican representing District 7, which includes parts of the Houston area, contends: "Evolution is not a fact. Evolution is a theory and, as such, cannot be proved. Students need to be able to jump to their own conclusions."


"Jumping to conclusions" is right, considering that the usual meaning of the phrase is to make an immediate but unwarranted decision on something.

A slightly older editorial by the Austin American-Statesman makes a similar point.
Inserting supernatural ideas in the science curriculum damages its integrity. McLeroy and other board members should be strengthening science standards to accommodate a big push to attract world-class biomedical researchers, companies and grants to Texas. Those are growth industries that have not looked favorably on communities that water down science studies with vague and unproven ideas.

There's also an opinion piece from that same day, but an analysis will have to wait for a later post.

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