This past week, I was on conservative talk show host Jason Moore’s radio show (aka “Captain Watchdog”) during which he had a call in guest from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The Fordham Institute is an east coast think tank that recently graded the science curricula of all fifty states. They gave Texas’ standards a “C”.
Aside from the fact that only 4 states got an A or B, and 36 states got a C like us, this Fordham rep finally admitted to Jason and me that we got a C because we did not mention the word “evolution” often enough in our K through 8 standards. Now mind you, we got a 5 out of 7 for rigor, so our standards are sufficiently high, but we got downgraded to a C because we had the audacity to allow Texas schoolchildren to look at evolution as a theory instead of an indisputable fact. She also said that teaching any other theory on the origin of man, i.e., creationism or intelligent design, would have resulted in us getting a failing grade.
So, while I don’t dispute that evolution should be taught to Texas schoolchildren, which our science curriculum apparently adequately does, I believe it is a theory, and nothing more than a theory. And if we want to turn out thinking, analytical Texas graduates, they should be allowed to view evolution in the light of the strengths and weaknesses it possesses. I say, let’s teach scientific theories, including evolution, let them stand on their own merit, and let our students make their own well-reasoned decisions as to what they believe to be the truth.