Monday, June 12, 2006

Rob Crowther on the South Carolina decision concerning evolution

ID always gets the blood going.

(206) 292-0401 X107

Columbia, SC –- After months of debate, today the South Carolina Education
Oversight Committee unanimously ratified high school biology standards requiring
students to understand why "scientists continue to investigate and critically
analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." The South Carolina State Board of
Education adopted the standards unanimously last month, and submitted them to
the EOC for approval. South Carolina’s new evolution standard does not require
teaching the theory of
intelligent design.

The biology standard approved requires students to be able to, “Summarize ways
that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically
analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” This falls under the overall biology
standard which says that “The student will demonstrate an understanding of
biological evolution and the diversity of life.”

“This victory is an important milestone towards improving the quality of science
education, by ensuring that students learn the full range of relevant scientific
evidence, including the scientific criticisms of evolution,” said Casey Luskin
an attorney and public policy analyst with Discovery Institute’s Center for
Science & Culture. “South Carolina is the fifth current state to require
students to learn about scientific criticisms of evolution and this policy helps
remedy the problem that most
biology textbooks today largely ignore scientific challenges to Darwinism.”

South Carolina State Senator Mike Fair, a member of the Education Oversight
Committee, and Terrye Campsen Seckinger, a member of the South Carolina Board of
Education, issued a statement applauding the approval of the new high school
biology standards: “It is impossible to meet this standard without the
discussion of the meaning of critical analysis as it applies to evolutionary
science. This is a great improvement over our 2000 standards. Students will
now have the opportunity to wholly
learn about the theory of evolution. This means that students will have the
opportunity to fully discuss all aspects of evolutionary theory instead of
limiting discussion to only evidence that might support it.”

Discovery Institute is a non-profit, public policy center that studies issues
from transportation to technology to science. In science education, it supports
a "teach the controversy" approach to Darwinian evolution and believes that
students should have the opportunity to study both the strengths and the
weaknesses of Darwinian evolution as a scientific theory. At the same time, the
Institute opposes any attempt to mandate the teaching of alternative theories
such as intelligent design by
school districts or state boards of education.

To schedule an interview with a Discovery Institute representative contact
Robert Crowther at 206-292-0401 x107, or e-mail

Link to SC standards:

Link to Fair/Seckinger statement:


For additional information visit the Center for Science & Culture website at

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1 comment:

Blue Devil Knight said...

This seems like an innocuous change. Substitute any science in for 'evolutionary biology'. Scientists are critically analyzing aspects of quantum theory, astrophysics, chemistry, etc.. That is what we do.

It is strange, and unfortunate, that they only singled out one science. Kids should learn how to critically evaluate everything they learn!

Incidentally, a nice new speciation study just came out in Nature. Perhaps we should critically analyze aspects of the study.