After yesterday’s article in the Dallas Morning News portrayed Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education Don McLeroy’s Sunday school comments as if they were the basis for his science education policy, McLeroy has a response in the Dallas Morning News today.
McLeroy asks a simple question — what do you teach in science class? — then clarifies for the record his “motivations for questioning evolution:”
My focus is on the empirical evidence and the scientific interpretations of that evidence. In science class, there is no place for dogma and “sacred cows;” no subject should be “untouchable” as to its scientific merits or shortcomings. My motivation is good science and a well-trained, scientifically literate student.
What can stop science is an irrefutable preconception. Anytime you attempt to limit possible explanations in science, it is then that you get your science stopper. In science class, it is important to remember that the consensus of a conviction does not determine whether it is true or false. In science class, you teach science.
Don McLeroy, chair, State Board of Education, College Station
McLeroy is absolutely right to insist on having science taught in science class — which includes giving students the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution and encouraging critical thought. Read his letter in its entirety here.