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Predictions About Ronald Wetherington and His Forthcoming Review of the Texas Science Standards

Casey Luskin

In my first post on TEKS reviewer Ronald Wetherington, professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University (SMU), I discussed his history of trying to stifle free speech on evolution and then denying his intolerant actions. In one of his articles about Discovery Institute’s SMU conference, Wetherington attacked the conference because it was “not … a … balanced discussion, but rather a partisan promotion,” elsewhere attacking it as “not a debate, but a one-sided promotion.” (Wetherington must have forgotten Discovery Institute invited SMU Darwinists to participate in the conference, but they declined.) When writing about a different issue, he lamented incidents where “dissent is treated as irrelevant.”

So out of one side of his mouth, Wetherington protests “one-sided promotions” and discussions that are not “balanced,” and says that doesn’t like it when “dissent is treated as irrelevant.” Yet Wetherington’s op-ed co-author, Prof. Wise, later taught a course whose website stated, “You don’t have to teach both sides of a debate if one side is a load of crap.” To my knowledge, Wetherington has not spoken out against Wise’s course, which was so unbalanced that it called the opposing viewpoint “a load of crap.” It seems that when Wetherington has spoken on evolution, the other side of his mouth has actively sought to stifle dissenters from Darwinism.

I have a feeling Wetherington’s prior hypocrisy is a foreshadowing of the kind of evolution-education he’s going to recommend in Texas. In fact, we can be pretty confident that he won’t be advocating a “balanced discussion” but will instead advocate that Texas students learn a one-sided and partisan promotion of evolution, which treats dissent from Darwinism as “irrelevant.”

What’s the Point?
I don’t say any of this to protest Wetherington’s appointment to review the TEKS. I’m glad that they picked Wetherington for the review panel: he’s an experienced educator and he holds a prestigious position as director of SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence. Moreover, censorious or not, his view surely represents those of many Darwinist scientists and the Texas State Board of Education should hear that view when deciding how to teach evolution.

So what’s the point? The point is to show how Texas Darwinists operate: With one side of their mouths, they claim the other side is intolerant and give lip service to “balance,” while out of the other side they advocate a one-sided promotion of evolution, opposing balance, and censoring dissenting viewpoints because they are allegedly irrelevant.


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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