Education Icon Education
Free Speech Icon Free Speech

Darwinist Ronald Wetherington Recommends Imposing Dogmatism in Expert Review of Texas Science Standards (Part 2)

Casey Luskin

In Part 1 I discussed how some Darwinist reviewers of the Texas Science Standards are opposing giving students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills when learning the modern Darwinian theory of evolution.

One glaring difference between the reviews submitted by those opposing critical thinking on evolution and the reviews of those supporting it is the lengths of the respective sets of reviews. The TEKS reviews submitted by Stephen Meyer, Ralph Seelke, and Charles Garner in support of students applying critical thinking skills to evolution were each over 25 pages in length. In contrast, two of the three Darwinist reviewers submitted reviews that were 8 pages or less. It seems that some of the Darwinist reviewers didn’t take much time to give comprehensive evaluations of Texas science education for the Texas State Board of Education and rather had one primary concern and agenda: to ensure that evolution is taught dogmatically in Texas.

In his short 8-page review, TEKS reviewer Ronald Wetherington predictably uses the same approach. He states that the “strengths and weaknesses” language should be removed from the TEKS entirely: “The ‘strengths and weaknesses’ phrase was common to the earlier standards and has been changed in the pre-high school grades except for this one. It should also be eliminated here.” So according to Wetherington, if some grades and subjects don’t implement a strong critical thinking standard, then none should. Is that a logical way to strive for excellence in science education?

Wetherington goes on to say that that neo-Darwinian evolution “is one of the central paradigms of biology and has positively influenced both chemistry and geology as these fields, in turn, have reinforced the scientific strength and validity of the evolutionary concept. Avoiding it is a disservice to science education.”

The proposed TEKS don’t “avoid” evolution, and in fact they contain extensive sections covering evolution (using the specific word “evolution” multiple times) within multiple subject matters and multiple grades. It would be hard to find subject that is given such a broad treatment in the proposed TEKS. What Wetherington apparently only wants is science education that gives a disproportionately large focus on evolution, where students to learn about where the evidence has “reinforced the strength and validity of the evolutionary concept.”

I will discuss more problems with the Darwinist reviews in a third post.


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.



Ronald WetheringtonTexas