AUSTIN, Texas–Having watched most of the testimony today before the Texas State Board of Education, the contrast between the pro-strengths-and-weaknesses side and the evolution lobby could not be clearer. The evolution lobby continually focused on religion, trying to distract from the real issue by telling the Board that they should not teach both the evidence for and against evolution because somehow that brings religion into the curriculum. Our side focused overwhelmingly on science.
Ph.D. biologists who testified in favor of the teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” included Ray Bohlin, Don Ewert, Wade Warren, and Sara Kolb Hicks. Warren and Hicks gave striking testimony about the lack of academic freedom for university researchers. Warren testified about how a non-mandatory discussion on the pros and cons of evolution that he wanted to hold while a graduate student in biology was shut down. Specifically, Hicks, who holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University, lamented the fact that “science censorship permeates education and the undergraduate and graduate level.” These biologists testified about weaknesses in evolution including the limits to the amount of biological change that can be effected by natural selection, the lack of evidence for evolution in the fossil record, the inability of Darwinian evolution to produce the complexity of cellular processes, and the fact that evolution is not even required to do most biology research.
Additionally, LeTourneau biology professor Karen Rispin testified about scientific weaknesses in evolution pertaining to the presentation of evolution in biology textbooks, and discrepancies between fossil and molecular dates for alleged common ancestors of species. By the end of the day, no one could say with a straight face that there are no scientific weaknesses in evolution, or that no credible scientists doubt neo-Darwinism.