Evolution of Evolution: The Debate Could End

Article excerpt

Ohio is teaching "Critical Analysis of Evolution" and Georgia is keeping evolution after getting flak for wanting to change it to "biological changes over time." Missouri legislators are considering a bill that would teach both evolution and intelligent design.

Thus, the evolution debate continues to wax and wane in American schools, particularly now due to upcoming stringent requirements for science under the federal No Child Left Behind act. Such requirements are forcing states to hake a second look at their science curricula.

And there is no federal law that requires states to teach evolution, so states are still being swayed by public opinion. "It's worse than a waste of time," says Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education. "It's divisive."

In Ohio, the Board of Education approved standards on evolution for 10th-grade biology as well as Critical Analysis of Evolution, according to Deborah Owens Fink, a member of the Ohio Board of Education. She says the lesson includes challenges to evolution. "I think it's a great model for education," she says. "I think one thing that needs to be recognized is that the U.S. is increasingly under pressure to remain globally competitive. Education can't be just about memorizing facts or data, but to think critically and respect different views."

Scott says it sounds logical, but she questions why only evolution is challenged. "Notice how one subject is pulled out to be critically analyzed," Scott says.

In Georgia, the Department of Education is revamping its entire curriculum because it is too broad, says Kirk Englehardt, department spokesman. …