Deception for Jesus: Alabama promotes Biblical creationism by instructing public school students to question evolution.
Last week, in a disappointing assault on scientific truth, the Alabama State Board of Education unanimously voted to continue the deplorable practice of installing a one-page disclaimer in public school biology textbooks encouraging students to doubt the validity of evolution.
The disclaimer informs students that the theory of evolution is “controversial.” However, the claim that the theory evolution is controversial is simply false. The theory of evolution is not controversial, instead, the theory is the foundation of modern biology.
The disclaimer reads in part:
The theory of evolution by natural selection is a controversial theory that is included in this textbook. It is controversial because it states that natural selection provides the basis for the modern scientific explanation for the diversity of living things. Since natural selection has been observed to play a role in influencing small changes in a population, it is assumed that it produces large changes, even though this has not been directly observed. Because of its importance and implications, students should understand the nature of evolutionary theories. They should learn to make distinctions between the multiple meanings of evolution, to distinguish between observations and assumptions used to draw conclusions, and to wrestle with the unanswered questions and unresolved problems still faced by evolutionary theory.
To be clear: The theory of evolution by natural selection is not a controversial theory.
The insert is a clear attempt to promote creationist dogma while also making the unwarranted suggestion that there is some question concerning the validity of evolution.
Previously the Associated Press reported that the disclaimer was advocated for by conservative Christians, which should come as no surprise, since it is only religious extremists who object to the teaching of evolution.
The evolution disclaimer that is required to be inserted into every public school biology textbook in Alabama is wrong and unethical. The disclaimer is a despicable attempt to promote religious superstition, and has no place in science education, and no place in a public school.
Bottom line: Claiming that evolution is a “controversial theory” is dishonest, and amounts to educational malpractice, and a subtle form of intellectual child abuse.