Another round of textbook hearings begins Tuesday, and this time, we’re arguing over science.
And a couple of hot button issues will dominate the debate.
150 years after Darwin, you would think the debate would be over on evolution.
But when it comes to that and climate change, the debate seemingly is never over.
“I am supremely confident that this group of SBOE members will not allow the circus inside the room to exceed the circus outside the room,” says Tom Ratliff, East Texas’ representative on the State board of Education.
And he will preside over another round of textbook hearings Tuesday on science.
And as usual, the subjects of evolution and climate change are high on the agenda.
“Almost every religion has a creation story. That can be taught in a comparative religion class or philosophy class. But it’s not science,” says Dr. Srini Kambhampati is Chairman of the Biology Department at UT – Tyler. “Science has nothing to say about religion or the existence or non—existence of God. Science is basically, explaining everything we see around us in terms of natural phenomena, natural causes.”
Dr. Betsey Ott teaches biology at TJC.
“No credible scientist can doubt the wealth of evidence from so many difference lines of reasoning,” she says. “If you get fossil evidence. And it matches up with molecular evidence which matches up with the bio-geographical evidence, nobody doubts that.”
And in the minds of just about every scientist, evolution is settled science.
And climate change?
Dr. Tom Hooten teaches physics at TJC.
“If we want to change the fact that co2, methane gas and other greenhouse gases are escaping into the atmosphere,” Hooten says, “there’s a lot of cost involved in that. And that’s legitimate to discuss whether we should do that sort of thing. But it’s not legitimate to discuss whether or not we’re causing that or whether or not that’s real.”
“I’m very optimistic,” says Ratliff, “that there will be much less of a story for the national media or comedy central.