The Texas Board of Education voted Thursday to drop a 20-year old state requirement that high school science teachers cover “strengths and weaknesses” in the theory of evolution. The vote is being characterized as a major defeat for social conservatives and sharply divided the Board.
“Under the science curriculum standards recommended by a panel of science educators and tentatively adopted by the board, biology teachers and biology textbooks would no longer have to cover the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ of Charles Darwin’s theory that man evolved from lower forms of life,” the Dallas Morning News reports.
A panel of science teachers had recommended that the “strengths and weaknesses” language be dropped. Critics had argued that the word weaknesses “has become a code word in the culture wars to attack evolution and promote creationism.” The Texas science standards have ripple effects from coast-to-cost, influencing how textbook publishers publishers handle the topic, since the Lone Star state is the largest statewide textbook adoption state.