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Since the March 2009 decision of the Texas state board of education to adopt a set of flawed state science standards, media coverage has increasingly emphasized the possible consequences.
"Just in time for the bicentennial observance of Charles Darwin's birth, a new survey of Louisiana residents shows 40 percent of the respondents believe evolution is not well-supported by evidence or generally accepted within the scientific community," the Baton Rouge Advocate (April 14, 2009) reports.
John Holdren, the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology, told the ScienceInsider blog (April 8, 2009) that the recent adoption in Texas of a flawed set of state science standards was "a step backward."
Two projects to celebrate the Darwin anniversaries — the bicentennial of Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of On the Origin of Species — are soliciting video contributions.
Florida Citizens for Science, a grassroots organization defending and promoting the integrity of science education in Florida, is sponsoring a cartoon contest!
In a March 31, 2009, decision, Chris Comer's lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency, challenging the agency's policy of requiring neutrality about evolution and creationism, was dismissed. The Austin American-Statesman (April 1, 2009) reported, "The state's attorneys argued in court filings that the agency is allowed to bar its employees from giving the appearance that the agency is taking positions on issues that the State Board of Education must decide, such as the content of the science curriculum."
As the Texas state board of education prepares for its final vote on a new set of state science standards, no fewer than fifty-four scientific and educational societies are calling for the approval of the standards as originally submitted — without misleading language about "strengths and weaknesses" and without the flawed amendments undermining the teaching of evolution proposed at the board's January 2009 meeting.
Scientific and educational journals are continuing to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Charles Darwin and the sesquicentennial of the publication of the Origin of Species.