MSTA denounces antievolution legislation


The Michigan Science Teachers Association issued a statement denouncing House Bill 5251 in the Michigan legislature, which if enacted would require the state board of education to revise the state science standards to ensure that students will be able to "(a) use the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution [and] (b) Use relevant scientific data to assess the validity of those theories and to formulate arguments for or against those theories."

In its statement, the MSTA notes that, because the Michigan state science standards "already require students to 'use scientific knowledge to make decisions about real-world problems' and to be 'able to make informed judgments on statements and debates claiming to have a scientific basis,'" there is apparently "no valid reason for legislative intervention that would modify the existing standards as developed and adopted by the MDOE working in collaboration with Michigan's professional science education community."

Additionally, noting that "global warming and evolution are the only two theories selected for mandatory 'critical evaluation' in HB 5251," the MSTA statement observes that the proposed revision "may suggest to students and the public that these theories are somehow less robust or less scientific than are other scientific theories that were not selected for mandatory evaluation ... in clear contrast to the preponderance of scientific evidence supporting both of these theories and would represent a dishonest and unprofessional approach to the sciences and science education in Michigan."