Evolution teaching under debate

January 21, 2009 4:18:03 PM PST
A public hearing covering how evolution should be taught in Texas public schools is under way before the State Board of Education in Austin. Dozens of people lined up to testify Wednesday as the panel takes up new science curriculum standards -- including how evolution should be taught.

The crowd was sharply split on a proposal to drop language in the current curriculum that requires teachers to address "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theory. Critics say the wording has been used to undermine the theory of evolution.

Proponents of a change say students need a strong understanding of the theory of evolution to learn higher levels of science. Opponents criticized the proposed change and called it "left-wing ideology."

Standards adopted by the board will remain in place for the next decade. A decision's expected in March.

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