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article imageOp-Ed: Teaching Evolution Sustains America's Competitive Character

By Michael Krebs     Mar 23, 2009 in World
The Texas Board of Education is planning to vote this week on an alternative science curriculum - fully ignoring modern science and implementing a God-oriented religious perspective. A win would hinder American competitiveness and foster ignorance.
There are minute differences between the DNA of bacteria and that of human beings. Like it or not - and agree with it or not - the likenesses are scientific fact.
The mitochondria - long described in scientific text books as the "powerhouse of the cell" - is actually the most successful example of a mutually-beneficial relationship in all of nature, far beyond that of the clown fish and the sea anemone. In fact, without the intricate relationship between the mitochondria and the ancient single-celled animal it first inhabited, multi-cellular populations - inclusive of our membership - would not exist in its current form.
This is our shared ancestry, and - whether or not one believes there is an omnipresent God - it is undeniable. It is a fact that is well documented in the very blueprint of nature, written boldly in the genes of every visible species known on the planet.
To actively deny this tabulator is to demonstrate a level of ignorance that is usually reserved for those who do not possess an influential seat in society.
But yet we find this backwardness in the Texas Board of Education - a body that holds notable influence over the content that is found in the nation's textbooks, as, according to the Wall Street Journal, "Texas is such a huge textbook market that many publishers write to the state's standards, then market those books nationwide."
The Texas Board of Education is planning to vote this week on an alternative science curriculum - one that would ignore Darwin's theory of evolution, the fully-accepted standard of modern science, and would instead endorse a Judea-Christian creationist agenda. The creationist position is that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago - ignoring tomes of evidence that the earth is billions of years old and that there were a vast array of animals that came well before our relatively insignificant species, as is well illustrated in the fossil record.
"We will be teaching nonsense in the science classroom," said David Hillis, a University of Texas biology professor, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
If this nonsense is not vetted, the long-term impact on America's ability to compete against more technology-oriented nations - that are not tethered to the more fantastical whims of theology in what is purported to be the study of science - will reverberate through the industries that need the next-generation scientists the most. In short, American innovation is at stake.
And as the country has curiously evolved, dare one use the word, into a populace that has largely abandoned rudimentary manufacturing in favor of more forward-looking and abstract pursuits, the timing could not be worse to even consider abandoning science.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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