It’s right to ask questions about evolution

It’s right to ask questions about evolution
By Ken Mercer - Former state Rep. Ken Mercer is an elected member of the State Board of Education.
San Antonio News Express - 12/14/2008 - original
I want to present the other side of the State Board of Education’s debate on teaching scientific strengths and “weaknesses” of evolutionary theory in future textbooks.

The Texas Freedom Network (TFN), an ultra-liberal advocacy group, funded and published the research study quoted by the Express-News.

Using political “red herrings,” TFN testifiers incorrectly implied teaching scientific weaknesses is a new requirement. They argued that allowing discussion of weaknesses would lead to teaching religion and subsequent litigation.

The fact is Texas has allowed teaching scientific weaknesses in science textbooks for the last 20 years. In that period of time, not one lawsuit was filed; and for the record, the teaching of creationism and intelligent design is not found in any current textbook adopted by the State of Texas.

TFN’s real agenda may be illustrated in this consistent, three-fold testimony to the State Board of Education: (1) Evolution is a fact; (2) there are no weaknesses to that theory; and (3) students are “unqualified” to ask questions.

Is evolution a fact? Most people of faith agree with what is commonly referred to as “micro” evolution,” small changes that are clearly visible. We see this in new vaccines and new strains of flu. You can witness evidence of microevolution downtown in any city via the thousands of varieties of stray dogs and cats.

The controversial “macro” evolution was commonly understood as those major changes that could occur if one species jumped to another. For example, have you ever seen a dog-cat, or a cat-rat? The most famous example of macroevolution is the Darwinian “man from an ancestral primate.”

Realizing the weakness in macroevolution, Darwinists changed the meaning. Whatever their new definition, where is the evidence for one species changing to another?

Are there weaknesses to the theory of evolution? I asked the testifiers at the SBOE meeting about Dr. Ernst Haeckel’s embryo drawings, which appeared in science textbooks for almost 100 years. His drawings implied that a fish, salamander, turtle, pig, etc. — each had almost the identical embryology of a human.

When I redirected the question, the testifiers admitted that Darwinist Haeckel was a fraud and that his “research” should never have appeared in textbooks. But it did.

The famous “missing link,” the Piltdown man, survived scientific method and peer review for almost 40 years. Finally someone was allowed to ask a question and found a weakness. This missing link was really the jawbone of an orangutan fused to a human skull. British Broadcasting called this the greatest scientific fraud of the 20th century.

The third part of the liberal agenda is most troubling. How can anyone state that students are “unqualified” to ask questions?

I consistently argued for freedom of speech and academic freedom. The opposition publicly argued against these freedoms.

In the 19th century, William Wilberforce, the focus of the recent biographical movie Amazing Grace, argued against the intellectual elite of Great Britain. He is credited with ending the racist English nightmare known as the “Black Slave Trade.”

History is not kind to Darwinian evolutionists who push their theory as truth, no weaknesses and no questions allowed. In this 21st Century, scientific research that opposes academic freedom will never pass any “smell test.”

I stand for students who will always ask questions and search for truth.

An agenda that opposes both freedom of speech and academic freedom is unpatriotic, un-American, and unscientific.