Evolution Backed for Science Classes in Michigan

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Michigan’s science educators must teach evolution, not creationism, the state Board of Education decided unanimously in October.

The board’s vote on high school course content leaves intelligent design shut out of public school science classrooms, at least for now. But educators say there is room to discuss intelligent design outside science classes, perhaps in philosophy courses.

The board agreed with testimony from the Michigan Science Teachers Association and educators from six colleges and high schools.

Gregory Forbes, a Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College biology professor and evolution specialist, told the board that raising questions about evolution incorrectly “suggests to students that for some reason evolutionary theory is no longer a robust theory.”

The board’s 8-0 vote simply sliced the word “may” out of curriculum rules for classes such as earth science and biology. The language previously said fossil records and other evidence “may” support the theory of evolution, which critics said opened the door to teaching creationism.

The new state expectations make it clear that intelligent design isn’t to be taught in science class, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said. (RNS)

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