Target: South Carolina Education Oversight Committee Chairman David Whittemore
Goal: Reject a proposed teaching standard that will force educators to question evolution
Overwhelming scientific evidence just isn’t good enough for some people. A joint education panel in South Carolina recently recommended a new teaching standard that could have deleterious effects on science education in that state. The new standard implies that evidence for evolution is “limited” and emphasizes that evolution is “continually open to and subject to experimental and observational testing”, according to Think Progress. While there is certainly nothing wrong with promoting free thinking and reminding students that science is based on experimentation, there is such a thing as taking skepticism too far.
While people are free to believe anything they want to about the origins of life and the history of biology, the facts remain. Evolution is so widely accepted by science that there is no longer any need to question whether biological evolution happens and has happened, according to the National Academy of Science. There is, therefore, no scientific reason to encourage students to question and potentially reject established fact. Science classrooms should be places where science is taught; discussions of creationism, intelligent design and other things of that nature are perfect fits for classes on philosophy and comparative religion. A generation of students who are not well-educated on basic biological principals may not be well-prepared for a world in which evolution is accepted as the reality that it is. The proposed teaching standard may end up causing harm; scientific illiteracy is never a good thing.
The standard must be examined and accepted by South Carolina’s Education Oversight Committee. Its Chairman, David Whittemore, is in a prime position to reject the change and preserve education about evolution. By signing this petition, you will urge Chairman Whittemore to uphold science in the classroom.
Dear Chairman Whittemore,
A proposed change to South Carolina teaching standards is on its way to your committee, and the ramifications of its passing could be severe. The new standard would encourage students to reject the scientific fact of biological evolution. While all people have the right to believe what they wish, evolution is an accepted occurrence amongst scientists. There is no good reason to raise doubts about it in science classrooms across the state.
As the Chairman of the Education Oversight Committee, you are in a position to stop this misguided measure in its tracks. I urge you to do the right thing for South Carolina and for science education.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sdee via Wikimedia Commons