Board criticized for evolution teaching

Feb. 2, 2009 at 10:57 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A Texas lawmaker says the State Board of Education should be stripped of its authority for favoring religion over science when it comes to teaching evolution.

"While on the national level in America there is more emphasis on a healthy respect for science, our board is engaged in a debate on how to teach evolution," said state Sen. Rodney Ellis, an Austin Democrat.

Ellis has filed a bill to transfer much of the board's authority to the Texas Education Agency, The Houston Chronicle reported Monday. The bill, however, has little chance of passing because of the influence of conservative Republicans over much of the Legislature.

Ellis said his bill at the very least will prompt discussion about the board's emphasis on religion and how it undermines the state's science standards when it comes to teaching evolution.

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