Dr. Bill Harris, the solitary proponent to testify on behalf of Senate Bill 1270, claimed that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution suffered a weakness because the author had no way of explaining how natural selection worked. He is correct. Darwin could observe selection but he could not explain its workings because the science of genomics didn’t exist in his day. It does now.
Perhaps Dr. Harris may have felt justified in proposing Intelligent Design as valid content for K-12 science classes because of his faith. Genesis 2:19 reads, “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.” (King James Version)
I personally draw some comfort from Intelligent Design because I cannot imagine what caused the universe to arise, but this belief is not scientific and therefore does not belong in science curricula. It is not science.
In defense of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” I suggest viewing Nova: What Darwin Never Knew (https://youtu.be/ov00SrBwjKQ) for a crash course in genomics. You will see that modern science knows the function of the genome in building lifeforms and the role mutations play in natural selection. Furthermore, this knowledge is proving extremely useful in medical research.
It really doesn’t matter that Darwin didn’t fully understand the mechanics of evolution. He could observe it in nature and now science has discovered the methodology.
Let’s leave science curriculum to the scientists and science teachers.