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Texas State Board of Education: ‘Creation science’ should be included in biology textbooks

According to new documents obtained by watchdog groups, Textbook reviewers from the Texas State Board of Education are pushing to include creationism in the statewide teaching curriculums of high schools this year.

Records from at least seven publishers, including several of the nation’s largest publishing houses, show that the textbook reviewers ideologically objected to materials on evolution and climate change in science textbooks that were set to be distributed. Failure to receive a favorable rating from the panel can make it difficult for publishers to sell their textbooks to school districts — even having the state reject their materials altogether.

“Once again, culture warriors in the state board are putting Texas at risk of becoming a national laughingstock on science education,” said the president of the Texas Freedom Network, Kathy Miller.

With a state open records request, TFN and the National Center for Science Education were able to obtain the comments submitted to publishers by the textbook review board. The comments show the panel asking the textbook publishers to diminish the science contained within the texts and include creationist “alternatives.”

One reviewer directly requested that the publishers Houghton Miffin Harcourt and Scientific Minds teach “creation science.”

I understand the National Academy of Science’s [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution. At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that “creation science” based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.

Addressing publisher Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a reviewer objected to the fossil evidence for evolution.

Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification. Text should ask students to analyze and compare alternative theories.

A reviewer identified as Ray Bohlin claimed that climate change isn’t real. But according to him, even if it was, there are still many unknowns.

In reality we don’t know what climate change will do to species diversity . . . Question seems to imply that ecosystems will be disrupted which qwe [sic] simply don’t know yet.

Raising a few eyebrows, Bohlin went on to repeatedly endorse a book called “The Signature of the Cell” which was published by the Discovery Institute, a creationist organization. But Bohlin fails to mention in his comments that he’s a fellow within the organization.

There is no discussion of the origin of the information bearing [sic] molecules which is absolutely essential in any origin of life scenario. Meyer’s Signature of the Cell dismisses any RNA first [sic] scenario. The authors need to get caught up.

According to the National Center for Science Education, very few of the textbook reviewers actually have any scientific credentials. Among the ones that do, they are active in creationist organizations such as the Discovery Institute.

A public hearing on the books will take place next week in Austin.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Bob Cull

    September 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    If ever there was a misnomer it is the Texas State Board of Education! This group has an intense hatred of education, they are a bunch of ignoramuses who are attempting to set the state of education in this country back 5,000 years. They will not be satisfied until no school child in the country can read, write or do simple math problems. How is it that people who think that education is evil are allowed to have any effect on our textbooks?

  2. scott

    September 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    The solution to the controversy is to limit science education, particularly up through 12th grade to scientific questions, not answers. That is the Achilles Heel of Creationsim. In other words, there is no lab component to creationism. Science is about focusing on the investigative process. The resulting conclusions are largely incidental and that includes evolutionary theory. In any deductive science you only get half credit for coming up with the right answer. The other half you get from showing your work. Darwin didn’t start with evolutionary theory and then rationalize it. Even he was startled at where the investigative process led him. The key to science education is to think of it as a compass and then allow experiment to establish the map. But by trying to force students to see certain conclusions you provide a wedge for creationists who want their conclusions considered. Simply do not open that door.

  3. Don Jensen

    September 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Creationist science is NOT science! At best it’s History based on myths.

  4. Jim S

    September 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Wow! The Texas Taliban are at it again! WE ARE NOT A THEOCRACY. IT IS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION. What is it the Tea Party and the evangelicals don’t understand about this? The Tea Party is always spouting the founding fathers and the constitution. The founding fathers would find the Texas actions totally unacceptable. But then the brainwashed bible thumpers seem to find an excuse for everything.

  5. Perry

    September 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    It’s not the role of public schools, which are a part of our government, to teach religious dogma. There is a separation of church and state in this country. If parents want to teach religion to their children they are free to send them to religious schools. This is just a way to slowly change the US into a Christian nation.

  6. richardh

    September 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    What The F… is “creation science”? It’s science, or it’s creationism, there’s no version where the two meet…

  7. smarterboy09

    September 12, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Why don’t you take that up as your first order of business AFTER you secede from our very great (and way too smart for you losers) nation?

  8. smarterboy09

    September 12, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Here I’ll compose it for you: Some theological groups have suggested creationism be included as an alternative to evolution in future textbooks. We remind those groups it might be a good strategy if we were picking paint colors or side dishes for an entree, but since we have a responsibility to those young minds we’d be polluting we decided against it and refer to that movement as, “Those poor crazy people that are obsessed with their moral fantasy stories.”

  9. Scott Bennett

    September 12, 2013 at 6:07 am

    do be careful with your use of “sic”. There are some instances where there were neither misspellings nor grammatical mistakes.

  10. Michael Bennett

    September 12, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Is there any way we can give Texas and all its inhabitants back to Mexico? Who the hell needs or wants a bunch of retrograde troglodytes and luddites fouling up this country? “Creation science” is an oxymoron; it simply doesn’t exist. And people who think that the word “theory” when applied to science, as in The Theory of Natural Selection and Origin of Species, means nothing more than a guess just do not understand the entire basis of science and the conclusions it is able to make with high degrees of certainty. For the creationists, their certainty resides in fairy tales and fables of the worst sort. But then again, it’s Texas—-what a wonderful state–NOT!!!!

  11. Rod Davis

    September 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Creation science is an oxymoron.

  12. Tom

    September 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Changing reality, one book at a time.

  13. Bob Gage

    September 13, 2013 at 1:59 am

    “Creation science” is just like regular science, except that the goals are completely different and they share nothing in common.

    Most of all, “creation science” decides what the conclusions are and mangles evidence into fitting those conclusions while disregarding the mental gymnastics and cognitive dissonance required to even consider the original conclusions as correct. Science on the other hand assumes little, examines the facts at hands, and bases conclusions upon them.

    Surely you can see that knowing the right answer before all those pesky facts start flying around is a much better way to live. And yes, I just called you Shirley. 🙂

  14. R. Spencer

    September 14, 2013 at 1:38 am

    There are many scientist who believe the evidence is best interpreted to be pointing to intelligent design. Many are intimidated into silence or forced out in a form of secular jihad. So much for open mindedness.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/mars-summit/a-little-bit-about-the-man-behind-mars-summit-and-mars-hill-in-korea/544022505670911

    Quote taken from: http://nationalreview.com/article/351319/why-some-scientists-embrace-multiverse-dennis-prager#

  15. Don Jensen

    September 15, 2013 at 12:38 am

    The many you speak of are still an extreme minority in the scientific community, and it’s still not science. And the argument you present from National review isn’t saying these scientists believe it was intelligent design, but simply that the factors had to be right for life. And it’s a paradox either way. Lets stick with what we do know as facts. The Big bank theory is quite irrefutable in the scientific community, lets not try and guess if some intelligence caused it until and unless we can prove it. That is science, the other is speculation.

  16. Bob Cull

    September 15, 2013 at 1:38 am

    “Secular jihad”? Would that be what you call not supported by peer review? You know that part where the real scientists look at you findings and tell you you are a nut ball? Is that the kind of “secular jihad” that you’re talking about? There is a cure for ignorance you know, you should look into it, libraries are free you know.

  17. John Primm

    September 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I think you’d have to include the rest of the Confederacy as well; Texas is insane, but so are a lot of southern states.

  18. matt higgins

    December 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    The people that want this nonsense included in textbooks have a valid point. If the information were included, then the instructors could show their students how utterly stupid and ridiculous the bible thumpers look/sound with scientific findings…

  19. cb

    July 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Here here!

  20. cb

    July 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Teatarded Texas, leading the Nation in Stupid once again!

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