In the News : Can You Trust Your Scienc Textbooks?

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Can You Trust Your Scienc Textbooks?

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The Texas State Board of Education voted on Nov. 9 to use only scientifically accurate science texts.

Well, duh. They needed to vote on that? Seems that for years, seventh-grade science texts contained numerous known factual errors "that overstate the evidence for evolutionary theory," said Bruce Chapman of The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based public policy organization. Included in a list of 20 corrections that needed to be addressed were claims that human embryos have "gill slits" (they don’t); overstatements about peppered moth research that purported to explain the process of evolution; and diagrams showing supposed similarities in human embryos with eight other species including tortoises, frogs and chickens—diagrams that were drawn in the 1800s by German biologist Ernst Haeckel, but that many scientists today acknowledge are inaccurate and misleading.

Still, biology texts remain overtly evolutionary. Efforts to have the Board of Education also require that weaknesses of the evolutionary theory be addressed in their textbooks, as some say is required by Texas law, failed. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards require that the student "analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information" (emphasis added).

"We were also hoping that the Board would require textbooks to include coverage of the peer-reviewed scientific weaknesses of evolutionary theory. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a majority on the Board that was willing to enforce that," said Mr. Chapman.

As one of the largest buyers of textbooks in the United States, the Texas decisions dramatically influence textbooks marketed across the nation. (Source:

For a factual evaluation of the evolution vs. creation issue, write for our free booklet, Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe?

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