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Official Texas Review: "Creation Science" Should Be Incorporated Into Every Biology Textbook

Science & Tech  (tags: Americans, culture, dishonesty, politics, religion, Texas, science, students )

- 1717 days ago -
Few of the textbook reviewers who were critical of the teaching of evolution and climate change possessed any scientific credentials, according to NCSE. Among those who did, several were active in anti-evolution organizations such as the Discovery I -->

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Kit B (276)
Friday September 13, 2013, 5:58 am
Photo/Image Credit: Charles B. Ming Onn - Shutterstock

Behind closed doors, textbook reviewers appointed by the Texas State Board of Education are pushing to inject creationism into teaching materials that will be adopted statewide in high schools this year, according to new documents obtained by watchdog groups. Records show that the textbook reviewers made ideological objections to material on evolution and climate change in science textbooks from at least seven publishers, including several of the nation's largest publishing houses. Failing to obtain a review panel's top rating can make it harder for publishers to sell their textbooks to school districts, and can even lead the state to reject the books altogether.

"Once again, culture warriors in the state board are putting Texas at risk of becoming a national laughingstock on science education," said Kathy Miller, the president of the Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit group that monitors religious extremists and "far-right issues." TFN and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) obtained the review panel documents in response to a state open-records request.

What's more, because Texas has one of the nation's largest public school systems, publishers tend to tailor their textbooks for that market and then sell the same texts to the rest of America.

Here are five striking examples of comments submitted to publishers by the state review panels urging them to water down scientific teachings.

◾One reviewer directly implored the textbook companies Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Scientific Minds to 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.

◾A reviewer of publisher Glencoe/McGraw-Hill's textbook objected to a passage on the fossil evidence for evolution—despite a consensus among scientists:

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.

◾Another reviewer, Ray Bohlin, told the publisher Pearson/Prentice Hall that climate change isn't real because we "don't really know that the carbon Cycle [sic] has been altered." But even if it was, he continued:

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.

◾In the same review, Bohlin repeatedly promoted Signature in the Cell, a book written by Stephen Meyer—director of science and culture for the creationist Discovery Institute—without disclosing the fact that he is a fellow there:

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

◾Reviewers examining the Pearson/Prentice Hall textbook also refer to "THE DISCREDITED PEPPERED MOTH SCENARIO" and "the replacement of discredited 'Peppered Moth' misrepresentations."

(Starting during the industrial revolution, populations of peppered moths gradually changed color to match tree bark that had been darkened by soot from local industry—camouflage that made them less vulnerable to predators. After the plants closed and the pollution cleared up, the moths eventually returned to their lighter color. The moth example has been upheld as a classic case of evolution in action.)

Few of the textbook reviewers who were critical of the teaching of evolution and climate change possessed any scientific credentials, according to NCSE. Among those who did, several were active in anti-evolution organizations such as the Discovery Institute.

According to the groups, the Texas Education Agency has declined to release documents showing what changes, if any, the publishers have agreed to make in response to these reviews. A public hearing on the books will take place next week in Austin, followed by a final vote to approve or reject them in November.

By Josh Harkinson | Mother Jones |

Roseann d (178)
Friday September 13, 2013, 6:18 am about just inserting a creationists caveat...Darwin applies with the American exception of Creationists who obviously have not evolved.DUH why are these imbeciles' fairy tale beliefs holding sway over the rest of us?   Make it simple for them...OK...I didn't.

Naoko i (264)
Friday September 13, 2013, 6:40 am
Dark Ages??

Terry V (30)
Friday September 13, 2013, 6:56 am

Kit B (276)
Friday September 13, 2013, 7:39 am

We have built civilization on the most current science through the ages. Though as a book the bible may hold some truths for the religious mind, it is not a science guide and holds nothing in the way of concrete evidence for a science class. This is the way propaganda works, dissolve the truth with confusing and irrelevant nonsense to confuse and disrupt progress.

Elle B (84)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:30 am
Ty for posting Kit ...and of course we should seriously consider that the Earth appeared intact as a planet 6,000 years ago arriving on light beams from it only took 7 days and 7 nights to make one. Perhaps the Lord God has a week of timeshares in Santa's Workshop during the off-season...although an 8th day would have been wise to allow time to produce an Earth Manual including the alien/mutant's guide to planet care... with tabbed sections on how to maintain, sustain and honor the life forms in Earth's biosphere. . .including human bio-forms. . . having such insider connections ...perhaps the "creationists" could back order some now. . .

Note: Since we're considering "creative" possibilities. . could there be some serious possible correlations in "creationist" math and recent datings from the scientific community...with "creative" juices flowing let's connect some dots. . .free association is so much fun...and while we're at it let's go get some political clout financing from some Pulpits for Profits so we can include even more stuff in the textbooks...

eg. ScienceDaily, April 23, 2013, ACAD Director Professor Alan Cooper says: "What is intriguing is that the genetic markers of this first pan-European culture, which was clearly very successful, were then suddenly replaced around 4,500 years ago, and we don't know why. Something major happened, and the hunt is now on to find out what that was."

Radiation from massive nuclear astroid hits? . . .extreme mutation? ...alien life form invasion? ...fearful fallen angels? ...or just a bunch of universal greedy gut chompers that like to chew up planets? Einstein...we could use a little after life commentary here. . .

By the way, exactly which printed version(s) of the Bible are these textbooks referencing and in which languages? And will the entire history of the referenced publication be footnoted...complete with translation discrepancies from dates of origin? Or did Joseph Smith's transcriber steal those too while grabbing the missing pages of the Book of Mormon?

Heck--let's just go potluck . . . pick a preference and a reference . . .

Kit B (276)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:35 am

Elle I am doubled over laughing - thank you for that comment.

. (0)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:41 am
The entire creation myth story just doesn't hold water. There are too many holes in it and anyone arguing for seven literal days of creation needs their head examined.
I've always wondered why there were two creation accounts in Genesis. One should suffice unless of course as Sitchin would have us believe, the god/s were an alien race who genetically altered a hominid species for a specific reason.
Religion and creationism should be taught in the church unless of course it is a religious class requiring creationism to be taught for a credit. Other than that religion/creationism has no place in the school system let alone in a state approved text book or curriculum. What has happened to the separation between church and state.
That of course opens up a whole different can of worms when you introduce specific religions. Under separation of church and state; no exemption or preferential treatment should be given to one religious group over another.

Barbara K (60)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:48 am
This is exactly why we have a "Separation of Church and State". They just don't mix. Thanks, my friend.

Robert B (60)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:54 am
And the Oxymoron of the day is: DRUM ROLL PLEASE.............. "Creation Science" I suggest the Texas school board read "The Laughing Jesus" by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy. I highly recommend it.

Lawrence Travers (8)
Friday September 13, 2013, 10:08 am
Give Texas back to way to get GWB out of the Country.

Nancy M (197)
Friday September 13, 2013, 10:28 am
I have no problem with "creationism" being taught a social studies class. It does NOT belong in a science curriculum.

Brad Miller (120)
Friday September 13, 2013, 10:41 am
Someday this ignorance/stupidity will be wiped out, I hope it's during my lifetime but I'm not optimistic.

Kit B (276)
Friday September 13, 2013, 10:53 am

I have a problem with that, Nancy. Creation is a myth contrived by a relatively new thinking within Christianity. As a teacher am I now asked to teach bible stories? Which sect of bible stories do chose? What if I insult the wrong group by varying from what they teach at home.

Religion should be taught a home and in churches or private religious schools.

Barbara K (60)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:04 am
Absolutely, Kit, I've always said that if one needs a religious fix, go to Church. That is not the job of the government or the schools.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:26 am
Robert B, your comment assumes that the Texas school board can read, a proposition yet to be proven.

Ben O (170)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:29 am
"Creation Science" - That's wonderful! -I mean, who believes in evolution...???
(Attention! Sarcasm!)
And once again I have to remind us all:
Never underestimate the power of ignorant morons in large groups!

Ben O (170)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:38 am
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying"
(Kurt Vonnegut)


pam w (139)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:41 am
AND, Ben....(thanks for the warning) we must never underestimate the power of dedicated religious fanatics chipping away at the Constitutional protections FROM religion mandated in public life.

If people want their religious myths taught in school...they can send their children to parochial schools and pay for it!


Carrie B (306)
Friday September 13, 2013, 12:02 pm
Sent this one to the kids also Kit. Thank you again

Aileen P (40)
Friday September 13, 2013, 1:01 pm
Noted. Thank you for sharing.

Arielle S (313)
Friday September 13, 2013, 1:20 pm
And I suggest all the kids in Texas get to watch Bill Maher's "Religulous"....

Roger G (154)
Friday September 13, 2013, 3:51 pm
noted, thanks

Vallee R (280)
Friday September 13, 2013, 4:31 pm
Signed the petition on FB - thanks.

JL A (281)
Friday September 13, 2013, 4:57 pm
Apparently the reviewers are unqualified for the job if they believe creationism meets any federal statutory definition of science.

Rose Becke (141)
Friday September 13, 2013, 4:59 pm
O dear

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday September 13, 2013, 5:28 pm
Noted. Loved Elle's comment, too! I've said before that once they start preaching creationism in Science classes, the next jump will be...."so, we were created by aliens." Certainly a lot more credible than believing a giant head in the sky planted us here. I second Arielle's comment on "Religulous".....excellent film! Hey, the Scopes trial settled this a very long time ago. Why, why, why do people keep insisting on beating a dead horse?

Lindsey O (19)
Friday September 13, 2013, 6:05 pm
Can't teach "creation science" in public school classrooms. Supreme Court says you can't.

And I'm so tired of hearing the false claim that there aren't any transitional fossils in the record - there're definitely there. They're there. They're there. They're THERE!!!!

And as for "Intelligent Design", it's just creationism all dressed up in sheep's clothing.

Anyone who wants to check out a good Nova program, "Intelligent Design on Trial" (about the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision that crucified intelligent design) can find it here:

And there's a great interview with Judge Jones (the presiding Judge in Kitzmiller whose opinion contained such phrases as "breathtaking inanity") here:

Tom Edgar (56)
Friday September 13, 2013, 6:10 pm
When "Creationists" apply scientific investigation and questions the validity of their findings, then, and only then, can they, with any credibility, claim "Science" status. The cornerstone of Science is to have the ability to question apparent truths something that religion, of any faith, does not allow as their interpretation of anything is indisputable fact, even when it is a fiction.

Nancy M (197)
Friday September 13, 2013, 7:10 pm
@Kit- Creationism (if taught) shouldbe taught as part of a culture study, hence social studies. Social studeis when I had it was more than just history. And it would be part of a discussion of what cultures believe about the origins of the universe. IMHO.

But we agree, it is NOT sicence.

Kit B (276)
Friday September 13, 2013, 7:30 pm

Yes, Nancy I can see that rational but, this is Texas and allowing any discussions of religion into the classroom is asking for trouble. Because of board nature and largely undefined "Social Studies" we soon would have social religious classes.

Lindsey is offering an excellent rebuttal to creation in that NOVA program. It is definitely worth watching.

Bob hardly here P (394)
Friday September 13, 2013, 8:51 pm
Thanks Kit

Past Member (0)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:58 pm
Is it too soon to give Texas back to Mexico? Or would that be considered an act of war?

Gloria picchetti (304)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:56 pm
I am glad I graduated from public high school in the 60s in Chicago.

TomCat S (129)
Friday September 13, 2013, 11:59 pm
Creation science is a good idea for Texas, because evolution depends on natural selection. The way Texas is Gerrymandered, natural selection is illegal there.

Julie W (32)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:06 am
So evolultion is a theory, but creation science isn't? Poor. brainwashed kids!

Lindsey O (19)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:01 am
I very much wish that more of the Biblical literalists would comprehend is what a scientific theory actually is. They so often speak as though it's merely a guess or a hypothesis. Or they say, "Well, if it was proven it would become a law, not merely a theory.) Showing so clearly that they don't understand the difference. Makes me gnash my teeth.

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 6:14 am

Sheryl G (360)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 8:04 am
Well gee, I don't know why everyone just can't hop on that bandwagon that a man, named Moses, had it all down pat in the year 1445 B.C. or thereabouts about how this world was created.

Why would I want to think that Science might of evolved since then. Why don't we throw out all the other type of inconvenient science facts as well, like the earth is round, we have gravity, atoms, so on and so forth. I'm sure none of that really matters anymore.

Yes, I'm being sarcastic too.

Nancy M (197)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 8:06 am
Kit- I see you point. With respect to TExas anyway. Remember- I am from NY. We have no issue with evolution.

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 11:38 am
This will be a teaching experience for the teachers and a learning experience for the students. When the evidence for evolution totaly destroys the Creationist interpertation , the students will have learned to learn.

"Bahá’u’lláh taught that the universe has "neither beginning nor ending",[12] and that the component elements of the material world have always existed and will continue to exist.[13] Bahá'ís believe that the story of creation in Genesis is a rudimentary account that conveys the broad essential spiritual truths of existence without a level of detail and accuracy that was unnecessary and incomprehensible at the time.[13] Likewise, `Abdu'l-Bahá said that literal story of Adam and Eve cannot be accepted, affirmed, or imagined, and that it "must be thought of simply as a symbol".[14] And rather than accepting the idea of a Young Earth Bahá'í theology accepts that the Earth is ancient."

Lona G (80)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 12:20 pm
Creationists obviously have no idea what science entails. Just adding the two words together doesn't make 'creationism' a science either. So it's very simple really: creation science is religion and not biology. Religion belongs in church and at home, biology belongs in school (and at home ;-))

Lindsey O (19)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 12:29 pm
And too many creationists/IDers like to say that evolutionary biology precludes the existence of a divine creator, thereby being an "atheistic" thing. But evolutionary theory doesn't say there's no god - it just describes how life evolved. And if some divine creators exists then obviously he/she/it/they designed evolution as a means of populating the earth. So, unless a believer is a Biblical literalist, Christianity and evolutionary theory can easily co-exist (as even the Catholic Church admits).

Winn Adams (179)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:14 pm
OMG That's just crazy.

Melania Padilla (122)
Friday September 20, 2013, 1:21 pm
Jajaj what an idiot!
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