Publishers Resist Pressure to Undermine Evolution Coverage in Texas Science Textbooks

14

Materials submitted to the Texas Education Agency and examined by the Texas Freedom Network and university scientists show that publishers are resisting pressure to undermine instruction on evolution in their proposed new high school biology textbooks for public schools.

“This is a very welcome development for everyone who opposes teaching phony science about evolution in our kid’s public schools,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. “Texas parents can applaud these publishers for standing up to pressure from politicians and activists who want to put their personal beliefs ahead of giving Texas students a 21st-century science education.”

Publishers submitted their proposed science textbooks for adoption in Texas last April. Last month State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, asked publishers to submit by Oct. 4 any changes they propose to meet objections to content raised by citizens appointed to review the textbooks. The Texas Education Agency made the publishers’ proposed changes available to the public on Oct. 11.

Some reviewers had criticized the proposed biology textbooks for failing to include a variety of discredited arguments attacking evolution. For example, reviewers lowered the rating of one textbook because it didn’t include the inaccurate claim that scientists have found no transitional fossils and that “the fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification.” Another reviewer insisted that all of the textbooks teach “creation science based on Biblical principles” alongside evolution.

Written By: Texas Freedom Network
continue to source article at tfn.org

14 COMMENTS

  1. One of the motives to resist creationist pressure is a desire to resell the textbooks or variants in parts of the world where science is respected. IIRC Texans were a major supplier to all of the USA. Now they are rapidly gaining a reputation as crazy.

    Even if they made non-creationist versions, it would be like Springer Verlag publishing books pro and anti homeopathy.

    • In reply to #1 by Roedy:

      One of the motives to resist creationist pressure is a desire to resell the textbooks or variants in parts of the world where science is respected. IIRC Texans were a major supplier to all of the USA. Now they are rapidly gaining a reputation as crazy.

      Texas is one of the largest book purchasers in the US, so they had a lot of sway when getting publishers to add or remove content in textbooks, and these textbooks end up being distributed nationwide. California is also one of the largest book purchasers, so they also have a lot of influence – California isn’t due to review textbooks for another couple years, though, if I remember correctly.

      • In reply to #2 by Kim Probable:

        In reply to #1 by Roedy:

        Texas is one of the largest book purchasers in the US, so they had a lot of sway when getting publishers to add or remove content in textbooks, and these textbooks end up being distributed nationwide. California is also one of the largest book purchasers, so they also have a lot of influence – California isn’t due to review textbooks for another couple years, though, if I remember correctly.

        Alan4discussion came up with a clever end run around the problem: etextbooks. Why, in addition to being held hostage to Rick Perry and his Texas Cretins are entire forests still being deforested and students still schlepping around stacks of massive books that become obsolete because content can’t be updated much less hyperlinked? It’s the 21st century people, git wit it.

        • In reply to #3 by godsbuster:

          Why, in addition to being held hostage to Rick Perry and his Texas Cretins are entire forests still being deforested.

          They are not. North America plants over a billion trees a year. Exotic hardwoods are not used in school books.

          • In reply to #10 by alaskansee:
            >

            They are not. North America plants over a billion trees a year. Exotic hardwoods are not used in school books.

            I am usually sceptical when logging companies make “big feature” claims about how many trees they replant. One man contracted to plant young conifers can plant a thousand a day, with some of these thinned out from plantations when fairly young.
            They are often cut on a forty year cycle for pulp, or an eighty year cycle for timber, so regrowth takes quite some time.

          • In reply to #11 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #10 by alaskansee:

            They are not. North America plants over a billion trees a year. Exotic hardwoods are not used in school books.

            I am usually sceptical when logging companies make “big feature” claims about how many trees they replant. One man contracted to plant young conifers can p…

            So no annual staggered planting for an annual harvest?

          • In reply to #13 by veggiemanuk:

            So no annual staggered planting for an annual harvest?

            In places like Kielder in the UK there is a sustainable harvest, but in North America companies have often stripped out their own forests by over harvesting, and then tried juggling politics to try to get access to public lands.

          • In reply to #10 by alaskansee:

            In reply to #3 by godsbuster:

            They are not. North America plants over a billion trees a year.

            Genetically engineered for fast growth, pulpiness; planted in vast tracts of ecologically sterile monoculture with the use of highly deleterious inorganic commercial fertilizer; harvested, transported, processed, manufactured, packaged, distributed using immense amounts of fossil fuel and creating plenty of waste?

            Computers are far from ecologically benign but at least one computer can potentially contain a billion books.

  2. @ posts 1, 2 and 3…

    The district where I work has purchased iPads for every student (yes, even kindergarten kids!). It is very very exciting and I (we) are hoping that it enhances both their traditional knowledge and their skill set going forward into the technological future.

    Anyway, the cost of this has been offset by the projection that we will be buying digital textbooks. It really seems to be win win! Onward!!!

    • In reply to #4 by crookedshoes:

      @ posts 1, 2 and 3…

      The district where I work has purchased iPads for every student (yes, even kindergarten kids!). It is very very exciting and I (we) are hoping that it enhances both their traditional knowledge and their skill set going forward into the technological future.

      Anyway, the cost…

      Yes, about that cost. Is there a reason why they had to be iPads? Considering there are cheaper alternatives out there which perform just as well. Or did you mean to say ‘Tablets’ and used the word ‘iPad’ like we do Hoover in the UK?

      • We, as a district, are contractually obligated to Apple. I’d actually prefer a cheaper alternative that has a USB port. We have vernier probes that interface via USB. These are invaluable in performing data collection labs.

        In reply to #5 by veggiemanuk:

        In reply to #4 by crookedshoes:

        @ posts 1, 2 and 3…

        The district where I work has purchased iPads for every student (yes, even kindergarten kids!). It is very very exciting and I (we) are hoping that it enhances both their traditional knowledge and their skill set going forward into the technol…

  3. Perhaps someone close to the issue could provide a list of names and addresses for those publishers who seem to be refusing to add creationism ideas to their textbooks. Then, those of us so inclined could write them letters of support. Every little bit helps.

  4. Is it really a good idea to have members of the general public reviewing books on subjects of which they have no understanding?
    Might it not be better to have people working in the kind of jobs that these subjects could lead to doing the reviews; for biology that might be biologists, geneticists, doctors, vets etc ….?

Leave a Reply