A panel of experts has rejected concerns by religious conservatives in Texas that a high school biology textbook contained factual errors about evolution and a state board approved the book on Wednesday for use in public schools.
The debate over the Pearson Biology textbook was the latest episode of a lengthy battle by evangelicals in Texas to insert Christian and Biblical teachings into public school textbooks.
Two years ago, conservatives pushed for changes in history textbooks, including one that would have downplayed Thomas Jefferson's role in American history for his support of the separation of church and state. That effort was unsuccessful.
The second-most populous U.S. state, Texas influences textbook selections for schools nationwide.
In the case of the biology book, an unidentified volunteer reviewer complained to the Texas State Board of Education that it presents evolution as scientific fact rather than a theory, which conflicts with the creation story written in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.
The reviewer concluded that the text, which includes lessons on natural selection and the Earth's cooling process, are errors that needed to be corrected by publisher Pearson Education, one of the nation's largest producers of school textbooks and a unit of Pearson Plc.
The opinion caused the board to delay approval of the textbook and appoint a three-member panel of science experts to analyze the book's lessons and report any factual mistakes.
"The professors didn't recommend any changes so the book is now approved," Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said in an email. "Schools can purchase it this spring for use in the fall."
So to be clear this book had to be subjected to scrutiny by three scientists before it could be adopted as a science textbook because there was ONE reviewer who was upset that the science in a SCIENCE book conflicted with the mythology taught in a RELIGIOUS book.
Is anybody else waiting for a white rabbit to come hoping by?
What did this idiot think was going to happen? Did he think that the scientists were suddenly going to slap themselves on the forehead, and say "Hey, this Bible really does contain actual science that conflicts with the centuries of scientific research we have been relying on, and really brings into question the conclusions of hundreds of biologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists?"
Well they do believe in miracles, so maybe.