Texas textbook vote ruffles religious activists

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Fri Nov 7 23:27:15 MST 2003


Texas textbook vote ruffles religious activists

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) --The State Board of Education voted Thursday to
approve biology textbooks, despite criticism from some scientists and
religious activists who say the books fail to present criticisms of

The 11-4 vote was preliminary and the board was expected to give
final approval Friday.

Some religious and alternative science groups had argued that
weaknesses in the theory of evolution weren't adequately presented in
the books. But scientists and educators argued that the theory of
evolution is widely believed and is a cornerstone of modern
scientific research.

Texas is the nation's second-largest buyer of textbooks, and
textbooks sold in the state are often marketed by publishers
elsewhere. Texas, California and Florida account for more than 30
percent of the nation's $4 billion public school book market. Three
dozen publishers invest millions of dollars in Texas.

Some board members had asked to vote on the books one by one, but the
motion was overturned and all were approved with one vote.

"I wish we'd had the opportunity to vote on each book because they're
not the same," said board member Don McLeroy, one of the four board
members who voted against adopting the books.

McLeroy called the presentation of evolution in most of the books "dogmatic."

"People don't realize the threat of scientific dogmatism," he said.
"They're not looking for the truth."

Samantha Smoot, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network,
commended the board. Smoot had been one of the most vocal supporters
of presenting evolution in the textbooks.

"The voices of the science community have been loud and unified,"
Smoot said. "This is not a theory. There's no question about what
whether evolution exists at all."

Critics had urged publishers to revise some of the books and wanted
the board to reject others outright, saying they contain factual
errors about the theory of evolution.

Board members can reject books only for factual errors or failure to
follow state curriculum as mandated by the Legislature.

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list