Evolution Debate Rages At Texas Board Of Education MeetingBy: Val Powell - November 23, 2013
It seems that the evolution debate is not about to go away; instead, tougher questions are being asked. Ideological objections to the evolution philosophy raged in a Texas Board of Education late night meeting during the approval of science textbooks. The Associated Press reports that a biology textbook was the main reason the meeting was held up due to fundamental factual errors.
Some board members singled out the textbook by Pearson Education publishers. Several questions were raised about the book’s proclamations on natural selection, arguing that the evolution theory is not the ultimate explanation for how life developed on Earth. Another point at issue was the differences of opinions on how long it took the earth to cool. Others suggested that the book should “balance between gradualism and sudden appearance,” suggesting that rather than developing over time, life got a boost from an intelligent designer.
Pearson was not willing to make suggested edits and changes to the book and challenged the list of the alleged errors raised during the meeting. As a result, the book by Pearson was not approved at the meeting. However, they did not block the approval but only delayed it until external experts check the concerns. Three board members shall appoint three experts to scrutinize the book.
There are those like Thomas Ratliff, a Republican who objected the approval delay saying that the approval process is being hijacked by political process. Ratliff is the board’s vice chairman. He said the book is already being used in over half of United States of America’s classrooms.
“To ask me — a business degree major from Texas Tech University — to distinguish whether the Earth cooled 4 billion years ago or 4.2 billion years ago for purposes of approving a textbook at 10:15 on a Thursday night is laughable,” Ratliff said. His colleagues on the other side of the debate weren’t laughing.
(main image via Wikipedia)