Evolution in Texas Schools Encounters Resistance

    November 23, 2013
    Bennett Rieser
    Comments are off for this post.

A report from the Dallas Morning News confirmed that Texas State Board of Education members approved a series of textbooks this week that cover Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in its scientific entirety.

Almost immediately after the books were approved, a protest was lodged by one textbook reviewer who maintains creationist beliefs. Two of the approved textbooks were sidelined in order to have a panel of science experts examine the text at the request of that reviewer, who pointed out 20 separate issues as “errors.”

There are only two ways for the board to proceed from here: the errors are dismissed and the books are added to the curriculum, or they are confirmed as “errors” and publisher Pearson Education may need to add corrections and pay a fine before the books are implemented.

Fox News reported one of the board members, Republican Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, as saying “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… I believe this process is being hijacked, this book is being held hostage to make political changes.”

Steven Meyer, a scholar with the Discovery Institute which is a conservative think-tank that favors the theory of Intelligent Design (a mock-up of evolution and creationism in which God’s guiding hand made it possible for man rise from the primordial ooze), said “[The books] will leave students in the dark about contemporary mainstream scientific controversies over Darwinian evolution.”

“Unfortunately,” he added, “because Texas is a major purchaser of textbooks, the board’s action may have an adverse impact on science education across America for years to come.”

On the other side, science teachers and opponents of creationism lauded the Texas State Board of Education. Josh Rosneau of the National Center for Science Education said “The state will give students the foundation for the exemplary education they need to succeed in the 21st century.”

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]
  • J.Lee

    So called ‘social conservatives’ are not Homo Sapiens. They should have died out with the Neanderthals; who by the way were much more intelligent. Texas is a … Really not enough room here to say what I think about the great state of delusion known as Texas. These religious Monkeys need to be put down. If you religious morons wish to kow tow to your God, do so, but when you try and ram your silly ignorant superstitious dogma down someones throat, you instantly become a target! …I don’t mean a target for criticism and ridicule, I mean bullets! There is NO place for YOU in the 21st century. The world needs a giant Heavens Gate exit for you.m

    • R

      John 15:17-25

      17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
      18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
      19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
      20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
      21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
      22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
      23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
      24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
      25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

      • Mick of townsville

        What the hell has a random quote from the bible got to do with this debate.

        • R

          Replying to J.Lee who says it’s time to kill all the Christians.

          Letting him know WHY he hates Christians, the bible verse clearly teaches that the world will hate Christians because it hates Christ.

          Also, if that kind of threat was made against some other group or a nationality, the cops would be at his door, but apparently it’s OK to threaten to shoot Christians.

  • Randy

    The problem the creationist face is that if we are to teach creationism. Then we have to teach all versions of creationism. That class could take years alone. That is what the church is for, to teach their version of truth to the masses who wish to believe.

  • Well

    Evolution has holes in it a mile big. You can write for days about it. The bottom line is that we have no clue how we got here. It is all just theory and conjecture. At the end of the day, if all we are is a part of nature, then it is all pretty much pointless. What is the point of being self aware, living, suffering, struggling, and then just dying? Makes no sense.

    Science will never ever be able to tell all the answers. Science will always have to ask — what came before. Even if you get down to one micro particle in the vacuum of space – you still have to ask that. Heck, even when you have nothing left but the vacuum of space, you still have to ask that because the emptiness of that vacuum still exists within some type of framework, so what is beyond that framework? What supports that?

    We need to stop trying to figure out how we got here and figure out where we are going. The past is the past. The future is what we need to worry about. We have major problems on the horizon.

    I believe in science. I have an extensive scientific background. However, the reality is that science will not answer all our problems. The best science in the world can’t do that. Our problems will always center around our poor choices. Until mankind displays more mercy, love, forgiveness, and compassion we will always have suffering. All the science in the world can’t remedy that.

    Funny – a man talked about that his entire life. A man called Christ and he was exactly right.

    • Darth Robo

      Always remember folks, that if a random creationist on the interwebs claims to have an ‘extensive scientific background’ the odds are EXCEEDINGLY high that they are lying their massive pants off.

  • Well

    Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t believe everything creationists think either. The earth is not 6,000 years old. I think people misinterpret the bible often. Also, many Christians don’t do what Christ told them to do.

    Give mercy. Give love. Forgive. Show compassion.

    If we actually did that, we wouldn’t have 2.3 million people in prison and we wouldn’t be constantly at war. We wouldn’t have hunger, homelessness, or poverty. All these things are solvable. We just chose not to solve them. Instead, we just choose to fear everything, fight, be paranoid, and kill ourselves. There is a reason Christ said not to fear. Fear leads to irrational decisions and suffering.

  • Mark Wyke

    As long as I have a hole in the nether extremities of my body will we all agree on this subject and someone above was right to say that its no real point looking backwards we neef to look forwards. The problem with looking forwards is that the world is full of greed greed and more greed and is only getting worse it is ruled by greedy people who want more and more control and that leads to suffering. We are ruled by rulers who dont really want us around anymore and until we realise this fact we will head into a future of darkness and suffering. Until we realise that religion was used as a form of control, something I believe christ DIDNT want then the worse off we will be. The world as a whole is everyones there should be no boundaries no animosity towards your fellow man especially when that animosity is not based on the truth. We live in a very weird world where you can hate another nations people because of what you read or see on the news because most of it again is controlled. We need to start living in the 21st century where politics doesn’t have a place and every man woman and child is treated as an equal, where things we extract out of the ground are every persons given right to not for some billionaires pay packet. We are told to hate this nation or that nation BY WHO? what we need is love not war, eduction not misinformation. The truth not a pack of lies but until this happens we will keep killing each other but hopefully just hopefully one day we will realise but I cant see at the minute how. All in all a sad state of affairs supposedly from the planets brainiest animal but we are a joke.