2009-03-23 / 18:58 / dave
The Texas Board of Education will vote this week on a new science curriculum designed to challenge the guiding principle of evolution, a step that could influence what is taught in biology classes across the nation.
The proposed curriculum change would prompt teachers to raise doubts that all life on Earth is descended from common ancestry. Texas is such a huge textbook market that many publishers write to the state’s standards, then market those books nationwide.
“This is the most specific assault I’ve seen against evolution and modern science,” said Steven Newton, a project director at the National Center for Science Education, which promotes teaching of evolution.
Texas school board chairman Don McLeroy also sees the curriculum as a landmark — but a positive one.
Dr. McLeroy believes that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago. If the new curriculum passes, he says he will insist that high-school biology textbooks point out specific aspects of the fossil record that, in his view, undermine the theory that all life on Earth is descended from primitive scraps of genetic material that first emerged in the primordial muck about 3.9 billion years ago…
The textbooks will “have to say that there’s a problem with evolution — because there is,” said Dr. McLeroy, a dentist. “We need to be honest with the kids.”
Stephanie Simon, Texas School Board Set to Vote on Challenge to Evolution