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Science Scores a Victory in Fight Over Texas' Biology Textbooks

When Texas' State Board of Education convenes next month to adopt new biology textbooks, chairwoman Barbara Cargill will be disappointed.

The Republican from The Woodlands is a staunch advocate of teaching "all sides of scientific explanations," which is code for more Genesis and less Darwin. Yet none of the 14 publishers whose books the board will choose from offers any alternative theory to explain the development of life. There's just evolution.

That was the case in the summer, when Cargill invited a couple of dozen people, including several known creationists, to review the texts. That was still the case last week when publishers submitted the changes they proposed to make in light of the reviews.

See also: SMU Prof Laundry Lists Errors Made by Creationist Reviewers of High-School Biology Textbook

The Texas Freedom Network reviewed the proposed amendments and, in a press release today, declared them to be kosher. None of the publishers had been swayed by reviewers' suggestion that "the fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification" or that the texts should teach "creation science based on Biblical principles."

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The fight isn't quite over, and it won't be until the SBOE adopts ideologically clean biology textbooks next month, but TFN is declaring a partial victory. President Kathy Miller called it a "very welcome development for everyone who opposes teaching phony science."

Their glee was tempered somewhat by the realization that they are waging a war that should have ended decades ago.

As University of Texas Arturo De Lozanne put it to TFN, it's "remarkable and distressing that some folks are still arguing over what really is established, mainstream science."

Still, a win's a win.

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