Seattle, November 19, 2013
The Texas State Board of Education looks set to approve science textbooks this week that fail to comply with state science standards requiring students to "analyze and evaluate" core evolutionary claims, according to a Discovery Institute scholar who advised the Board before it adopted the standards.
Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of the New York Times bestselling book Darwin's Doubt, served as a Board-appointed expert reviewer of the Texas science standards when the standards were originally developed in 2009.
Meyer expressed concerns that proposed textbooks would "leave students in the dark about contemporary mainstream scientific controversies over Darwinian evolution. Students should be trained to think independently, rather than be drilled in rote fashion. Unfortunately, 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."
Experts appointed by the Board reviewed the proposed texts, but textbook publishers failed to implement important suggested changes.
Casey Luskin, an attorney and science education expert at Discovery Institute, expressed similar concerns to those of Meyer. "The Texas State Board of Education appears to be backtracking on its own previous commitment to teaching young people to think critically," explained Luskin. "That will please Darwin-only activists who seek to censor the very real, serious, and fascinating scientific debate about evolution."
"But what about young people?" Luskin asked. "Sadly, students will pay the price. Excellence in science education is poorly served by a capitulation to dogma."