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Science education wins, Christian creationists lose in Texas

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In Texas, advocates for science education have defeated efforts by Christian creationists to smuggle into the Texas science curriculum materials that call into question the overwhelming evidence supporting biological evolution.

On Friday the Texas State Board of Education voted to adopt all textbooks and instructional materials submitted by 14 publishers for high school biology and high school environmental science. None of those textbooks call into question the overwhelming evidence supporting biological evolution.

Recently, major science textbook publishers refused to include creationism (sometimes called “intelligent design”) in science textbooks despite fierce pressure from conservative Christians.

The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank that has promoted the idea of “intelligent design” over evolution, criticized the board’s approval of the biology textbooks.

A Discovery Institute “scholar” who has advised the Texas State Board of Education said the new books “will leave students in the dark about contemporary mainstream scientific controversies over Darwinian evolution.”

However, most scientists and other reasonable people disagree. In fact, science advocates argue creationism, or intelligent design, is not a legitimate scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. Many critics claim creationism is nothing but religious superstition that does real harm to America - a symptom of a willful ignorance and an anti-intellectualism that thwarts scientific progress at home and humiliates America abroad. Others go even further, arguing that teaching children creationism as a legitimate scientific alternative to the theory of evolution constitutes a form of child abuse.

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