The anti-evolution Discovery Institute is accusing the Texas Freedom Network of going on a hypocritical “rant.” Last week TFN criticized the Texas State Board of Education‘s inclusion of three creationists on a six-member panel that will review science curriculum standards for the state’s public schools. All three are supporters of “intelligent design”/creationism, which Discovery promotes as an alternative to scientific evolution. The fact that creationists on the state board appointed those three clearly revealed the ideological agenda they are pushing on our children in Texas public schools.
We also noted that two of the three creationist panel members had authored a textbook, Explore Evolution, that seeks to portray the overwhelming body of mainstream science supporting evolution as somehow suspect. Yet in 2011, the state board could consider approving the purchase of that textbook for Texas public schools. As TFN President Kathy Miller said:
It’s simply stunning that any state board members would even consider appointing authors of an anti-evolution textbook to a panel of scientists. Are they coming here to help write good science standards or to drum up a market for their lousy textbook?
In a press release, the Discovery Institute struck back, claiming that TFN was ignoring that of the three other panel members, two also were textbook authors.
Josh Rosenau (who works with the National Center for Science Education) writes in his own blog that the Discovery folks failed to note some important distinctions. One of the two textbooks noted by Discovery hasn’t been published since 1999. The other is for college and possibly for Advanced Placement science classes in high school (classes for which the state board doesn’t set standards). Josh also offers a clear explanation from one of the authors of that latter textbook, David Hillis, a distinguished professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin. The simple fact is that Discovery’s “conflict of interest” charge is as bogus as its arguments against evolution.
You can read Josh’s excellent post here. When you’re done, please consider signing on to the Texas Freedom Network’s Stand Up for Science petition and campaign. Click here to learn more about the campaign. Take a stand for sound science education in our public schools.