We now have Pearson Education’s response to claims that the publisher’s high school biology textbook for Texas public schools contains factual “errors” in its discussion of the genetic similarities between humans and chimpanzees. In a detailed response, the company essentially says (politely) that the anti-evolution activist who has made the claims simply doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
Neal Frey, who runs an East Texas-based censorship outfit called Educational Research Analysts and rejects the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting evolution, filed his formal complaint against the Pearson textbook with the Texas Education Agency last month. Frey claims that textbook statements pointing out that chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives “falsify known facts.” And he demands that state officials require Pearson to “correct” the alleged errors or fine the publisher if it refuses to make the changes.
In its response, Pearson points out that Frey has mischaracterized the technical papers he points to as evidence for his claims. “(N)one of the five technical monographs provides any evidence disputing the conclusion that chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives,” Pearson writes, before taking readers through each of those paper’s research and conclusions. The… Read More
Have they finally stopped pretending otherwise? Leaders in the “intelligent design”/creationism movement are promoting a Texas conference next month that explicitly ties “intelligent design” to “essential Christian doctrines.”
Supporters of “intelligent design” — or ID, the deceptive, pseudo-scientific “alternative” to evolutionary science — have long insisted that they aren’t promoting a religious concept like straight-up creationism. The “designer” responsible for life as we see it today, they say, isn’t necessarily God. Of course, their arguments have fooled no one: ID is creationism dressed up in a lab coat. That’s why a Republican-appointed federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision that “intelligent design” isn’t science and that teaching it in public school science classrooms is government promotion of religion.
So it was interesting to see how ID proponents are pitching a March 14-15 conference at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands north of Houston. From the event’s webpage, see how proponents equate “essential Christian doctrines” with “design in nature” (intelligent design):
“Are science and Christian faith friends or enemies? Do advances in cosmology, biochemistry, paleontology, and genetics undermine essential Christian doctrines, or is there in fact compelling… Read More
We were pleased to hear the Texas Freedom Network come up in Tuesday night’s “debate” between science advocate Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. Ham brings TFN into the discussion in the clip above, but the full debate video is here. Here’s what Ham had to say about TFN:
“Kathy Miller is president of the Texas Freedom Network, and she’s vocally spoken out about this textbook battle there in Texas. And the mission statement of the organization she is president of says: ‘The Texas Freedom Network advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right.’ Religious freedom. Individual liberties. Hmmm…
And then she makes this statement: ‘Science education [what does she mean by science?] should be based on mainstream science education, not on personal ideological beliefs of unqualified reviewers.’
Wait a minute. They want religious liberty and not personal ideological beliefs? I assert this. Public school textbooks are using the same word ‘science’ for observational and historical science. They arbitrarily define ‘science’ as naturalism and outlaw the supernatural. They present molecules-to-man evolution as fact. And they are imposing the religion of naturalism/atheism on… Read More
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted new biology textbooks for public high schools last fall, but anti-evolution activists are still trying to censor those textbooks. And they seem to be targeting one in particular: Pearson Education’s high school textbook by authors Ken Miller and Joe Levine.
Through a request under the Texas Public Information Act, last week we obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) a new complaint filed by the head of one of the oldest textbook censorship organizations in Texas. The complaint, filed by Neal Frey of Educational Research Analysts (ERA) in the East Texas town of Longview, alleges that information in the Pearson textbook about the genetic similarities between humans and chimpanzees is factually inaccurate. Frey claims that the textbook is wrong in two places where it says that DNA evidence shows chimpanzees are humans’ closest relatives. (ERA was founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler, pioneers in the right-wing textbook censorship movement.)
Click here to read Frey’s complaint: Frey_Error_Complaint.
Each of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor raced as far to the extreme right as they could during their debate Monday night. Each one, for example, expressed support for banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Each one insisted that government should intrude into the end-of-life decisions families make for their loved ones who are brain dead. And each one insisted that public schools be put in the position of deciding whose religious beliefs about creation should be taught in their classrooms.
On the issue of creationism, disregard for now the fact that the four candidates were supporting something that would get the state’s cash-strapped public schools sued for violating the U.S. Constitution. The candidates would also create an impossibly difficult dilemma for public schools. Should those schools teach students that Earth is 6,000-years-old and that humans walked the land with dinosaurs? Should they teach competing religious beliefs about creation? Or should they simply leave, as they do now, religious instruction to families and congregations while focusing instead on teaching students established, mainstream science that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of the 21st century?
Just as appalling was… Read More