The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, a prominent creationist group, has reversed a stated intention to submit instructional materials this year for use in Texas science classrooms. That decision, publicized on FTE's website, is very good news for supporters of sound science education and students in Texas public schools. On the other hand, it almost certainly is a huge disappointment for evolution deniers on the Texas State Board of Education. In 2009 those state board members succeeded in winning the adoption of controversial new science curriculum standards. They hoped the new standards would open the door to creationist arguments against evolution in classrooms across Texas. Read More

Texas State Board of Education members are already moving to politicize the adoption of new instructional materials for public school science classes in Texas this spring. E-mails obtained by the Texas Freedom Network on Wednesday through a request under the state's open records law make that pretty clear. In an e-mail exchange last November, for example, board Chair Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, tells a correspondent about the kind of people she wants on teams that will review the proposed science materials: "(I)f you have other qualified colleagues or know of other conservatives with a strong background in biology, chemistry or physics, I would certainly love to see them apply as well." What does being conservative have to do with reviewing science instructional materials, Gail? Science students in Texas don't need materials vetted by people pushing political and personal agendas.  They simply need classroom materials based on 21st-century science that is backed by sound research and facts. Of course, what Lowe really means by "conservative" is "creationist." Two years ago Lowe and other evolution deniers on the state board seeded the new science curriculum standards with requirements that open the door to creationist arguments in classrooms. Now they want to…… Read More

Yesterday, TFN broke the news that a creationist organization had formally notified the State Board of Education of its intention to submit materials for the upcoming science adoption. And not just any creationist organization — the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) is the publisher of the infamous textbook Of Pandas and People that landed a school in Dover, PA in court for forcing religious ideas on students in science class. The resulting ruling (Kitzmiller v. Dover) was an epic smack-down from which the “intelligent design” movement has not yet recovered.

Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have passed along some helpful background on FTE’s involvement in that landmark case. So here’s some homework for science-defenders in Texas:

Critique: “Of Pandas and People”

FTE Seeks to Intervene in Dover

Over for FTE in Dover

FTE InterventionRead More

Breaking news from today's State Board of Education meeting. The long and short of it -- the war on science is officially back on in Texas. See TFN's press statement for the basics. And watch TFN Insider for more in the days to come. CREATIONIST GROUP PUSHES ANTI-EVOLUTION MATERIALS IN TEXAS SCIENCE CLASSES Texas SBOE Asked To Consider Materials from Fringe Anti-Science Group FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 20, 2011 In a move that should not surprise anyone, a well-known creationist/“intelligent design” group appeared on a list of publishers that have indicated an intent to submit science curriculum materials for approval by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) later this spring. The formal inclusion of this creationist group means Texas will once again be ground zero for creationist attacks on 21st-century science, TFN President Kathy Miller said. “In 2009 the State Board of Education approved new science curriculum standards that opened the door to creationist materials in Texas classrooms. Today we saw that one prominent creationist group intends to walk through that door,” Miller said. “Getting their materials in public schools has long been a top priority for creationists, and it’s clear that they intend to make Texas their flagship. Read More