Last week we reported that publishers are resisting pressure to dumb down instruction on evolution in the new science textbooks they are proposing for Texas public schools. And we asked you to send publishers an email thanking them for standing up for science despite the efforts of anti-evolution activists on and off the State Board of Education to undermine the education of a generation of Texas students.

The response has been spectacular — thousands of emails have flooded into publishers offices. As of this afternoon, in fact, 6,276 people have sent a “thank you” email to the 14 publishers who submitted textbooks and online instructional materials for high school biology classes this year.

Publishers are hearing the collective voices of parents and other Texans who are tired of anti-science fanatics who want public schools to lie to students and teach discredited arguments against evolution. It’s not too late to add your name to a “thank you” to publishers for refusing to bow to those demands. Just click here.

This battle isn’t over yet. The State Board of Education still must vote on whether to adopt these new textbooks and other instructional materials, which could be classrooms for up… Read More

We have now had our first look at changes publishers have submitted in response to objections — many of them attacks on evolution and climate change science — raised by official state review teams evaluating new science textbooks for Texas. And we have very encouraging news:

All 14 publishers are refusing to water down or compromise instruction on evolution and climate change in their proposed new high school biology textbooks.

These publishers deserve our thanks for standing up to pressure from right-wing politicians and activists working to corrupt the science in our children’s textbooks.

Click here to add your name to a “thank  you” email to publishers.

But this battle isn’t over yet. The State Board of Education still must vote to adopt these new textbooks and other instructional materials, which will be classrooms for up to a decade. In past years, ideologues on the state board have refused to adopt textbooks simply because they have political objections to factual content. So in the weeks leading up to the state board’s final vote on November 22, it’s important that we keep fighting to prevent right-wing politicians from putting their personal agendas ahead of the education of… Read More

Yet another Texas science professor has stepped forward to challenge one of the inaccurate textbook reviews prepared by an SBOE-appointed science review panel (see last week’s installment here). This one comes from Dr. Rick Hammer, a professor of botany, ecology, and environmental ethics at Hardin-Simmons University, and he zeros in on the misleading claims about climate change made by Ray Bohlin in his official review of  the Pearson/Prentice-Hall biology textbook:

“In his critique, Bohlin states that ‘No mention is made of the benefit to plants of higher CO2 concentrations’ and that ‘plants always grow better under higher CO2 levels.’ This is an uninformed generalization. Plant biologists have only begun to study the effects of elevated CO2 levels on plant growth. Given our understanding of plant physiology and ecology, we can confidently predict that plants in general will find environments with elevated CO2 levels more favorable for growth.”

There’s plenty more — read his full rebuttal of Bohlin’s anti-climate change propaganda here.

I’d like to call attention to another interesting thing about Dr. Hammer’s article. It was written for the Christian magazine Sojourners, and Hammer identifies himself as a Christian who supports… Read More

“The dietician actually has a degree in food science technology, and they have to take all kinds of science courses, I know, at colleges. And then the person you’re referring to is the retired businessman specializing in finance was the gentleman with the doctorate from Princeton in chemical engineering, so he’s certainly qualified. I’m looking at this list, and I’d be happy to show it to anybody that wants to look. Our biology panels, and there were three panels, because we did have a lot of interest. And I want to know, where were the teachers when we put out the call all over the state? I know they were busy teaching, but a lot of the reviews were done this summer. So please, please, in the future, get the word out to your contacts because we needed more help, actually.”

That’s Barbara Cargill, the Republican chairwoman of the Texas State Board of Education, responding to critics who say the official state review panels for new high school biology textbooks this year were stacked with unqualified ideologues who reject evolution.

The claim that a dietician with a degree in food science technology… Read More

Ryan Valentine, Texas Freedom Network’s deputy director, spoke on MSNBC today about our work defending science in this year’s textbook adoption at the State Board of Education. Check it out and see how Ryan puts to lie claims by anti-evolution activists that they just want students to be able to “ask questions”:

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