The issue of creationism is once again at the center of the Texas textbook debate.
A public hearing in Austin sparked a rally and angry words from both sides of the issue on Tuesday. Creationist critics say the State Board of Education is still too conservative, while opponents think more than just Darwin should be taught. "To give a well-rounded education, go ahead and include both," says Dallas ISD teacher and parent Rain Valente.
Those who believe only in evolution feel their beliefs are slowly being eroded in Austin.
The Texas Freedom Network argues the State Board of Education and textbook publishers are quietly slipping "God" into the classroom. "Many State Board of Education members appointed unqualified and ideologically motivated folks to the official review teams for text books, they've recommended everything from teaching creation science in all biology textbooks, which is actually unconstitutional," says Kathy Miller.
In 1987, The U.S. Supreme Court banned teaching creationism in science classes.
But former State Board member and creationist advocate Don McLeroy believes Texas students should be exposed to biblical tenets. "Ironically, evolutionists argue that creationists want to force their religious views on the text, but just the teaching of biology does that, and teaching evolution demonstrates that's not how God did it, since true testable science trumps dogmatism. Strike the final blow to the teaching of evolution, support the Bible, and adopt these books," says McLeroy.
The seven high school biology textbooks the board is evaluating will be used for the next eight years in public schools.
The State Board of Education will not vote on any textbook changes until November. School districts are not required to buy textbooks the board adopts, but most of them do.
KDFW FOX 4
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