Evolution and Religious Creationism Clash

Evolution education debate

 

Evolution has long clashed among those with strong religious creationism beliefs.  Texas board of education members from a recent meeting are arguing about new science textbooks and factual errors that are supposedly causing skin to crawl.  It seems again that evolution and religious creationism is causing a huge clash in the education system again.

A textbook by Pearson Education was singled out because of the strong suspicions on natural selection that are described in the book.  It was argued that the theory of evolution is only part of the explanation of how life started on this earth.  The debate ended up being a long and nasty argument, so the Texas board decided that three members are to decide what experts should be chosen in order to pick apart the text-book.

If these arguments are not resolved within four weeks, the text-book will then be rejected or it may be returned to the board for another meeting in January.  The Texas board took another vote on their previous decision on Friday, of course no further discussion was carried out.  What comes out of this debate is important nationally because many textbooks are published there and distributed across the country.

Texas seems to have a long history with debates on textbook curriculum, especially when it comes down to those who have strong beliefs in creationism-those who believe that God also had a hand in evolution and the creation of the universe.  As well as those who base their beliefs strictly on science that worry about religion and politics tainting the facts of science.  Currently the textbooks under debate are for high-school students and these books could be used for next year carrying into the years toward 2022.

Textbooks were to be submitted by publishers this summer, but some former and current creationist Texas committee volunteers gave a big thumbs down.  One volunteer said that the books should be based off of biblical texts to be taught in science class rooms, while others argued that the debate on climate change and evolution has not been settled as the textbook so claimed.  Of course Pearson and other major textbook publishers are not willing to change anything in these textbooks.  Pearson has even challenged a so-called list of errors that the panel said was in the biology books.

Some of the concerns involved opinions that discussed how long it took for the earth to cool, to questions that discuss the modern fossil record in regards to gradual appearance of species to sudden appearance.  Many board members also wanted textbooks to mention a higher being that gave a helping hand in such matters.

“It seems that the process is being hijacked, if not being held hostage due to political and religious beliefs,” said Thomas Ratliff, the boards Vice Chairman.  According to Ratliff’s opinion, he believes over half of the U.S. classrooms are using the same biology book right now.   Ratliff laughs at the fact that such arguments over whether the earth cooled in 4 billion years or 4.2 billion years late at night is just crazy.  Although his colleagues say this is not a laughing matter.

Now it also seems that Bill Nye the science guy has something to say about evolution being taught in schools.  He says that such arguments over teaching proper science is jeopardizing the future of our children.  Nye says that it is not all about religious beliefs, it is about the future of the economy in the U.S. that is at stake.

Now it seems that Bill Nye the science guy has something to say about the evolution and religious creationism clash.  He says that such arguments over teaching proper science is jeopardizing the future of our children.  Nye says that it is not all about religious beliefs, it is about the future of the economy in the U.S. that is at stake.  This whole issue could compromise how students will process the concept of science, and the process of how science works is at risk.

By Tina Elliott

 

 UT San Diego

Huffpost

Los Vegas Sun

4 Responses to "Evolution and Religious Creationism Clash"

  1. lary9   December 23, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Tina Elliott has misinformed us. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was sought out by Huffington Post to make an observation on the Texas School Board kerfuffle. It’s what he does—he’s a teacher and a scientist. Furthermore, he doesn’t argue, as she has stated directly, that evolution is true because it’s necessary for our economic futures ( which it is) in science and technology. He argues that evolution is true, factual and overwhelmingly accepted and utilized in science & technology—therefore, it behooves us to teach it properly. Shame on you for misleading people. Did you misread the article about Nye or intend to obfuscate?

    Reply
    • Tina Elliott   December 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Nothing was stated to mislead anyone other than what Bill Nye argues as his point..as you stated, “He argues that evolution is true, factual and overwhelmingly accepted and utilized in science & technology—therefore, it behooves us to teach it properly.” so how is what I stated misleading if you also stated he ‘argues’ such a point. I believe you greatly misunderstood the statements I was trying to get across.

      Reply
  2. Gary Hurd   November 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Texas state education law requires that local school boards select from a list of “approved” books. (Until 2009, the State School Board chose the books to be used by all Texas public schools). Since Texas is such a large market for school text books, publishers have in the past surrendered to political demands from the religious-right by making changes – most often deleting sections related to evolution.

    The review for the current round of textbooks has been finished, and midnight Nov. 21 was the supposed deadline for the board to vote on selection.

    As the deadline approached, creationists on the Board rallied to the objections largely raised by a creationist reviewer, Ide Trotter, about a hugely popular high school biology textbook, and an oil company employee, Becky Berger, who objected to an environmental science / geology textbook. The original reviews, and replies by publishers, and educators can be accessed from the Texas Freedom Network. To advance the vote, the Board agreed to appoint a new panel of 3 independent experts to re-review the initial objections, and the publisher’s responses. They have just four weeks to finish this work. Fortunately, the so-called objections from creationist reviews have been independently reviewed, and rebutted already by Dr. Ron Wetherington, an evolutionary anthropologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    Reply
  3. Chris Weiss   November 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I hope that Pearson and the other publishers hold firm.

    Reply

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