31 August 2009

Did they say that? Is evolution optional in Texas textbooks?

An editorial in the Corpus Christi Caller takes some shots at the Texas State Board of Education:

(T)he State Board of Education has rarely failed in its efforts to look ridiculous, as when it voted, some time back, not to require biology textbooks to include the theory of evolution.

I think that’s incorrect. It’s hard to tell, since the science standards (which were earlier this year, and which I wrote about at length) are rather different from textbook adoption (which hasn’t happened yet).

If you look at the high school science standards that go into effect next year, section §112.34.(c).7 says:

The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life.

There it is, plain as day. It’s a required standard. Textbooks will have to have it in there.

Evolution is not optional in Texas public high schools.

True, Texans should not be proud of their science standards. But at least Texas isn’t the butt of a joke in Futurama. If you missed it last night, the latest movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder, features a gag in the first bit about evolution.

Thank you, Kansas.

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