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Publishers Resist Pressure to Undermine Evolution Coverage in Texas Science Textbooks

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posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:58 PM
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Materials submitted to the Texas Education Agency and examined by the Texas Freedom Network and university scientists show that publishers are resisting pressure to undermine instruction on evolution in their proposed new high school biology textbooks for public schools.

(Microraptor fossil with feathers at the American Museum of Natural History in New York)

“This is a very welcome development for everyone who opposes teaching phony science about evolution in our kid’s public schools,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. “Texas parents can applaud these publishers for standing up to pressure from politicians and activists who want to put their personal beliefs ahead of giving Texas students a 21st-century science education.”

Publishers submitted their proposed science textbooks for adoption in Texas last April. Last month State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, asked publishers to submit by Oct. 4 any changes they propose to meet objections to content raised by citizens appointed to review the textbooks. The Texas Education Agency made the publishers’ proposed changes available to the public on Oct. 11.

Some reviewers had criticized the proposed biology textbooks for failing to include a variety of discredited arguments attacking evolution. For example, reviewers lowered the rating of one textbook because it didn’t include the inaccurate claim that scientists have found no transitional fossils and that “the fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification.” Another reviewer insisted that all of the textbooks teach “creation science based on Biblical principles” alongside evolution.



It seems to me the publishers are not willing to take part in dumbing down the population anymore. Could they have grown a conscious? I kind of doubt it but it may have something to do with the public outcry that had been reported on about the known Creationists on Texas Panel for Biology Textbooks. From that thread you will see many parents were worried about their kids not being able to compete for jobs in technical field. It seems their fears were well founded. Even the people that compete for the state’s business by printing the school text books think so.




posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 12:15 AM
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I hate those people, I really do. Texans are so dumb already, do they really need to try to dumb them down even further?



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 12:27 AM
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Creation science cannot ever be proved and as such should never be included in text-books.

Its why the Bible exists.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 01:07 AM
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lol evolution is true look!
I have proof!
heh, apparently the same can be said about de-evolution.

I wasn't taught about god in Texas schools btw, that came from upbringing.

edit on 17-10-2013 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 01:39 AM
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Nephalim
lol evolution is true look!
I have proof!
heh, apparently the same can be said about de-evolution.

I wasn't taught about god in Texas schools btw, that came from upbringing.


Daggonnit ... Coffee spewed all over my iPad.

I think evolution should be given the same credibility as ... whatevahs ... until it is repeatedly demonstrated by the scientific method. It's all religion or soft science 'til then. Who cares what people believe?



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:10 AM
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Naw, you know I saw over on twitter that folks were making a big deal about creationism vs evolutionist theory in textbooks or some mess like that. I thought about it for a minute and figured whats the harm in teaching both? If you tell a Texan there were big critters roaming the earth at some point, hes only only going to ask why he missed the big hunt. LOL

Christians have nothing to worry about, cept maybe having to fix the retardation pushed into their kids minds by science "facts" that seem to change every other year. People by nature gravitate toward stability, not instability right? So, one year its "don't drink milk!" The next its "milk does the body good!" People with any common sense just drink the damn milk and get on with life because they know the farmer who raised the cow.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:18 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


Public education and textbooks are going to be gone in about 7 years. Public education will be for the people wanting public babysitting for their drugged up 5 year olds -

People who care about their children aren't going to send them to these places, they will pay for private school, or home school. You can learn so much more and not be in mortal danger by keeping your kids in safe places.

The public school kids won't ever learn how to read Dick and Jane - let alone "science books".



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 03:26 AM
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Creationism and Evolutionism are synonymous!!



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 10:49 AM
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AbleEndangered
Creationism and Evolutionism are synonymous!!


How so? One a myth that was written by people who new nothing of science and the other is a scientific theory backed up by evidence.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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Grimpachi

AbleEndangered
Creationism and Evolutionism are synonymous!!


How so? One a myth that was written by people who new nothing of science and the other is a scientific theory backed up by evidence.



Creationism and Evolution will soon fall under a single theory!!

Nobel Prize WInner...
George Smoot: The design of the universe
www.youtube.com/watch?v=c64Aia4XE1Y
www.youtube.com...


Carefully listen to his introduction...

A lot of Nobel Prizes have been pointing to design lately.

Really, all the prizes....ever...



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by AbleEndangered
 


IMO you are reading into what he is saying. I never heard him say god did it or any variation of that if he did tell me where I am not much into lectures I would much rather read.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 08:04 PM
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Let's see... what is a publisher motivated by? Selling books. Before anyone holds them in esteem for resisting the so-called "dumbing down" of the population, remember that. They're not interested in anything else.



posted on Oct, 19 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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Here is a update the publishers have told the Texas Board of Education NO. They will not be adding creationism to the biology books. Greed did not win out with them. Finally some sanity.



It appears that science is prevailing in the latest battle over Texas schoolbooks.

Though earlier this year several of the state’s textbook reviewers called for biology textbooks to discuss creationism, publishers are not complying with those requests, according to the Texas Freedom Network. The nonpartisan watchdog examined material made public by the Texas Education Agency and found that publishers are sticking with teaching evolution.

Citizens who serve on the Texas review panels are charged with making suggestions about proposed classroom texts that are being considered for the state's list of “approved” schoolbooks. While most reviewers on this year’s biology panel made routine, noncontroversial suggestions, some took issue with the fact that the proposed books did not include information about creationism while focusing on evolution.

However, information that publishers submitted to the Texas Education Agency show they are not incorporating the suggestions about "creation science" and plan to print books free of references to the theory of intelligent design.

“This is a very welcome development for everyone who opposes teaching phony science about evolution in our kid’s public schools,” said Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller in a press release. “Texas parents can applaud these publishers for standing up to pressure from politicians and activists who want to put their personal beliefs ahead of giving Texas students a 21st-century science education.”
link



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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Let's see... what is a publisher motivated by? Selling books. Before anyone holds them in esteem for resisting the so-called "dumbing down" of the population, remember that. They're not interested in anything else.
reply to post by NthOther
 


You're completely right. The publishers have acted properly here, but have pretty much only a profit motive. The science authors were the genesis (pun intended) of the push for teaching *science* in science classes. Editors had been pushing internally for years against ID and creationist text, but had hardly effected any change

Ken Miller and Joe Levine, authors of the most popular Biology textbook, waged a fight against creation in the classroom, against states that wanted creationism and ID taught alongside the theory of evolution.

www.millerandlevine.com...
www.millerandlevine.com... (I am most familiar with the issues surrounding release of the "dragonfly" book, which is where the most blood was spilled in this argument.)

This battle was awkward for the publisher, Prentice Hall (which was later absorbed by Pearson). The publisher was forced into the unwelcome position of having to fight to win the Texas adoption (and the Kansas adoption, and so on) while trying to placate and shut up these authors, Miller and Levine, who were famous and respected enough that they could take their names and titles to another publisher. It's the authors who would not furnish or sign off on a text that was at odds with what they considered the most accurate presentation (to put it mildly).

This argument, which the authors took public, resulted in a very ugly national response to the publisher's neutrality on the issue. This and future efforts on the part of publishers to present accurate teaching materials are a principled stance in word only. The profit motive remains (even if the editors are principled), but the publishers know they'll get killed in the press if they send a book to any state that flouts science, and that could hurt sales in states that aren't in sway to the religious right.

In those days, I got a kick out of this: en.wikipedia.org...

Who can say with any certainty that Creation and, so, this very post, and this computer, and desk upon which it rests is not all the work of His Noodly Appendage?
edit on 20-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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A lot of Nobel Prizes have been pointing to design lately.
reply to post by AbleEndangered
 


It's important to separate two threads, which are being conflated. What has happened on Earth in the last 500 million years is one thread. The working theory is Evolution, which is fairly knowable and observable. And then there's discussion of what happened at the moment of the creation of the universe, which is a subject with several working theories, none of which are particularly dispositive to the others. The Big Bang theory is both a terrible tv show and a theory that's almost exactly as falsifiable as string theory or the holographic model.

So when you want to teach the creation of the universe, it makes sense to teach the argument. Hell, calling something an act of God makes sense in that vacuum of knowledge and observation. When you're teaching how bacteria have evolved to respond to antibiotics, it would be strange to argue divine intervention alongside observed action. (This was funny and apt: stupidevilbastard.com...)

Here's more:
www.nytimes.com...
www.cell.com...



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 06:14 PM
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Happy1
reply to post by Grimpachi
 


Public education and textbooks are going to be gone in about 7 years. Public education will be for the people wanting public babysitting for their drugged up 5 year olds -

People who care about their children aren't going to send them to these places, they will pay for private school, or home school. You can learn so much more and not be in mortal danger by keeping your kids in safe places.

The public school kids won't ever learn how to read Dick and Jane - let alone "science books".

I agree, I have been wondering why so much energy is being put into this fight. It seems to me to be just another reason to cast public schools and generic textbooks aside. Doesn't this just reaffirm the case for home and private schooling?
edit on 20-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


I knew it! I mean, I know that we're responsible for putting Ted Cruz in the Senate and all but I knew that we had to have at least a few sane people left here in the state.


On a more serious note, this is really good news that I wasn't expecting to hear. Thanks for posting. F&S
edit on 20-10-2013 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 07:03 PM
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Public education will be for the people wanting public babysitting for their drugged up 5 year olds -
reply to post by greencmp

The reality is that a lot of families need two incomes. There are working-poor families, there are single-parent families, there are people who live in (and pay taxes in) towns with good public schools. I'm sure some of these parents are not monsters.



It seems to me to be just another reason to cast public schools and generic textbooks aside. Doesn't this just reaffirm the case for home and private schooling?

 


One: There's a level of affluence and parent wherewithal that you're assuming. I wouldn't be in good shape if my parents, bless their hearts, had been required to either teach me Algebra 2 or provide for private school tuition. There's an element of "wouldn't it be great if eleven other outside things lined up perfectly for every family" to what you're saying. We can't rewrite the state of the household and the external economic pressures on a family in order to allow for home-schooling. Yes, it's better, and yes I know the population of home-schooled kids is going to do better than the population of public school kids, in this reality. In a reality where that's required or private school is necessitated, I'm not sure that entire population of kids does better. I'm also not sure that best serves the national economic interest, if you go back to something like 30% illiteracy in the population, which is about what we saw at the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, before the real institution of public education.

Two: There is a role for good publishers in all these scenarios. You seem to imply a disparagement of "generic" textbooks. What is the opposite of a "generic" Chemistry book? Should every parent re-learn chemistry so it can be taught to their kid? Textbook publishers hire authors and curate content. If they do this well, their imprint begins to mean something, and it begins to confer some trust on the part of the buyer that the content will be accurate and rigorous. I could make the case here that the profit motives of Venture-Caps who have wandered blindly into the publishing space have retarded the work of good publishers by eliminating copyediting and rigorous user review from the workflow. But I think that will work itself out. The world has a use for good books, and there will always be a mechanism that people use to find that good content. If Wikipedia or Apple cracks that, and if those materials become available for free, I will be elated, and I'll go live my dream of becoming a forest ranger, full of heart that the problem is in more capable hands. I have my suspicions that that is not going to happen, but for the sake of argument, sure. Maybe we don't need a room full of editors who know their way around the subject matter, some with teaching experience, some with specific advanced degrees, most of them parents, challenging one another's assertions to come up with a good curriculum. Maybe we don't then need a local review board comprised of that district's teachers and administrators and parents to reargue all of those things and push back on the publisher for changes, who will push back in kind. All that wasted time discussing, over and over again, establishing for one publisher (of four, with many specialized players) what its offering will be (which is then customized and rearranged endlessly). Maybe this is all sound and fury signifying nothing. I think it all makes better "generic" books, and I think the discussion itself has merit, even if not one book is produced.

Three: The number of home-schooled and private-schooled children is rising. That's good. And/but, this is actually pulling money out of public schools, so maybe there is a tipping point where public schools become a really terrible thing to do with your kids in any town. I hope that takes at least a little while. And I worry what happens to the kids whose parents don't know Algebra 2, and also can't swing 10 or 15k a year for three kids. Call me a softie.



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 07:20 PM
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michael22


Public education will be for the people wanting public babysitting for their drugged up 5 year olds -
reply to post by greencmp

The reality is that a lot of families need two incomes. There are working-poor families, there are single-parent families, there are people who live in (and pay taxes in) towns with good public schools. I'm sure some of these parents are not monsters.



It seems to me to be just another reason to cast public schools and generic textbooks aside. Doesn't this just reaffirm the case for home and private schooling?

 


One: There's a level of affluence and parent wherewithal that you're assuming. I wouldn't be in good shape if my parents, bless their hearts, had been required to either teach me Algebra 2 or provide for private school tuition. There's an element of "wouldn't it be great if eleven other outside things lined up perfectly for every family" to what you're saying. We can't rewrite the state of the household and the external economic pressures on a family in order to allow for home-schooling. Yes, it's better, and yes I know the population of home-schooled kids is going to do better than the population of public school kids, in this reality. In a reality where that's required or private school is necessitated, I'm not sure that entire population of kids does better. I'm also not sure that best serves the national economic interest, if you go back to something like 30% illiteracy in the population, which is about what we saw at the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, before the real institution of public education.

Two: There is a role for good publishers in all these scenarios. You seem to imply a disparagement of "generic" textbooks. What is the opposite of a "generic" Chemistry book? Should every parent re-learn chemistry so it can be taught to their kid? Textbook publishers hire authors and curate content. If they do this well, their imprint begins to mean something, and it begins to confer some trust on the part of the buyer that the content will be accurate and rigorous. I could make the case here that the profit motives of Venture-Caps who have wandered blindly into the publishing space have retarded the work of good publishers by eliminating copyediting and rigorous user review from the workflow. But I think that will work itself out. The world has a use for good books, and there will always be a mechanism that people use to find that good content. If Wikipedia or Apple cracks that, and if those materials become available for free, I will be elated, and I'll go live my dream of becoming a forest ranger, full of heart that the problem is in more capable hands. I have my suspicions that that is not going to happen, but for the sake of argument, sure. Maybe we don't need a room full of editors who know their way around the subject matter, some with teaching experience, some with specific advanced degrees, most of them parents, challenging one another's assertions to come up with a good curriculum. Maybe we don't then need a local review board comprised of that district's teachers and administrators and parents to reargue all of those things and push back on the publisher for changes, who will push back in kind. All that wasted time discussing, over and over again, establishing for one publisher (of four, with many specialized players) what its offering will be (which is then customized and rearranged endlessly). Maybe this is all sound and fury signifying nothing. I think it all makes better "generic" books, and I think the discussion itself has merit, even if not one book is produced.

Three: The number of home-schooled and private-schooled children is rising. That's good. And/but, this is actually pulling money out of public schools, so maybe there is a tipping point where public schools become a really terrible thing to do with your kids in any town. I hope that takes at least a little while. And I worry what happens to the kids whose parents don't know Algebra 2, and also can't swing 10 or 15k a year for three kids. Call me a softie.

Well, if it just the money you are worried about and don't want to change the tax structure (not my solution, obviously), why not just allow the already allocated funds to go to home or private schooling and eliminate public school altogether?

We spend an average of $10K to 15K per child here in Massachusetts, that seems to be more than enough.



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 07:47 PM
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Well, if it just the money you are worried about and don't want to change the tax structure (not my solution, obviously), why not just allow the already allocated funds to go to home or private schooling and eliminate public school altogether?

We spend an average of $10K to 15K per child here in Massachusetts, that seems to be more than enough.
reply to post by greencmp
 


Well it's not the money at all. Right now, homeschooling parents are self-selecting, so of course they're going to excel at it. And wealthy people (most of whom are well-educated to begin with) can afford private school, which has access to the best teachers, because there is this lower pool of public school teachers who want to make more money. (Right now, private school has a farm system.) For most rich kids, the having of smart parents is a profoundly relevant predeterminant to the raising of intelligent kids who go to good colleges. So you're looking at beautiful data under perfect circumstances.

I'd just like for this to go slowly, because there is a flattening of opportunity that comes with a decent level of access to a fairly inadequate K-12 education. Burning that down, tossing aside all learned lessons, and starting anew seems reckless at best. We're trying new models for homeschooling, and "private school" is not a monolith. I'm with you, a little.

I'll leave you with this unsupported assertion: there are public schools that outperform private schools in student outcomes.

By the way, how do you define student outcomes? [sets bear trap, puts leaves over it, whistles indifferently]









 
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