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STANDING UP FOR SCIENCE

Evolution and Climate Change

What students should learn about evolution in public school science classrooms has long been at the center of heated debates at the Texas State Board of Education. In 2003, for example, creationists tried (unsuccessfully) to reject proposed new science textbooks that didn't include discredited arguments about "weaknesses" of evolution.

Then in 2009, TFN and our coalition partners persuaded a majority of state board members to strip out of new science curriculum standards a requirement that public school students learn about those phony "weaknesses" of evolution. Unfortunately, far-right state board members and pressure groups managed to seed the new science curriculum standards with other measures they hoped would force publishers to insert anti-evolution propaganda into new textbooks and instructional materials. They also adopted standards that question not just what the scientific evidence tells us about the causes of climate change, but also whether climate change is happening at all.

The first test of the creationists' anti-evolution strategy in Texas came in 2011, when publishers submitted online instructional materials for use in science classes. Working with our coalition partners, educators scholars and parents, however, TFN blocked efforts to force publishers to distort the science on evolution.

The State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt new science textbooks in November 2013. What new textbooks say about evolution and climate change will be the main areas of debate during this adoption. You can help TFN ensure that Texas students learn established, mainstream science in those textbooks:

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Other TFN Resources

Read more about the the war on science on TFN Insider.
Read more about the 2013 Texas science textbook adoption on TFN Insider.
Read more about the 2011 Texas science textbook adoption on TFN Insider.
Read more about the debate over climate change on TFN Insider.
Watch SBOE members in action in our video archive.

More information

National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
NCSE critique: Of Pandas and People
NCSE: Foundation for Truth and  Ethics and Kitzmiller v Dover (2005)