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Four Texas Nobelists Agree: Don't Mess with Textbooks

An op-ed piece by Alfred Gilman, who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and signed by sixteen members of the National Academy of Science and/or the Institute of Medicine, including three other Nobel laureates, appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, September 21, 2003. All of the signatories live and work in north Texas.

In their op-ed, Gilman and his cosigners urge the members of the Texas Board of Education, who are presently deciding whether eleven high school biology textbooks are suitable for adoption by the state, to "render a decision based solely on whether the texts are scientifically accurate" and to discount the objections from antievolutionists, which "have been refuted in great detail by scientists in testimony prepared for the state board and in analyses of the central arguments raised by opponents of the texts."

They observe, "those supposedly scientific challenges are directed selectively at the theory of evolution. ... Clearly, the motivation for the current challenges lies not in science, and the scientific classroom is not the proper forum for such a debate."

The op-ed concludes by calling upon "our scientific, engineering and medical colleagues across the state to deliver a similar message to the board," which is scheduled to make its decisions about the textbooks at its next meeting on November 6–7.