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Tell the Texas board of ed.: Don't mess with textbooks!

The Texas state board of education is preparing to adopt textbooks, and anti-science ideologues want to hijack the process. Creationists and climate change deniers appointed as reviewers by extremists on the board have flooded publishers with demands for corrections of supposed factual errors — corrections that would make the books less accurate. The board of education needs to hear from you at their meeting on Tuesday, September 17.

Don't Mess With Textbooks, written inside the Texas state outlineTextbook adoption in Texas is a big deal: publishers on the approved list will have easier access to one of the largest textbook markets in the hemisphere. Publishers often tailor their textbooks to meet the demands of the state board of education and its appointed reviewers, even when the demands are driven not by honest science, but by religious and political ideology. The rules don't let publishers simply toss these misguided complaints out the window.

Here's a sampling of the sorts of creationist and climate change denial — pseudoscience and falsehoods — publishers must confront:

On evolution:

  • “I feel very firmly that 'creation science' based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”
  • “Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification.”
  • “evolutionary theory is challenged by science, reason and mathematics.”
  • “Presentation fails to include metaphysics (not a pseudoscience) as a limitation to scientific inquiry.”
  • “Modern evolutionary biology is based on comparisons of DNA sequence information, not fossil records.”
  • “molecular phylogenies are notorious for not agreeing with phylogenies based on morphology.”
  • “Eroneously [sic] states ‘use of DNA characters…has helped to make evolutionary trees more accurate.’”
  • “Recombination … The nauthors [sic] make it sound as though this is a mechanism of evolution.”
  • “Genetic drift is not an evolutionary mechanism.”
  • “Cladistics is also mis used [sic]. Cladistics is simply about similarities and differences. Relationship is inferred but not the aim of cladistics.”

On climate change:

  • “First we don't really know that the carbon Cycle [sic] has been altered. CO2 is being returned to the atmosphere that was sequestered in fossil fuels in earlier times.”
  • “CO2 levels have been much higher in the past and life survived just fine.”
  • “Plants always grow better with higher CO2 levels.”
  • “No mention is made of the benefit to plants of higher CO2 concentrations.”
  • “The earth has not warmed now for 16 years and the sun spot cycle is approaching a long minimum that willreduce [sic] temperatures.”

The Texas state board of education will hold its first hearing on science textbook adoption Tuesday, September 17. Sign up below to learn more about how to register to testify at the hearing, and to learn more about how to defend honest, accurate textbooks in Texas. They need to hear from you now: tell them that you don't want publishers to be forced to rewrite textbooks on the basis of these flawed and ideological reviews. Ask them to ensure that their staff relies on accurate science, not ideology, in negotiating how publishers revise the textbooks Texas students will use for the next decade.

By signing up below, you'll get up-to-date information about when and where hearings will happen, what you have to do to ensure you get a chance to speak, and how to prepare your statement for the board. And if you can't attend, we'll offer other ways for you to ensure the board hears your concerns. You can be sure the creationists and climate change deniers will be out in force on the 17th, and we need you there as well.

Will you join NCSE and your fellow Texans for science education in fighting for honest science education, without any taint of religious or political ideology? Sign up below to get more information. Please also pledge to make your voice heard by contacting the board of education and attending the board of education meeting on Tuesday, September 17. We will follow up with additional resources to help you reach out effectively.

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