The Knox County Board of Education in Tennessee is considering an appeal for the removal of a biology book that one parent says is biased against creationism.
Asking About Life, Kurt Zimmermann contends, shows "a clear bias by the authors towards Christianity."
The textbook defines creationism as "the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in 7 days."
The school board addressed the appeal during a three-hour work session Monday evening. The panel heard one local resident testify against the textbook.
Richard Dawson, who wrote his master's thesis on the theory of evolution and has two daughters with teaching degrees, said while the question at hand is about whether creationism is a myth, his question is: "Is evolution a myth?"
"There is no good science supporting the theory of evolution," Dawson maintained before the school board. "No one anywhere knows how to create life in a laboratory. There's no proof that spontaneous generation can or ever occurred.
"If the theory of evolution is compared to a baseball game it is like a batter who strikes out at the first plate. He can't get on first base."
In December, Zimmermann appealed the findings of a review committee that recommended the continued use of the biology textbook in question. Though the committee said an explanation of the word "myth" and why it was used in that context would be helpful, it concluded that the book was "appropriate" for an honors level biology course.
One member of the committee had the same initial reaction as Zimmermann in feeling that the textbook authors were biased against the Christian view of the world. But "upon further investigation," the committee member realized that the word "myth" was used appropriately in this case and cited dictionary.com in defining myth as "a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a ... natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities."
The textbook was brought to the attention of Zimmermann, whose son attends Farragut High School, from students in his Bible study class. He said the description on creationism (on page 319) misleads, belittles and discourages students from believing in creationism.
"I would not recommend for any age group, the book should be pulled," he wrote in his request to the board. He called for "non-bias textbooks" in its place.
The school board will further discuss and vote on Zimmermann's request on Wednesday.