Controversial Texas Biology Textbook Gets Approved Despite Criticism From Creationists Who Say It Contains Factual Errors

A review panel for the Texas State Board of Education has approved a biology textbook that had been criticized by Creationists for alleged factual errors.

The approval of the Pearson biology textbook was delayed earlier this year over allegations of factual inaccuracy, and has been added to the approved list.

Debbie Ratcliffe, director of media relations for the Texas Education Agency, told The Christian Post about the process the biology textbook went through.

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"The three reviewers found that none of the issues that were raised as mistakes or errors were actually wrong. So the book will now be placed on the approved textbook list," said Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe added that with the approval of the textbook, "it will be available for classroom use next fall."

Last month the Texas Board of Education approved science books for academic usage, but delayed a decision on a biology textbook over allegations it contained factual errors.

In a 10-page report several issues were brought up, including when the earth began to cool (4 billion vs. 4.2 billion years ago), the extent of how fossils demonstrated evolution, and how many mutations are considered successful ("some" vs. "most"). The report also took issue with the usage of the fossil find Tiktaalik as an example of "chordate evolution."

Pearson Education Inc., publisher of the proposed biology textbook, disputed all the listed errors and listed their rebuttals in the same report.

Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute told Dallas Morning News in November that he took issue with the Pearson biology textbook.

"[The textbook] will leave students in the dark about contemporary mainstream scientific controversies over Darwinian evolution," said Meyer.

"Unfortunately, because Texas is a major purchaser of textbooks, the board's action may have an adverse impact on science education across America for years to come."

The National Center for Science Education, a critic of efforts to insert anti-evolution and Creationist views into public science classes, lauded the review panel's decision.

"Our goal has always been to protect publishers from political pressure, and to keep the board from politicizing textbooks, so that the 'Texas edition' would be a mark of quality and not a warning label," said Joshua Rosenau of NCSE in a statement.

"With this decision, Texas teachers and students can finally be confident that any Texas edition science textbook reflects good science and a thorough presentation of evolution."

According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 46 percent of Americans believe God created mankind within the past 10,000 years without any evolutionary aid.

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