Board of Education Engulfed in Debate Over Evolution
Long-simmering ideological objections to teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science textbooks but held up one biology tome because of alleged factual errors.
With midnight looming, some board members on Thursday singled out a textbook by Pearson Education, one of America’s largest publishers. They voiced questions about the book’s assertions on natural selection, noting that the theory of evolution is only part of the explanation for how life developed on Earth.
After a lengthy — sometimes testy — debate, the board voted to have three of its members pick a trio of outside experts to scrutinize the book.
If the issues can be resolved in the coming weeks, it will win approval. If not, the book will be returned to the board for consideration at its January meeting.
What Texas decides is important nationally since it is so large that many books prepared for publication in the state also are marketed elsewhere around the country.