The always entertaining State Board of Education is scheduled to take up biology textbooks this year, which usually means someone will be pushing to get a whole lot of creationism/intelligent design in there instead of actual science.
One of the big boys in the creationism game, the Foundation for Thought & Ethics, had signalled they were ready to join the fray, but now they have decided to sit things out.
Jon Buell, FTE's president, says the group had long ago decided not to submit proposed instructional materials for biology. "I did not realize until speculations began to surface that a signed letter on publisher's stationery was the only acceptable means stipulated by the TEA for withdrawing from the process," he says. "We now have submitted that official letter."
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Although welcoming the news, evolution supporters are still wary.
"Other dangers remain for science education in Texas," the Texas Freedom Network said in reaction to FTE's statement. "Anti-evolution groups and state board members are likely to pressure legitimate publishers and other vendors to water down instruction on evolution in the materials they submit for board approval."
Still, they called the development "very good news for supporters of sound science education and students in Texas public schools" and "almost certainly [it] is a huge disappointment for evolution deniers on the Texas State Board of Education."
Somehow, though, we don't think this will be the last word on the subject this year.