Florida Citizens for Science was under a time crunch to get a letter out to the Brevard County school board about science textbook selections. The letter could have benefitted from another round or two of rewrites, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get the letter out in time.
There are five letters to the editor here. As can be expected, some are good and some are wide of the mark. Here are a couple of excerpts from the bad ones:
To teach the theory of evolution as fact, and not even address the possibility of intelligent design or other theories, is another attempt by the liberals in the media to impose their agenda on the American people and our children.
The short two-paragraph reference to life forming under a guiding intelligence only acknowledged the fact that many cultures and world religions hold this belief to be true.
Having these few paragraphs included in the text is not pushing religion on any student studying science.
It is an introduction to a widely held theory that can then be further discussed in social-study classrooms teaching world religions, cultures and philosophies.
Each of those excerpts can be slapped down by pointing out one glaring problem. From a previous post here:
But the issue has crossed into the district, because publishers like Holt have changed textbooks over the years while under pressure from such groups as the Discovery Institute.
Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit agency that has monitored the Texas textbook adoption process for a decade, said Holt kowtowed to conservatives with its Florida biology book.
And here’s a post I compiled a while ago that has a lot of real good information about the whole textbook deal.
A South Florida Sun-Sentinel review of both textbook finalists — Glencoe’s book and Holt’s Holt Biology — found that the publishers had edited explanations of Darwin’s evolution theory under pressure from Christian conservatives.
The publisher caved in to pressure! This is not some “innocuous” cultural reference. This is not a nod of acknowledgement for some new scientific theory bursting onto the scene. Those two paragraphs were “wedged” in there by a group with an agenda. It’s not the liberals trying to impose anything; it’s just the opposite!
I’m wishing that mentioning this fact about the textbook’s history had made it into our letter to the school board. Maybe next time …