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Evolution debate stymies Texas on biology book selection

- The Washington Times - Friday, November 22, 2013

Texas Board of Education members in midnight fiery discussions decided to delay a vote on a biology book that some perceive as politically biased on the notion of evolution.

The book, from Pearson Education, contains what the conservative board members say are factual errors tied to the theory of evolution. But Pearson isn't willing to change its texts and has launched a challenge to the accused bias. So Texas education officials asked three of its board members to form a panel of outside officials to give the text additional scrutiny, Fox News reported.

At issue with the book is how long it took for the earth to cool, and how natural selection progressed, Fox News reported. One prior reviewer who opposed the lesson on natural selection as presented in the book said "selection operates as a selective but not a creative force," Fox News reported.

Schools don't necessarily have to take Texas' Board of Education books as their course materials, under a new state law that allows districts some freedom of choice with curriculum. But Texas is the heart of the school book selection process that influences what districts around the nation select as course materials.

The board is scheduled to vote again on the biology book on Friday, and then — if an agreement still can't be reached — make its final decision in January, Fox News said.

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