IFAS | Freedom Writer | November/December 1989 | evolution.html

Evolution: fact or fiction?

As a concession to California fundamentalists, the state's education department has deleted from its textbook guidelines a reference to evolution as "a scientific fact." However, the state's new guidelines strongly support the teaching of evolution.

California, followed by Texas, is the nation's largest textbook market. Texas will also, for the first time, emphasize evolution. The decision to treat evolution more fully in these two states will have a wide impact on the books used in other states. California and Texas command such a large share of the market that textbook publishers tend to develop texts to meet the needs of those states.

In California, educators are advised not to suppress evolution "on the grounds that it may be contrary to an individual's beliefs," nor to belittle students who reject evolution "on the basis of religious faith."

In Texas, "other reliable scientific theories, if any," are to be covered. This may open the door to the teaching of "creation science." Undoubtedly, the evolution/creation science debate is far from over.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.