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Texas school board set to vote on challenge to evolution


The Texas Board of Education will vote this week on a new science curriculum designed to challenge the guiding principle of evolution, a step that could influence what is taught in biology classes across the nation, reports the Wall Street Journal. The proposed curriculum change would prompt teachers to raise doubts that all life on Earth is descended from common ancestry. (See "Anti-evolution forces gain ground in Texas.") Texas is such a huge textbook market that many publishers write to the state’s standards, then market those books nationwide. "This is the most specific assault I’ve seen against evolution and modern science," said Steven Newton, a project director at the National Center for Science Education, which promotes the teaching of evolution. Texas school board chairman Don McLeroy also sees the curriculum as a landmark–but a positive one. Dr. McLeroy believes that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago. If the new curriculum passes, he says he will insist that high-school biology textbooks point out specific aspects of the fossil record that, in his view, undermine the theory that all life on Earth is descended from primitive scraps of genetic material that first emerged about 3.9 billion years ago…

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