AUSTIN, Texas – Earlier this year, the Texas State Board of Education invited 11 experts to help evaluate various high school biology textbooks under consideration for purchase by the State of Texas. They were asked by current Board Chair Barbara Cargill to evaluate the textbooks for age-appropriateness, clarity, and the amount of Bible they managed to cram into their pages.
“We felt it very important that our science textbooks have as much Bible in them as possible,” explained Cargill. “I actually advocated we simply glue biology-sounding hard covers to the front and back of Bibles, but was told the idea was too labor-intensive.”
In order to ensure the textbooks passed the Amount of Bible per Page threshold, at least six of the eleven experts charged with reviewing the textbooks were creationists or intelligent design proponents. These included Walter Bradley, whose 1984 book The Mystery of Life’s Origins launched the “intelligent design” movement, Raymond Bohlin, a research fellow for the intelligent design think tank the Discovery Institute, Ide Trotter, spokesperson for the creationist group Texans for Better Science Education.
An open records request by the Texas Freedom Network caused some of experts’ comments to be made public. One reviewer wrote: “I understand the National Academy of Science’s [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution. At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that “creation science” based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”
Another reviewer complained that, “Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification. Text should ask students to analyze and compare alternative theories.”
A third reviewer commented simply: “This biology textbook has a shockingly low amount of Bible in it.”
Reviewer David Zeiger, a seventh-grade teacher at a Christian private school thanked the Board of Education for having the foresight to include him and others like him on the judging panel. “Frankly, I was dumbfounded when I saw how little Bible was in these books,” he said. “They had entire chapters on non-Bible things like the Evolution hoax, the Global Warming hoax, the Meiosis & Sexual Life Cycles hoax, and a chapter on human nutrition that didn’t include pork rinds. Many of the so-called high school-aged biology books even referred to what they called the female orgasm, which is something I’ve scientifically proven to be a myth for many years.”