Evolution Fight Roils Texas Textbook Debate

The state’s Board of Education has held up one key biology textbook over concerns about alleged “factual errors”

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After a contentious late-night meeting, the Texas State Board of Education on Thursday declined to approve the use of a biology textbook due to concerns about what some say are 20 factual errors, many of which pertain to evolution.

The textbook will now be scrutinized by a panel of three outside experts, the Associated Press reports. Texas’ textbooks decisions often determine which textbooks are sold nationally because of its large population.

The textbook was reviewed by a committee of volunteers over the summer, some of  whom raised objections over entries about how long it took the Earth to cool from a molten state, and to lessons about natural selection, arguing that “selection operates as a selective but not a creative force.”

“To ask me — a business degree major from Texas Tech University — to distinguish whether the Earth cooled 4 billion years ago or 4.2 billion years ago for purposes of approving a textbook at 10:15 on a Thursday night is laughable,” said one Republican member of the Board of Education. The creationists in the room said they “weren’t laughing.”