Education Board challenging evolution in Texas biology books

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- The question about teaching evolution in Texas public schools is coming up for discussion again on Tuesday.

The State Board of Education is considering simplifying curriculum standards for Texas high school students. According to KXAN's news partner at the Texas Tribune, a committee of teachers and scholars has recommended removing several passages from high school biology textbooks to challenge the science of evolution.

In 2009, creationists on the board voiced their objections over scientists and educators teaching evolution in classrooms. Scientists counter their claims that anti-evolution arguments have been long debunked by facts and were based on "junk science."

The committee spearheading the removal says the reason is because it seems too difficult to analyze and evaluate the subject as it is. New history and social studies textbooks were passed in 2010 that require Texas students to learn that Moses influenced the writing of the U.S. Constitution and that democracy is rooted in the Bible.

"Please move us past the scopes trials and elevate out Texas standards by removing Creationism from our science curriculum," said Tanya Estes. "If our much esteemed Catholic schools already practice the separation of science from religion, there is no excuse for our public schools not to do the same."

Raymond Bohlin didn't feel the same way as Estes. "The origin of life is in all the textbooks, there isn't a high school biology textbook that omits it," testified Bohlin. "So it's going to be there, they're going to talk about it, they're going to be exposed, what do we want them to learn from that?"

Standards for what 5 million Texas students learn in public school classrooms are determined by the board.

The board will take a final vote in April on whether to uphold the removal of the passages.

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