Skip navigation.
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/08/19

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

Good news from the Lone Star State!


When the Texas state board of education voted on July 22, 2011, to
approve scientifically accurate supplementary material from
established mainstream publishers, there was a loose end hanging. A
creationist member of the review panel released a list of supposed
errors in the submitted Holt McDougal material involving evolution.
While the board approved the material, it directed Commissioner of
Education Robert Scott to review the list of supposed errors and to
develop amended language for the publisher to incorporate.

Now a memorandum from the Texas Education Agency to the board dated
August 11, 2011, indicates that Commissioner Scott determined that
Holt McDougal "has sufficiently addressed all eight of the reported
errors." Particularly noteworthy was Holt McDougal's response to the
complaint (about a lab activity comparing hominid skulls) that "it is
erroneous to pretend that common ancestry is the cause" of the
similarity of human skulls with those of other hominids: "This lab
activity was not changed."

In a post at its blog dated August 15, 2011, the Texas Freedom Network
observed, "Here's the head-exploding part for the creationists. Not
only does the final version of Holt not include creationist arguments
against evolution, but they also include language explicitly affirming
Darwin's theories," adding, "With Holt's materials finalized, we can
now say with certainty that all of the materials approved from the
nine publishers are in line with fact-based science and free of
creationist attacks seeking to undermine science."

Video from the board's July 21, 2011, meeting, during which the
supplementary material was discussed, is now available at NCSE's
YouTube channel. Among those testifying on behalf of good science
education in the Lone Star State are the Reverend Kelly Allen, Steve
Bratteng, the Reverend Albert Clayton, Andrew Ellington, Vera
Preston-Jaeger, Rebecca Robertson of the Texas ACLU, NCSE's Joshua
Rosenau, Lorenzo Sadun, Steven Schafersman of Texas Citizens for
Science, Jennifer Steele, and Bernardino Villasenor.

For the TEA's memorandum (PDF), visit: 

For the Texas Freedom Network's post, visit: 

For NCSE's video from the board meeting, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Texas, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x305
fax: 510-601-7204

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: 

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: 

NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: 

NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!