Re: Final Textbook Insert

George Murphy (
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 07:25:02 -0500

Bill Payne wrote:
> Hey ya'll,
> Following is the "final" version of the suggested biology textbook
> insert which may be used in all of the states. Hopefully, this is a
> statement with which scientists of all persuasions can agree, and
> hopefully, all of the states will adopt it.
> Thanks for the constructive comments which some of you offered in the
> past couple of weeks. All of them were forwarded to a member of the
> group working on this insert.
> God bless!
> Bill Payne
> * * * * * * * * *
> Suggested Textbook Insert November 24, 1997
> WHEREAS, one of the major purposes of science education is to teach the
> skills of objective scientific inquiry; and
> WHEREAS, in the areas of biological origins, most textbooks have failed
> to
> provide the correct and/or necessary information for students to assess
> the
> validity (strengths and weaknesses) of evolutionary theory; therefore
> BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the following corrective insert be pasted into the
> inside front cover of all biology textbooks that deal with the question
> of
> biological origins:
> A MESSAGE FROM THE _________________________________________________
> This textbook discusses the controversial theory of evolution. As you
> study
> this material please keep the following in mind:
> Although your textbook may give you the impression that scientists
> understand
> how complex biological molecules formed and evolved into cells, the
> truth is
> that the atmosphere of the early earth did not favor the formation of
> such
> molecules, and how they became organized into cells remains one of the
> great
> unsolved mysteries in science.
> Although your textbook may suggest that all animals evolved gradually
> from a
> primitive ancestral form, the truth is that almost all basic animal
> types
> ("phyla") appeared in the fossil record within a relatively brief
> interval
> known as the "Cambrian explosion," and that their presumed common
> ancestors
> have not been found.
> Although your textbook may give you the impression that similarities
> among
> early embryos provide evidence for Darwin's theory, the truth is that
> there
> are significant differences among these embryos, especially at the
> earliest
> stages.
> Although your textbook presents evidence that the Darwinian mechanism of
> natural selection operating on random mutations has produced minor
> changes
> such as variations in the colors of moths and the sizes of finch beaks,
> the
> controversial question is whether the same mechanism can account for
> major
> innovations such as the origin of insects, birds, and scientific
> observers in
> the first place.
> Study hard and keep an open mind. Someday you may contribute to
> theories of
> how living things appeared on earth.

The wording of these warnings - "Although your textbook may
suggest .... the truth is" (& variations) will be read by many people as
"Your textbook is lying."
George Murphy