Re: Final Textbook Insert

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Mon, 01 Dec 1997 16:27:47 -0800

At 02:11 PM 12/1/97 -0700, Allan wrote:

>I haven't seen any (high school or college) biology textbook in a long
>time, but do they really say things that amount to "people used to think
>some God created all these things, but now we know evolution did it and
>God is nowhere in the picture"? If so, then there is a big problem,
>though the Alabama inserts don't strike me as a good solution.
>I would have expected the textbooks to say that evolution happened and
>describe the mechanisms (perhaps with inadequate supporting evidence, but
>that's another issue) and to stay away from metaphysical claims.

A few years ago I attended the American Humanist Association national
meetings in Dallas. That was an eye opener, and I recommend it to anyone
naive enough to think that the promotion of evolution in the schools is an
agendaless proposition. These people, mostly teachers in the public school
system were militantly hostile to any suggestion in any book at any level
that evolution had anything to do with God. They belittled textbook after
textbook that was less than absolute in its declarations on origins. Any
hedge words like "Scientists believe" were denigrated. These were all
coming from texts that caused my conservative blood to run cold already.
Teaching second graders that we all came from chicken soup strikes me as
being religious. Then to have rabid atheistic evolutionists rail on the
text because it was not dogmatic enough convinced me that these views are
being promoted by religious zealots. Then they capped it off with an altar
call that would done justice to Elmer Gantry. They recited in unison a
poem about Jim and Tammy Baker. It was a hoot, but scary in terms of its
implications for the public school system.