Re: textbooks

Bill Payne (
Tue, 02 Dec 1997 00:24:52 -0600

Mon, 1 Dec 1997 17:48:28 -0600 (CST) wrote:

> In the past year I have
> surveyed over twenty high school and college level biology textbooks and
> fact, the books never mention the topic of "God." They make no statements
> for or against the idea of God. They simply outline the logic of evolution
> and discuss the various mechanisms as we understand them today. The topic
> of evolution is treated in exactly the same manner as all other topics: how
> cells divide, how cells reproduce, how cells die, how cells evolve, and so
> on.

I don't think so. My daughter is now taking biology at Samford
University in Birmingham, AL. From _Biology_, Sylvia S. Mader, Wm. C.
Brown Publishers, 5th ed., p 18:

"Doctrines of creation, which have a mythical, philosophical, or
theological basis, are not a part of science because they are not
subject to objective observations and experimentation by all persons.
Many cultures have their own particular set of supernatural beliefs, and
even various religions within a culture differ as to the application of
those beliefs. Such approaches to understanding the world are not
within the province of science. Similarly, scientific creationism,
which states that God created all species as they are today, cannot be
considered science because creationism upholds a supernatural cause
rather than natural causes for events. When faith is involved, a
hypothesis is not subjected to being proven false in a purely objective

This paragraph, by definition, excludes anything which cannot be "proven
false," which of course includes God, the supernatural creation of the
universe, life, and your soul. Students are told to think
naturalistically and ignore any religious beliefs they may hold. If God
really did create in the literal sense of Genesis, but consideration of
creation by God is excluded by definition and only naturalistic causes
may be considered within science, then these "scientific" studies are in
this case necessarily false. The resurrection of Christ would of course
be dismissed as "not science." "It may be true, but it's not science."
In this way, true events are shifted into a category of non-science, or
fairy tales for the uninformed and uneducated. This defining away the
competition of atheism is very subtle and having a disastrous impact on
our culture.
> At 04:12 PM 12/1/97 -0400, David Campbell 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.

During the textbook adoption process, the Univ. of South Alabama did a
survey and found that 63% of Alabamians believe "God created man pretty
much in his present form within the last 10,000 years." The "You are an
animal, and share a common heritage with earthworms" quote below didn't
play too well here. I video taped the State School Board meeting the
day they voted on the textbooks; it was a scream to watch the war games,
and very humbling to see how the hand of our God moved to give us a
victory that day. Norris Anderson was on the State Textbook Review
Committee and produced a summary of his findings which may be referenced

The following is a brief snip from that site:

BIOLOGY, VISUALIZING LIFE, Johnson, Holt Rinehart Winston, 1994.

Chapter 1 gives the impression this is a health rather than a biology
course. Illustrations are well
integrated into text. Very heavy on dealing with environmental problems.
Evolution runs throughout
entire text. 76 pages, or 9%, is listed under "evolution" in the index.
Origins is presented as fact.

P "Life's building blocks can form spontaneously." (p. 200) Note: No
spontaneous (without human
intervention) production of either building blocks or life has been
observed. Note how this statement
contrasts with the following: "Laboratory simulations cannot establish
that the kind of chemical
evolution that has been described here actually created life on the
primitive Earth...The origin of life
remains a matter of scientific speculation..." (BIOLOGY, Campbell,
Benjamin/Cummings Publishing
Company, Addison-Wesley, 1993, p. 511)

F "Soon after the Earth's surface cooled, life arose in the ancient
seas. The first organisms to appear
on the planet were bacteria, which are single-celled prokaryotes. These
early bacteria are the
ancestors of modern bacteria and of all the many different kinds of
organisms living today, including
you." (p. 203)

F "You are an animal, and share a common heritage with earthworms and
dinosaurs, butterflies and
sea stars.
(p. 453) This is the introduction to Unit 5, Animal Kingdom.