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Authors Scramble to Make Textbooks Conform to Texas Science Standards

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Science  12 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5933, pp. 1385
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1385

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In March, the Texas school board approved new science standards that omit the requirement to teach students the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolutionary theory. But many scientists view the new version as more insidious than the previous one. Among other things, it requires that students have the chance to "analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell." The language is seen as an opening for proponents of intelligent design to argue that such "irreducible complexity" points to an external organizing force. Those standards pose a new challenge for textbook authors as the board prepares for a new round of textbook adoption in 2011.