The creationists didn't win Friday when the State Board of Education took up new biology textbooks in an ideologically fraught, historically contentious adoption process. Most of the materials sailed through.
But they didn't exactly lose, either.
Biology, one of the top two or three most widely used textbooks in the country, authored by Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist, and Joseph Levine, a science journalist, was flagged by the board because a panel of reviewers recommended rejection. The criticisms leveled largely belong to Ide Trotter of Duncanville, a chemical engineer by training and avowed denier of evolution. They revolve around whether evolution can explain the proliferation of novel species on the planet. The subtext in his critique is that it can't and, though he would never say it openly, that an intelligent designer who conjured their sudden appearance can.
A second panel of three expert reviewers appointed by the board will now examine his objections and decided whether changes should be made to a book that, according to SBOE vice chair Thomas Ratliff, is already in use in half the classrooms in the state.More »