Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Dumbing Down

Biology professor Jim Sparks, who teaches Biology 101 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond complains that the textbook selected for his class, "omits critical chapters in evolutionary theory and is biased toward creationism and intelligent design, which argues life is too complex to have evolved over millions of years solely through Darwin’s theory of natural selection and must have come at the direction of a supreme being or a supernatural force."

The book in question is is “Essentials of Biology” by Sylvia S. Mader. It's published by the McGraw-Hill.

According to Style Weekly, Richmond's alternative newsweekly, Sparks "learned that one of his colleagues who pushed for the book has strong creationist ties and that the text has also been picked up by Oral Roberts University. And in the chapter called “Darwin and Evolution” on page 230, he found a direct reference to the California-based Institute for Creation Research, stating that the organization “advocates that students be taught an ‘intelligent-design theory.’”

Although the book reportedly states that intelligent-design is not a scientific theory, it would appear to be yet another example of the dumbing down of American textbooks due to political pressure from the ultra-right.


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