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Religion doesn't belong in public schools, but debate over Darwinian evolution does

Students need to learn about Darwinian evolution. But they also deserve to hear countervailing scientific evidence – evidence that is censored in many current textbooks.

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Critical inquiry and freedom for credible dissent are vital to good science. Sadly, when it comes to biology textbooks, American high school students are learning that stubborn groupthink can suppress responsible debate.

In recent weeks, the media have been buzzing over a decision by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to adopt biology textbooks. A Fox News summary read “Louisiana committee rejects calls to include debate over creationism in state-approved biology textbooks....” There was one problem with the story. Leading critics of evolution in Louisiana were not asking that public schools debate creationism, or even that they teach intelligent design. Rather, they wanted schools to simply teach the scientific debate over Darwinian evolution.

The controversy began because the biology textbooks up for adoption in Louisiana teach the neo-Darwinian model as settled fact, giving students no opportunity to weigh the pros and cons and consider evidence on both sides.

So much for critical thinking

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