Educational Research Analysts

 Excerpts from our May 1998 newsletter 


Calls Gabler critique "offensive," "insulting," "dead wrong"

Evolutionist zealot blasts Gablers as his "biology" book flops in Texas

Publishers know that those who care about public school text­books can lose a battle in Austin, but still win the war in the only place it counts – local adop­tions. Texas State Board of Edu­ca­tion (SBOE) con­ser­va­tives again proved this recent­ly, to the pouts of a devout evolu­tion­ist.

Last year SBOE conservative Richard Watson put medi­cal doctor Barney Maddox on Texas' high school biology textbook state review panel. Dr. Maddox found that Prentice Hall's Biology: The Living Science most violated state law requiring dis­cussion of scientific weak­ness­es of evolution.

With just 3 minutes each to testify at the public hearing in Sep­tem­ber, citizens noted this book's censorship of scientific weak­ness­es in evolution. So in Novem­ber, Pren­tice had Ken Miller, this book's co-author, defend it before the SBOE for about 15 minutes with no equal time.

That shows how inept pub­lish­ers give the ad­van­tage in text­book adop­tions to con­ser­va­tive ad­vo­cates for stu­dents. Prentice erred by bring­ing Miller in to preach for evo­lu­tion – thank you very much – because text­books sell by stressing their teaching aids, not their contro­versial content.

Our own review confirmed Dr. Maddox's charge that Biology: The Living Science (Prentice Hall, 1998) was a textbook on evolution, not biology. We therefore faxed info on this and other academic defects to each Texas school district during the local adoption season.

As you know, publishers closely watch Texas sales, and the Prentice Biology sold well in the 1991 adoption. But this time it got a mere 12% of the Texas market, while the two biology books ranked best on our rating sheet won 67% … and Ken Miller was claiming martyrdom.

"Even in America," he whined to a Texas school district that rejected his book, "… there is a price to pay for being outspoken, and Mel Gabler, of Longview, Texas, is determined to make sure that I pay that price." Miller pretended that his was not an inflammatory evolutionary text.

The 1998 biology textbook adoption proves that many public school teachers, parents, and local school board members want to do right and welcome informed input from credible conservatives with the standing to speak. Another triumph for Texas' heroic SBOE conser­vatives.

CANs and CAN'Ts
of teaching origins
in public school science classes

On public school science course content standards, keep in mind the:

distinction between what teachers must teach,
and what they may teach

States can legally require teachers to discuss evolution in science classes. They cannot require them to discuss creation. Teachers may discuss creation in science classes if they wish.

prevailing notion that evolution is scientific,
and that creation is religious

This is why courts always overturn mandates to discuss creation in science classes. But satisfactory public school science course content standards on evolution are possible within this constraint.

distinction between scientific weaknesses in evolutionary theory,
and scientific evidence for creation

Courts allow requiring the former, but not the latter, in public school science courses, because they (wrongly) assume that evolution is scientific but creation is religious.

distinction between requiring discussion of weaknesses
of all scientific theories, and "singling out" evolution

To avoid legal challenges alleging a "non-secular purpose" in public school science courses, formulate general curriculum standards on this topic that do not mention evolution.

Texas has met those criteria over the years
with these variant wordings of its
public school science course standards:

"examining alternative scientific evi­dence and ideas to test, modify, verify, or refute scientific theories"

"The student shall be provided content necessary to formulate, discuss, cri­tique, and review hypotheses, theories, laws, and principles and their strengths and weaknesses."

"The student is expect­ed to anal­yze, review, and cri­tique scien­tific expla­na­tions, including hypo­theses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information."

SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES in evolutionary theory
no fossil evidence for gradual evolution "Punctuated equilibria" theory admits the systematic gaps between life forms in the fossil record, and the lack of evidence there for gradual evolution.
circular reasoning in "punctuated equilibria" theory "Punctuated equilibria" theory says evolution occurs too slowly to see it in the present, and too quickly for the fossil record to capture in the past. This is circular reasoning: the lack of evidence for evolution proves it happened.
circular reasoning in the standard geological column "Index fossils" are fossils of life forms that evolutionists think lived only briefly in geologic time. Evolutionists position rocks in the Standard Geological Column by the stage which their index fossils represent in the presumed evolution of life. Thus the Standard Geological Column reflects evolutionary assumptions but does not prove them.
subjective interpretation of the standard geological column No actual single example of the entire Standard Geological Column exists in nature. The alleged evolutionary ages of rock strata do not always match the alleged evolutionary ages of some of the fossils they contain. Supposedly younger strata sometimes contain supposedly older fossils. Supposedly older strata some­times contain supposedly younger fossils.
complex initial appearance of life forms in the fossil record Evolution says complex life forms developed from simple forms. But the "earliest" fossils of each life form are as structurally complex as their modern counterparts. The kingdoms, phyla, and classes that first appear in the fossil record still exist today.
no undisputed transitional forms in the fossil record Scholarly reappraisal often shows "missing links" to have been either fully human (e.g., Neanderthal Man, Cro-Magnon Man) or apes (e.g., Pithecanthropus, Ramapithecus). Archaeopteryx is discredited as a missing link.
no examples of "micro-evolution" Evolution is the process of increasing net genetic complexity (between the original cell and Einstein, there had to be new genes). Speciation and subspeciation require no increased net genetic complexity, and are thus not even "micro-evolution." Darwin's finches, Kaibab and Albert squirrels, industrial melanism (spotted moths), penicillin-resistant bacteria, and DDT-resistant insects are non-evolutionary adaptations of existing life forms to new environments, involving no increased net genetic complexity and therefore no evolution.
no known mechanism for evolution Recombination reshuffles chromosomes. Mutations restructure DNA. Neither produce more complex chromosomes or DNA. Thus neither increase net genetic complexity, without which there is no evolution.
conflicts between anatomy and biochemistry Amino acid sequence differences among life forms often contra­dict evolutionary predictions based on anatomical similarities.
flaws in radiometric dating Radiometric dating methods give conflicting dates for the same object and/or for different samples of the same object. These dating methods assume a uniform decay rate of the parent ele­ment, initial absence of the daughter element in the test sample, and isolation of the test sample from outside contamination – all scientifically questionable assumptions on various grounds.
statistical improbability of evolution through chance mutations Even if all mutations were beneficial, the mathematical probability of life developing by chance verges on absolute zero.