Texas Ed Board Revives Creation, Evolution Debate

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Creationism is again at the center of a Texas textbook debate. A public hearing in Austin, Tuesday, sparked rallies from from both sides of the issue.

The State Board of Education is evaluating seven high school biology textbooks. It's brought back a decade-old battle over how to teach evolution versus creationism.

"Presenting Darwin as facts would be nothing more than junk science," one Texan told the board.

But Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, says Bible texts have no place in the school.

"I want to make sure only the science facts go into our science books," she said.

More than 50 science experts, parents and activists testified at a public hearing before the state education board.

"What you have is folks appointed to the official review teams who have an ideological perspective and they're recommending debunked arguments to kind of water down the teaching of evolution and climate change in our books," Miller testified.

But advocates of teaching intelligent design say student's should be given a chance to challenge Darwin's theories. Former board Chairman Don McLeroy turned the tables on evolution advocates, asking them to present facts proving Darwinism.

"I'm sick and tired of their rhetoric. 'Give them the facts.' Why don't they give me the facts of evolution, okay? Let me see the facts," he charged.

A vote by the State Board of Education is not expected until November. School districts are not required to buy board-sanctioned books, but most of them do.

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