Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another Book That the ACLU Will Likely Want To Ban

The EvoNews blog has announced a new textbook that will present the scientific evidence both for and against key aspects of Darwinian evolution. It will be interesting to see if the ACLU tries to ban this book, like it did with another book. Other commentators discussed this during Banned Books Week a year later.

This is from the post about the new book, Explore Evolution: The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House Publishers Ltd., Melbourne and London, 2007):
“Sadly, the majority of biology textbooks in use today are ‘dumbed-down’ and do a poor job explaining evolution,” said Dr. John West of Discovery Institute, the book’s United States distributor. “Explore Evolution will improve the teaching of evolution by providing teachers and students with more information about evolution than they are likely to find in any other textbook written at the same level.” West is Associate Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.

Explore Evolution promotes inquiry-based learning, encouraging students to participate in the process of discovery, deliberation, and argument that scientists use to form their theories.

“Explore Evolution brings to the classroom data and debates that already are raised regularly by scientists in their science journals,” emphasized science education policy analyst Casey Luskin, M.S., J.D. “Exposure to these real-world scientific debates will make the study of evolution more interesting to students, and it will train them to be better scientists by encouraging them to actually practice the kind of critical thinking and analysis that forms the heart of science.”

If the ACLU tried to ban it, they would almost certainly lose. This textbook's approach was specifically approved by the US Supreme Court:
We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught. . . . [T]eaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.

Maybe students will now get to hear about the most important and the most subversive fossils ever discovered.