In Austin, creationists have managed to include several amendments aimed at casting doubt on the theory of evolution. The amendments may affect the content in science textbooks across the country.
While the creationist groups did not manage to get the bulk of their agenda included in the State Board of Education's legislation, they did pass a few amendments casting doubt on the theory of evolution. Some tricky language, like an amendment requiring students to "analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data on sudden appearance and stasis and the sequential groups in the fossil record," is more insidious than it seems. When new textbooks come up for review in 2012, the board can reject books that they feel do not adequately address the issue, a key creationist talking point. And as Texas is a major buyer, textbook publishers may be forced to alter their products so as to avoid conflict with the self-proclaimed creationists on the Texas Board of Education, which could affect the rest of the country as well.
It remains to be seen if these new amendments will indeed affect science textbooks, and hopefully they'll make no difference at all. Check out Salon's article for more information from a decidedly pro-science point of view. [Salon]