A Textbook Case of Junk Science - Evolution News & Views

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views

A Textbook Case of Junk Science

According to a recent Prentice Hall biology textbook, a few centuries ago 'very light-skinned' people, shipwrecked on a tropical island, became "dark-skinned" after "many years under the tropical sun."

But as Pamela R. Winnick at the Weekly Standard explains, this is nonsense, one of many examples of junk science in our high school science textbooks:

There's lots that's puzzling about the science textbooks used in American classrooms. A sloppy way with facts, a preference for the politically correct over the scientifically sound, and sheer faddism characterize their content. It's as if their authors had decided above all not to expose students to the intellectual rigor that is the lifeblood of science.

She might just as easily have been describing the way high school biology textbooks present Darwin's theory of evolution. As biologist Jonathan Wells explains here, when the textbooks aren't presenting discredited evidence for modern evolutionary theory, they're ignoring substantive weaknesses in the theory.

The scientists testifying at the hearings in Topeka, Kansas are urging the state's school board merely to purge the junk from the chapters on evolution, and allow students to consider the full range of scientific evidence that bears on the theory, both pro and con.