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Texas critics say publisher changed textbooks to please creation advocates

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2003

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Critics say the publisher Holt, Rinehart & Winston changed a biology textbook being considered for Texas schools to cave in to conservatives on the state's elected Board of Education.

The Texas Freedom Network, which monitors the religious right, complained that Holt, Rinehart's changes in biology textbooks ''compromised the education of Texas students.''

The network said one passage tells students to ''study hypotheses for the origin of life that are alternatives'' to others in the book, including Internet research.

A Holt, Rinehart spokesman said the ''minor changes'' are ''nothing that challenges the role of evolution.''

Texas' Board of Education does not control textbook content but can reject books for errors or failure to follow the curriculum mandated by the Legislature.

The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which emphasizes evidence for ''intelligent design'' in the universe, told a July Board of Education hearing that alternatives to commonly accepted evolution theories should be included to comply with a state requirement that students analyze competing ideas.

The board holds another hearing in September. Publishers must submit final changes by Oct. 3 with the board's decision on biology textbooks due in November.



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