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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

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Home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

Christian-based texts dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million U.S. students. And a Bible-based version of Earth’s creation is just what most home-school parents want. 2007 federal statistics show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children “religious or moral instruction.”

“The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,” said Ian Slatter of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Those who don’t often feel isolated and frustrated trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.

“These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Jerry Coyne, a University of chicago ecology and evolution professor.

The publishers defend the books as well-rounded lessons on evolution’s shortcomings.
“Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling,” says the Bob Jones University Press’s “Biology: Third Edition” introduction. “This book was not written for them.”

The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its “History of Life” chapter that a “Christian worldview ... is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is.” University spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence was an editing error and will be removed from future editions.

Publishers are aware of the market, said Jay Wile, a former Indianapolis chemistry professor who helped launch the Apologia curriculum in the early 1990s.

Adam Brown’s parents said their 16-year-old son’s belief in the Bible’s creation story isn’t deterring him from pursuing a career in marine biology. Polly Brown said her son would gladly take college courses that include evolution, and he’ll be able to provide the expected answers even though he disagrees.

“He probably knows it better than the kids who have been taught evolution all through public school,” she said. “But that is in order for him to understand both sides of that argument.”

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