In Brief

Cooler heads

In all the hubbub over the reference to a creationist think tank that has since been removed from VCU’s biology textbooks, no one seemed to notice the original context of the reference, which emphasized that evolution is a theory “based on data,” not unlike those relating to cells and atoms.

For the record, the textbook in question said it is “no wonder most scientists in our country are dismayed when…teachers must put forward a variety of ‘theories’ on the origin of life, including one that runs contrary to the mass of data that supports the theory of evolution.” The controversial reference to the Institute for Creation Research and intelligent design were simply used as an example of this.

Far from making an argument for creationism or espousing a “creationist agenda” as some have been quick to accuse, the textbook was simply putting forward a scientific perspective in the context of a contemporary controversy.

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