Salon has a look at textbook selection in Texas, and in particular the latest skirmishes over the teaching of evolution. It seems the champions of ignorance have been reduced from “evolution is false” to “the books don’t address the weaknesses of evolutionary theory”. The journalist depicts this as a stealth assault on teaching evolution but I can only see it as progress. Despite Nick Kristof’s 72% figure (of evolution nonbelievers in the American populace) it looks like the truth is winning out, if these guys have to moderate their language to this extent.

Unfortunately the article is about three pages too short; I’d like to see a more in-depth look at these enemies of American scientific progress. When they say the textbooks don’t talk about evolution’s “weaknesses”, what exactly are they looking for? Are we talking crackpot Young Earth theories, or real gaps in the body of scientific knowledge that opponents sometimes point to as “flaws”? If the latter, this could be a good thing, since it has been my experience that discussions of unsolved problems in a field tend to get students interested in the topic.