Florida has more sense than Texas

According to a short article in the Orlando Sentinel, a textbook publisher has agreed to remove 2 pages that include creationist material from editions of a high school textbook sold in Florida. Apparently, the textbook contains a box, or sidebar, that makes a number of errors and also states some incorrect creationist claims (please excuse me if that phrase is redundant). I do not know the history, but it looks as though Joe Wolf, the president of Florida Citizens for Science, alerted the Florida Department of Education, which in turn took action. The National Center for Science Education reports,

The sidebar makes a variety of historical and scientific errors. For example, it claims that in the Origin of Species “Darwin proposed that life arose from nonliving matter”; it equates microevolution with genetic drift; and it contends that selective breeding demonstrates genetic drift. Moreover, although the sidebar acknowledges that “the vast majority of biologists (probably more than 95%)” accept evolution, it also airs, without attempting to debunk, a variety of creationist claims (which are attributed to unnamed “skeptics”). Among these claims: that the fossil record “does not contain the many transitional species one would expect,” that “evolution doesn’t adequately explain how a complex structure … could come to exist through infrequent random mutations,” that transitional features could not be favored by natural selection, and that “the hypotheses that … chemicals can lead to abiogenesis are highly debatable.”

You may read NCSE’s article and the offending box here.

Acknowledgment: Thanks to Jonathan Smith of FCS for alerting us to the report in the Sentinel.