If you’ve been following the creationist strategy lately, you know that one of their efforts is to push a new and awful textbook, Explore Evolution, in conjunction with the various political bills to endorse a “strengths & weaknesses” theme in the public school science curriculum. Explore Evolution is the type specimen for that teaching technique; it contains nothing but imaginary problems in biology presented in a dueling opinions format, with creationists writing sloppy distortions of biological ideas coupled with creationists writing laudatory explanations based on Intelligent Design creationism. The book has been reviewed (that is, panned) before, but now we have another review published in Evolution & Development. The reviewer is not impressed.
Even as the Discovery Institute’s Stephen C. Meyer was trying to convince the Texas state board of education of his scientific bona fides, the antievolution textbook he coauthored was receiving a scathing review in a top scientific journal. Reviewing Explore Evolution for Evolution & Development (2009; 11 : 124-125), Brian D. Metscher of the University of Vienna described it as “159 glossy pages of color-illustrated creationist nostalgia,” adding, “All the old favorites are here — fossils saying no, all the Icons, flightless Ubx flies, irreducible flagella, even that irritating homology-is-circular thing. There are no new arguments, no improved understanding of evolution, just a remastered scrapbook of the old ideas patched together in a high-gloss package pre-adapted to survive the post-Dover legal environment. The whole effort would be merely pathetic if it did not actually represent a serious and insidious threat to education.”
Of course, most schoolboards will completely disregard the informed assessment of experts in the field to rely instead on the petrified dogma of their local preacher.