Dodging a bullet in Texas

Before deciding not to submit any supplementary materials for approval by the Texas state board of education, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics was planning to offer a supplement that included "presentation of [the] intelligent design alternative," according to a February 10, 2011, post on the blog of the Texas Freedom Network.

FTE is perhaps best known as the publisher of Of Pandas and People, the "intelligent design" creationism textbook at the center of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case in 2005. To judge from a November 15, 2010, e-mail from FTE to the Texas Education Agency, quoted by the Texas Freedom Network, it was going to be the same old story in Texas:

FTE's product will be electronic written material satisfying the new and expanded Biology 1 TEKS for Texas schools, with components for both teachers and students. It will include irenic yet candid discussions of what an educated person in the 21st century must know in regard to neo-Darwinian theory of life’s diversity and origin of life studies. Discussions will cover fair and accurate portrayals of the major explanations, as well as analysis and critiques of each, as advanced in scientific literature. The goal will be to equip students to see beyond the uncritical acceptance of majority viewpoints when warranted by scientific data, as well as to consider possible alternatives. Such alternatives will include intelligent design perspectives but not creationism or creation science. The major components are: (1) review of evolutionary theory; (2) critique of conventional evolutionary theory; (3) examination of origin-of-life studies and enumeration of problems with chemical scenarios for life’s origin; (4) presentation of intelligent design alternative.

FTE's decision to withdraw its material from the approval process notwithstanding, the Texas Freedom Network warns that the battle is not over, citing (in a February 9, 2011, blog post) the presence of "more than a dozen" antievolution activists seeking to be included on the review teams that will review the proposed supplementary materials in June 2011, with a final vote by the board now expected in July 2011.