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Re: birds and dinosaurs

--- David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>

> > In fact, in my experience K-12 biology textbooks
> are by far the most
> > out of touch with the current state of their
> respective science, and
> > it's for the simple reason that modern biology is
> always never out in
> > the absence of evolutionary theory, but textbook
> makers don't want to
> > embrace this due to fears of upsetting
> non-scientific parents.
> That's certainly not the whole reason. In Austria,
> evolution is taken for 
> granted, and there's much less choice in the school
> system (so you can't 
> escape having biology lessons, and you probably
> can't escape learning about 
> evolution) -- but schoolbooks are written by
> teachers, so the books never 
> know more than the teachers do. In other words, the
> books are horribly out 
> of date. I remember having a biology book that had a
> classification of "the 
> animals" in the front and one of "the plants" at the
> back. Kingdom "plants", 
> subkingdom "nucleus-less plants (bacteria)",
> subkingdom "nucleated 
> plants"... we're talking late 90s here. (I forgot
> whether *Euglena* was 
> classified as an animal or a plant, har har, but
> probably as a plant along 
> with, say, *Chlamydomonas*.) And in the early 00s, I
> helped my little sister 
> learning for a biology exam... her book depicted
> what it called an annelid 
> and mentioned the fact that, remarkably for an
> annelid, it had jointed 
> limbs. It was a frigging beetle larva. I kid you
> not. Approved by the 
> Ministry for Education like all schoolbooks.

In Germany, schoolbooks are approved on a state (not
country) basis, except those for the last years of the
most prestigious highschool branch which are up to
each individual school's discretion (which is for
example where the fact that 'shrooms and bactera are
not plants is on the curriculum; on a country-wide
average about 45% advance to that level). But
altogether it's about the same as in Austria. We
already had one education minister who's an
evo-denier, in Hesse, but she got the boot recently
(though not for that particular reason).

In a test in late 2007, it was found that biology
textbooks have on average 1 severe error each 5 pages.
But few of these were fundamental misrepresentations
(insofar as that they did not stick out and could be
corrected by an alert teacher in-class).



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