Study: Evolution Gains Bigger Foothold in Science Standards

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 12, 2009 1 min read
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Evolution is being covered more extensively and better in state science standards than was true nearly a decade ago, according to a review of the standards in 50 states and the District of Columbia by the National Center for Science Education. But the reviewers are concerned that at the same time, “creationist jargon” has increasingly been included in science standards. My story on the review was just published at

Some may question if the reviewers are overly sensitive about what they deem to be “creationist jargon.” The head of the Texas board of education, who voted for the new Texas science standards, by the way, says the reviewers are dead wrong in concluding that her state’s standards contain creationist jargon.

One example of creationist jargon in the Texas standards, the report says, is that students are asked to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.”

But Anton Mates, a co-author of the 50-state review of how evolution is included in state science standards, contends that he and the other co-author are not reading too much into things.

“Creationists have become more sophisticated in their language,” he said. “We’re looking for language that allows teachers to bring in materials that attack evolution.”

Photo credit: Library of Congress

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.