If your Alabama student has cracked open a biology textbook, you may have noticed a four-paragraph disclaimer that asks readers to carefully consider the scientific theory of evolution.
A section of the disclaimer reads:
The theory of evolution by natural selection is a controversial theory that is included in this textbook. It is controversial because it states that natural selection provides the basis for the modern scientific explanation for the diversity of living things.
It goes on to say "there are many unanswered questions about the origin of life."
Last week, state board of education voted to keep the disclaimer in textbooks.
It has only been a year since Alabama was mandated to teach evolution at all; there had been a prior requirement that included theory and diversity, but the 2015 change solidified the requirement in the list of standards, which states classes must "analyze scientific evidence (e.g., DNA, fossil records, cladograms, biogeography) to support hypotheses of common ancestry and biological evolution."
Minimum state standards are are set but local school districts can make their own decisions.
To view the entire textbook disclaimer, click here.