Home-school textbook market dominated by books skeptical of evolution.

Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University

According to the Associated Press, home-schooling parents seeking textbooks that include evolution are finding the dominance of Christian-based materials to be isolating and frustrating. The publishers that largely control the home-school textbook market, which include Bob Jones University Press and Apologia Educational Ministries Inc., often include overt affirmations of Christianity and “stack the deck against evolution“:

Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling,” says the introduction to “Biology: Third Edition” from Bob Jones University Press. “This book was not written for them.” The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its “History of Life” chapter that a “Christian worldview … is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is.”

In 2007, 83 percent of home-schooling parents said they preferred to give their children “religious and moral instruction.” But science educators who have reviewed sections from some of the popular home-school books say the texts could “steer students away from careers in biology or the study of the history of the earth.” According to Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago, “These books are promulgating lies to kids.” When the AP asked for comment from Bob Jones University on the “History of Life” chapter criticized widely by scientists, a spokesman said the “ultimatum” inclusion was “an editing error” and would be excluded from future editions.

Nick McClellan