Alabama Biology Textbooks Will Continue to Have Disclaimer Saying Evolution is “Controversial”

The good news is that Alabama’s science standards make clear that evolution is “substantiated with much direct and indirect evidence.”

The bad news is that the state’s Board of Education decided this week to keep a disclaimer in all biology textbooks that suggests the theory is “controversial.”


A version of the disclaimer has been around since 1996, and the current version is no less irresponsible. It reads in part:

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. Since natural selection has been observed to play a role in influencing small changes in a population, it is assumed that it produces large changes, even though this has not been directly observed. Because of its importance and implications, students should understand the nature of evolutionary theories. They should learn to make distinctions between the multiple meanings of evolution, to distinguish between observations and assumptions used to draw conclusions, and to wrestle with the unanswered questions and unresolved problems still faced by evolutionary theory.

Of course, that whole disclaimer is bullshit.

Evolution isn’t controversial among people who understand it. It’s only “controversial” among Christians who don’t.

The only reason it’s there is not because there’s any scientific reason for it, but because ignorant Christians in the state want to discredit evolution in any way they can. Since the facts aren’t on their side, they’ll use politics to get their way. And the Board of Education, setting aside what’s best for students in the state, voted unanimously to keep the one-page disclaimer in there.

If only scientists could place this warning inside the front cover of every Bible…


At least that one would have some merit.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.