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by the Associated Press
Sat Mar 6, 6:57 pm ET
By DYLAN LOVAN, Associated Press Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn't taken a
friend's advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old's biology lessons.
"I thought she was going to have a coronary," Mule said of her daughter, who
is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. "She's like, 'This is not true!'"
Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market
that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most
home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth's creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children "religious or moral instruction."
"The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians," said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for theHome School Legal Defense Association. "Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to
their home-school program."
Those who don't, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.
Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.
"I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids," said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.
The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on
evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn't attempt to mask
disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.
"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."