More than in any other textbook adopted for use in Texas schools says a friend.
It’s not much, it amounts to putting in a definition for epigenetics, and cross-referencing it to the paragraph he had on page 409 in the new text.
That’s smart on Miller’s part. Epigenetics is discussed enough now in the science literature that the books that leave it out or damn it with faint praise are taking a risk
Epigenetic changes do not change a cell’s DNA, but they do change how the DNA functions. For example, recent rodent studies suggest that “an animal parent’s exposure to drugs, alcohol, and stress can alter brain development and behavior in their offspring.” It this holds up, it might rewrite public health strategies.
The onetime chief lobbyist for Darwin only in the schools had argued
It was almost a relief when an antievolutionist contended that the books should be rejected because they don’t include epigenetics. At least the epigenetics argument is relatively recent (perhaps only 5-8 years old). In creation-think, including epigenetics in biology textbooks will weaken evolution because epigenetics is evidence against evolution. Yeah, I know it isn’t, but to creationists, any process that isn’t natural selection weakens natural selection as an evolutionary mechanism, and if natural selection isn’t strong enough to produce evolution, that means that evolution didn’t take place, and…and…You get the picture. Never mind that epigenetics isn’t in the TEKS, the state science education standards, and generally isn’t a topic for beginning biology learners.
Note “the epigenetics argument,” as if the scientists who are studying epigenetics are a pressure group. But heck, it’s the world she knows.
See also: Epigenetics: Three generations of mice affected by maternal starvation
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