So with the Knox County school board scheduled to consider tonight an appeal from a Farragut parent about an honors biology textbook's treatment of Christian creationism, we thought we'd take a look at what the book actually says. The book, Asking About Life by Allan J. Tobin and Jennie Dusheck, is handily searchable via Google Books.
A search for the word "creationism" gives five results, one of them an index listing. The other four are as follows:
On page G-7, in a glossary section, between "crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)" and "Cro-Magnon," "creationism" is defined as "A religious belief that life was created very recently, as described in the Christian Bible."
On page 299, in a section discussing the history of Darwinism and the theory of evolution, one paragraph says, "In the 1970s and 1980s, antievolutionists in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana passed identical bills calling for 'equal time' for teaching evolution and creationism, the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in six days." (This is the particular section that the Farragut dad, Kurt Zimmermann, has singled out as anti-Christian.) The paragraph goes on to note that the equal-time laws were ruled unconstitutional, and flatly states that "creation 'science' is not science."
On page 302, in section with the subtitle, "How Old Is the Idea of Evolution?," one paragraph begins, "In large part, no one took evolution seriously because Christian beliefs incorporated Plato's essentialism. And essentialism, along with creationism, established a nearly unbreachable intellectual barrier to the idea of the evolution of species." (Zimmermann's complaint, itself a nice illustration of unbreachable intellectual barriers, makes no mention of the book's anti-Plato bias.)
And section summary on page 322 reiterates that "The theory of evolution, or 'descent with modification,' contradicted creationism, the Bible's version of the story of creation, the philosophy of essentialism, and the Christian doctrine that the Earth was only 6,000 years old."
The school board seems likely to uphold the finding of a Farragut High School review committee, which said the book is "appropriate for an honors level biology course." But it could be interesting to see which if any board members signal sympathy to the creationist cause.
You can read the school system's whole file on the case, including Zimmermann's original complaint, right here.