DETROIT -- A Michigan school district has decided to supply some of its libraries with books that raise questions about the validity of evolutionary theory.
The Melvindale-Northern Allen Park School Board on Monday endorsed placing the books in its junior high and high school libraries for students to reference voluntarily.
Board President John Rowe, a self-described creationist, said the books were legitimate works of scholarship.
"The books are scientific textbooks that offer scientific evidence that evolution may not be true," he said. "I think any time we can have our students gain additional knowledge from credible science, we should do that."
Not so, said Eugenie Scott of the California-based National Center for Science Education, which helped the district evaluate the books.
"There are some books that are just a joke," she said Tuesday. She labeled several of the books on the district's list as "mainline anti-evolution," "frankly religious" and "bad science."
Rowe said the Detroit-area district wanted to advise students that evolution is a theory about the origin of human life, not scientific fact.
Evolution still causes trouble for teachers and school officials more than a decade after the Supreme Court ruled that public schools cannot teach that God created the universe.
Last year, the National Academy of Sciences said evolution must be taught in public schools if children are to understand biology at all.
The organization issued a guidebook for teachers, parents and school administrators that asserted: "There is no debate within the scientific community over whether evolution has occurred, and there is no evidence that evolution has not occurred."
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