I got an email request from a college student. He asked if I knew of a high-school level textbook that covered the concept of natural selection without using the word, “evolution”. He has relatives who are Mennonite and who home-school, and would reject any textbook that explicitly said “evolution”, but whose kids deserve to have an understanding of some of the basic concepts in evolutionary science.
This is the text of my reply to my correspondent:
I personally do not know of such a textbook, and I’ve tried to get feedback from people who should know the textbook market better than I do without success.
I think that it would be outside expectations that such a textbook would be written, though. Writing a textbook is a major undertaking, and those who are inclined to cover evolutionary science have little incentive to try to target a market segment that will, if they figure out what is going on, not buy their book.
I have myself considered writing a book (not a textbook) with a working title of, “What Every Creationist Should Know About Evolution”. It would cover the basic information and try to be non-confrontational about most aspects of religious antievolutionism. (I haven’t gotten sanguine about the outright lying part of antievolution yet.) The prospects for a market for it are similarly dismal, I expect.
Personally, I think that you might be better off to point out that overturning something like evolutionary science is only going to happen when people motivated to do so can approach the topic with an excellent understanding of the current state of that science. It is that sort of person who would be cognizant of the flaws and have the drive to do the research that would demonstrate it to be so to the scientific community. If they believe that evolution is false and have the courage of their convictions, they should utilize a standard textbook to show their children what the scientists *actually* say about it, rather than accept second-hand slurs about it from people who never bothered to learn the topic. This does, of course, run the risk of convincing the children that the scientists have a point, but the children will eventually have the opportunity to learn these concepts without their parents’ guidance anyway. They might find it better to meet that problem head-on while their children are still in their care than to have them discover evolutionary science concepts and evidence on their own.
I think this latter course of action is better than the stealth textbook on the openness front.