"This change is by far the most unscientific revision, and is completely unacceptable," says Schafersman. "There are no good arguments in modern science 'against universal common descent', which has been accepted by biologists for over 130 years, so the phrase is asking for something that authors and publishers cannot honestly supply."
In essence, says Schafersman, "the added phrase supports an anti-evolution intent which is not scientific."
The board is to agree the final text of the draft standard at a meeting on 26-27 March. The hope is that all the anti-evolution amendments can be removed then.
If they are, then Texas schoolbooks will be free of them for at least 10 years. But failure to remove them could lead to spread of the resultant pro-creationist standards to other states.
In the time between now and then, Zimmerman urges people to visit "Teach them Science", a site that he has helped set up through his "Clergy Project" initiative launched in 2006 to promote acceptance of evolution by churchgoers. The site was set up jointly with The Center for Inquiry, a secular group.