Texas Creationist Don McLeroy: Rejected!

THE Texas senate voted today on the nomination of creationist dentist Don McLeroy, whom Texas Governor Rick Perry had appointed as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). It was McLeroy — a young-earth creationist — who presided over the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre.

The Austin American-Statesman reports: Senate rejects McLeroy confirmation as SBOE chairman. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The Texas Senate on Thursday refused to confirm Don McLeroy as State Board of Education chairman after an impassioned floor debate. The 19 to 11 party-line vote was not enough to get McLeroy across the required two-thirds threshold. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, abstained from the vote.

That’s the good news For the bad, let’s read on:

McLeroy, a Republican from Bryan, was first elected to the board in 1998 and will remain in that position.

So we’ll still have Don McLeroy to kick around. What happens next?

But Gov. Rick Perry will now need to appoint another leader from the 15-member board.

That should be interesting, considering how many other creationists are on the board. Here’s more:

Critics said McLeroy’s nearly two-year tenure as chairman has been dysfunctional and divisive.

[…]

But his supporters said there was an anti-religious tinge to the opposition because McLeroy is a conservative Christian who does not believe in evolution.

Well, that’s the way it goes. But we wish rationality weren’t a partisan issue in Texas.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

12 responses to “Texas Creationist Don McLeroy: Rejected!

  1. The Gadfly

    Good, I hope.

  2. But we wish rationality weren’t a partisan issue in Texas.

    Seconded. That was far too close.

  3. I think this will tell Gov. Perry that he needs to pull his horns in a little. He has several conservative but not IDiotic Republicans on the board from which he can nominate a successor to McLeory. There are 8 out of the 15 members that are usually rational, but if Perry nominates one of the Biblical literalist zealots (BLZ’s) and this one is worse than McLeroy, then I think the 8 rational members will stick together to defeat any harmful measures.

    Perry has to remember that this extreme choice was a defeat for him, and he is going to face a more moderate Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Republican primary. Anyone can vote in the Republican primary and there aren’t enough of the BLZ bubbas to fight off the enraged crossover vote.

  4. Tincy Miller was chair for four years, appointed by Perry right before McLeroy served. I’d be happy to see her re-appointed, but given her support for Kay Bailey Hutchinson I fear the chair will pass to a far-right anti-science type like Cynthia Dunbar.

  5. If Perry is a Christian, the case needs to be made to him that appointing an anti-evolution activist – and please, let’s call them that, as “creationists” includes “honest scammed” as well as “dishonest scammers” – encourages people to bear false witness.

    Of course, Christian or not, Perry is a politician first, so that approach would be a long-shot at best. But it’s worth a try.

  6. Frank J says:

    …appointing an anti-evolution activist – and please, let’s call them that, as “creationists” includes “honest scammed” as well as “dishonest scammers” – encourages people to bear false witness.

    Too late for me to change my ways. However in describing something modeled after the Discoveroids’ “academic freedom” bill, I almost always call it “one of those anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly laws.” It’s clumsy, but that way I touch all the bases.

  7. Audio of the hour-long debate on McLeroy (without the rest of the 6 hour session) is now posted at

    http://curricublog.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/mcleroy-renomination-fails-in-texas/

    There’s also a short clip with just this bit from Sen. Ogden:

    He does have a better scientific background than most of us — he’s got a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering!

    He has a better science background than most of us — he’s a Doctor of Dental Science [sic] — Hell, he IS a scientist!

    (note: Ogden was not the only McLeroy supporter to gloss “DDS” as “Doctor of Dental Science”.)

  8. Good work, Tony. Thanks.

  9. While the cluelessness of his supporters is good for a laugh, the fact is that he probably does have a better science background than most of them. But given his extreme political agenda, more knowledge of science would only help him misrepresent it better. I’d actually prefer a clueless rube who had the sense not to second-guess those scientists who have the most to gain by falsifying evolution.

  10. Frank J says: “While the cluelessness of his supporters is good for a laugh, the fact is that he probably does have a better science background than most of them.”

    McLeroy’s “dental science” is about the same as that of a dentist in ancient Egypt. He has better tools, but that’s about it. Any other science he may have learned (who gives up engineering for dentistry?) is utterly subordinated to Genesis, so it’s virtually non-existent.

  11. Frank J says

    I’d actually prefer a clueless rube who had the sense not to second-guess those scientists who have the most to gain by falsifying evolution.

    It’s actually been notable how free the SBOE creationists have felt in pronouncing judgment on science matters, while those who support the scientists have been much more hesitant to even enter into arguments about things they feel unqualified to talk about.

    The ones who know enough to know that they don’t have the expertise are the ones who are not talking, while the ones who aren’t aware of any lacking expertise just talk away at will.