EVERY NOW AND THEN an article comes along that you just have to read. The Fort Worth Weekly has published Devolution in Education, an excellent article subtitled: The fight is on over teaching “intelligent design” in Texas schools.
This article is a well written summary of the ongoing problems currently afflicting Texas, and it seems to hit all the high points, including some of which we were unaware. It discusses the Christine Comer firing and litigation, the retrograde efforts of Don McLeroy, a creationist dentist who is the current State Board of Education chairman, the creationist propaganda flowing from the Discovery Institute, and the Dover litigation in 2005. This is just part of a whole catalog of anti-science horrors, deftly placed in a historical context going back to the Galileo affair. The article is highly recommended.
It’s impossible to give the highlights, because it’s all good, but here are some excerpts from near the end:
Religiously conservative states like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are all facing the same kind of challenge to their science curricula. It could happen in other states as well, but in Texas, a small number of citizens with a particular ideological viewpoint have been elected to positions of power. In addition to the probable threat of lawsuits filed on behalf of parents if any part of the theory of intelligent design makes its way into Texas textbooks, the issue poses other problems, not only for Texas children but for the nation.
Very true. Here’s more:
What happens here will also ripple through the textbooks of other states. Texas, the second-largest purchaser of textbooks (behind California) spent more than $25 million in the 2004-2005 school year on high school biology texts alone, which means that publishers create books based on the needs of Texas schools.
Did we mention that we recommend this article? We did? Well then, go and read it.