Texas Science Education: Don McLeroy Again

THE TEXAS State Board of Education (the BOE) determines the curriculum of Texas public schools, and their science education standards are once again up for review. Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist who is chairman of the BOE, wants to keep the controversial “strengths and weaknesses” language of the old standards — especially regarding evolution, where he sees mostly weaknesses.

McLeroy has written a guest column appearing in the Waco Tribune-Herald: Biology standards and reasonable doubts. Here (with bold added for emphasis) are some excerpts:

Science education has become a culture-war issue. The battle is over the controversial evolutionary hypothesis that all life is descended from a common ancestor by unguided natural processes.

Evolution is a “controversial hypothesis” only in the minds of the scientifically illiterate — like McLeroy. We’ve written about him a few times before, for example: Texas Dentist’s Jihad Against Evolution.

Continuing:

Texas is adopting new science standards. Scientists representing evolutionists and calling themselves the 21st Century Science Coalition say that creationists on the State Board of Education will inject religion into the science classroom. Should they be concerned? No. This will not happen.

They also say that the board will require supernatural explanations to be placed in the curriculum. This will not happen.

Once — just once! — we’d like to see one of these malignant creationists speak truthfully about their intentions. By “malignant creationists” we mean those who aren’t content to keep their faith to themselves.

Would you like to know what McLeroy really thinks? Here’s an article we wrote that gives you a peek into his personal website. It’s chilling: Texas Anti-Evolution Debate: Pure Creationism. Because McLeroy is a dentist, we’ve described his intellectual condition as DDS — Darwin Derangement Syndrome.

Creationists are like Moon-landing deniers. Until they actually have something to show for their efforts, what they have is literally nothing, and their rejectionist beliefs, although fervent, are unworthy of mention in science texts.

Here’s more from McLeroy’s column in the Waco Tribune-Herald:

The National Academy of Sciences in its recent booklet Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, defines science as “the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.” This definition should be acceptable to both sides.

But, the coalition [the 21st Century Science Coalition] also makes claims about evolution that will be challenged by creationists.

McLeroy goes on to discuss the “challenges” raised by creationists (such as himself). Read the whole column if you want to observe the workings of a creationist’s mind while he’s trying to simultaneously: (a) say creationist things; and (b) appear rational. Now that’s a challenge. Alas, the creationist dentist doesn’t seem up to the task.

As they say at the website of the 21st-Century Science Coalition, the pro-science organization which McLeroy dismisses with apparent contempt:

We should teach students 21st-century science, not some watered-down version with phony arguments that nonscientists disingenuously call “weaknesses.” Calling “intelligent design” arguments a “weakness” of evolution is like calling alchemy a “weakness” of chemistry, or astrology a “weakness” of astronomy.

That says it all.

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5 responses to “Texas Science Education: Don McLeroy Again

  1. McLeroy write: “Let the best scientific explanation win.”
    Maybe he should read Philip Kicher’s latest book, “Living with Darwin.”

  2. Members of the 21st Century Science Coalition (including review panel member David Hillis) take McLeroy to school in another editorial in the same paper:

    http://www.wacotrib.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/2008/10/19/10192008wacscience.html

    HT: The Austringer

  3. The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism. For a good review of the Discovery Institute and this book, take a look at the review on ars technica. The conclusion, although a little less than polite, sums up the book pretty nicely:

  4. James F says:

    … another editorial in the same paper

    That’s good! I’ll do a separate article on it. Thanks.

  5. anna jennifer says:

    … take a look at the review on ars technica.

    Thanks, but it’s been mentioned here, with links, a couple of times in earlier articles.