Texas Creationism: When Good Editorials Go Bad

WE WERE hoodwinked, bamboozled, and hornswoggled!

When we started reading this editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Democracy depends on open, robust and fact-based debate, we were expecting a rip-roaring, take-no-prisoners assault on the creationist Board of Education members who are threatening to drag Texas education back into the pre-Enlightenment days when no one knew anything and when witches were hunted and hanged.

The cause of our anticipation was that editorial starts out in a most promising manner:

What is it about the State Board of Education in Texas that attracts numbskulls who see no problem whatsoever with spreading completely fraudulent information?

Right! Especially people like Don McLeroy, about whom we’ve written several times, for example: Texas Dentist’s Jihad Against Evolution.

The editorial continues:

There’s a board faction that seems intent on adding intelligent design to the science curriculum and more of a religious focus to high school classes on the Bible.

Right again! Here’s another example from our own writing: Rogue Faction Controls Texas Board of Education.

But then the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says this, with bold added by us:

We can debate whether that promotes critical thinking or impermissibly forces a certain religious perspective into our classrooms, when religious instruction should be the purview of homes and churches.

Wrong! There’s nothing to debate at this point, any more than we should debate about 2+2=4. Intelligent design is creationism; creationism is religion; religion isn’t science; states don’t promote religion in science class; therefore neither ID nor creationism belongs in the science classes of state-run schools. That’s not so difficult, is it?

If someone doesn’t understand this it’s because he’s not educated — at least regarding the subject at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that; lack of information is an entirely curable condition. But if an uneducated person insists that — notwithstanding his ignorance — he knows what he’s talking about, and he goes around babbling about how all the experts are wrong, then we have an ignoramus on our hands. Only a fool would debate an ignoramus.

More from the editorial [with a bracketed comment by us]:

But I hope it’s not debatable [yeah, like the scientific value of ID] that it is simply irresponsible for a State Board of Education member to go about fear-mongering by insinuating — without citing any factual basis — that our next president colludes with terrorists, disrespects the Constitution and wants to run a dictatorship.

This is where the editorial veers off the road, wanders across the wilderness, and ends up in Vomit City. The editorial writer started out by mentioning creationism, but having sucked us in, it pulls the ol’ bait-and-switch, and it ends up defending Mr. Obama against a critic on the Board of Education who apparently mentioned Obama’s highly questionable associations.

At this point, gentle reader, our interest in the editorial — which seemed so good at first — has dropped to zero. But if you want to read a Texas editorial defending Mr. Obama, go ahead and click over there.

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