YESTERDAY, we reported about a poll of college-level teachers, showing 98% support for teaching evolution. The professors rejected both creationism and creationism’s closeted love-child, intelligent design. Our report was here: Texas Creationism: Poll of Professional Scientists.
That poll was taken in reaction to the creationist-dominated Texas Board of Education, which is planning to keep the creationism-friendly provisions of that state’s education standards.
Today, the Texas papers are all reporting this news. We’re especially interested in the creationists’ spin, so we’ll be quoting some of their reactions. In each of the following excerpts, the bold was added by us:
In the Dallas Morning News we read 95% of professors in study back teaching of evolution alone in Texas public schools:
New science standards are expected to be approved early next year by the education board, where a majority of members have voiced support for retaining the current mandate to cover both strengths and weaknesses of major scientific theories, notably evolution, in science courses.
“This is something we’ve been doing for over 20 years in Texas, and we should keep doing it,” said board chairman Don McLeroy, R-College Station
Moving along with more creationist reactions, in the Houston Chronicle we read: Most Texas profs support no limits on evolution teaching. To find a worthy authority to speak against the poll results, that news organ turned to the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids):
Public school students should be exposed to all sides of the evolution debate, said Casey Luskin, a spokesman for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank that advocates the teaching of evidence for and against evolution in public schools.
“It’s a facade to pretend that there are no scientific weaknesses of evolution, and not teaching the scientific weaknesses to students will prevent them from learning about the facts of biology, and it will harm their critical thinking skills,” Luskin said.
He downplayed the survey of Texas scientists.
“This self-selecting survey shows just how ideological the Darwinists have become because they are now resorting to scientific votes to reinforce a climate of intimidation that shuts down scientific criticism of evolution,” Luskin said.
Yes, a “self-selecting survey.” Except that it’s a survey of those who know what they’re talking about. As we reported yesterday, the survey was sent to “all the biology and biological anthropology faculty members his research team could find — 1,109 — at all 35 Texas public universities plus the 15 largest private institutions.”
In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram we read Texas biology professors see little controversial about evolution, survey shows:
Casey Luskin, a program officer at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that advocates teaching students to analyze “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, said fewer than half of the 1,019 faculty members contacted for the survey responded.
“It’s a self-selecting survey,” Luskin said. “There’s a well-documented culture of intimidation that makes scientists uncomfortable expressing their doubts about Darwinism. This just serves to reinforce that climate of intimidation.”
Luskin said the Discovery Institute does not seek to mandate the teaching of intelligent design in schools, but instead just wants a closer look at evolution.
There it is. Professionals know that intelligent design and creationism are scientifically worthless, and don’t belong in the science classes of public schools. Opposed to them appear to be two factions, but they’re really part of the same team: the followers of Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist, and the Discoveroids in Seattle are all dancing to the same tune.
Who will win? Never underestimate the combined power of ignorance, stupidity, and madness.
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