Texas Creationism Hearings: 21 Nov 2008

THERE ISN’T much news today regarding the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism science education standards in Texas. As you know, the Texas Board of Education, chaired by creationist dentist Don McLeroy, is conducting hearings about keeping the creationism-friendly “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state’s current standards.

Of everything we’ve seen, your Curmudgeon has found only one item worth reporting. The Austin American-Statesman has this editorial: State board of education poised to embarrass Texas again, subtitled: “Board requires attacks on evolution fo [sic] Texas public school students.”

Here are a few excerpts, with bold added by us:

Once again Texas is poised to court national disgrace because of the State Board of Education and the anti-evolution agenda of some of its members.

[…]

A debate is raging over a state board requirement that students be taught the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories as early as middle school. That “strengths and weaknesses” language is a way to attack evolution and clear the path for religious doctrines like creationism and intelligent design to be taught.

They seem to have a good understanding of the situation. Let’s skip down to the end:

Evolution is proven, accepted science, and requiring teachers to attack it in middle school and high school is a dreadful policy that perverts science education.

Well said. This is the final paragraph:

Texas lawmakers need to defang this board before it does permanent harm to public education.

What are the chances of that happening?

Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Texas Creationism Hearings: 21 Nov 2008

  1. “That “strengths and weaknesses” language is a way to attack evolution and clear the path for religious doctrines like creationism and intelligent design to be taught.”

    They seem to have a good understanding of the situation.

    Uh, no, they don’t. It would be a violation of the high court if they tried to teach either. They can’t do that. You guys are paranoid.

  2. “It would be a violation of the high court if they tried to teach either.”

    What are you saying? Do you think that teaching evolution violates some Supreme Court ruling?

  3. No, I’m saying that it would be a violation of separation of church and state if anybody tries to teach creationism or ID in school, so the author’s bogus statement is just as bad as the lies that creationists tell.

    There is no “clearing the path for religious doctrines like creationism and intelligent design to be taught”. This cannot LEGALLY happen, so if they tried it, then you could wipe them out!

    What bothers me most is that”your side” doesn’t see it that way, but anybody that is looking only at the facts, would.

    Nobody seems to understand that the integrity of their position is the difference between politics and science. They just know that they are right, so it doesn’t matter. But it does, because you can’t claim that you’re doing anything other than fighting a culture war with equal zeal… and at the expense of science, if necessary.

    The discovery institute cannot LEGALLY circumvent the high court, so you guys should be more than eager to let them hang themselves in order that you can wipe them out once and for all in court where they have already been discredited at a lower level.

    A loss in the high court would wipe out ID and the DI once and for all, so the tendency that you reactionaries have to *automatically* oppose what everybody seem to just *know* are their efforts to interject creationism into the school system, is ludicrous, if you really cared about science rather than the culture war.

    I have no problem if both sides will just admit that they’re playing politics. Just quit pretending that any of you really give a damn about science… yeah, right.

  4. “No, I’m saying that it would be a violation of separation of church and state if anybody tries to teach creationism or ID …”

    We know that. But they do it anyway. We don’t want to encourage them with goofy “academic freedom” laws or slippery science standards. You know, we’d like to cut ’em off at the pass.

    “I have no problem if both sides will just admit that they’re playing politics. Just quit pretending that any of you really give a damn about science…”

    Then you’ve got a problem, because I’m not playing politics.

  5. Now your moderating me from proving flat-out, what a bunch of losers you clowns are… great.

  6. mightyfrijoles

    An Island is also isolated and out of touch – sneak attacks may be political, but they also affect a lot of kids (especially in a state as large as Texas, and through Texas’ effect on school text books), while the courts finally throw out the mess. Creationists don’t care if kids are given a bad science education, since that’s what many of them supply for their own kids through home schooling and religious schools. So why should they care if a few years of Texas school kids get screwed concerning science?

    The legal argument is specious. Even if all the cases are won by objective standards and by science over Creationism, the fact that people get hurt in the meantime, means that the Sensuous Curmudgeon and his ilk are right to stop to nonsense before it has the chance to permanently hurt some innocent person. And, why should anyone have to constantly fight a battle that has already been won on numerous occasions? Because the Creationists won’t give up.

    So keep the bug flat and under your foot where it can’t run up your leg and bite you.

  7. “Now your moderating me from proving flat-out, what a bunch of losers you clowns are… great.”

    Why would anyone want to moderate comments like yours? They’re such valuable contributions.

  8. mightyfrijoles

    Hey Curmy.

    I got a comment about awaiting moderation also. Was gibt?

  9. I saw it, but you’re not being moderated. I even checked to make sure. Somehow the software got your comment tangled up with those of someone else at the same time. We value your input.

  10. There appears to have been a major increase in the volume of weird, incoherent, and bizarre comments here in the last week or so, so maybe the Sensuous Curmudgeon is being cautious. From some of the posts I’ve seen recently, it looks like it’s “Internet Week” at the the Home for the Terminally Bewildered

  11. mightyfrijoles

    During the Gotterdamerung, even a small man my cast a long shadow.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. That one got held up too. It’s not me, really.

  13. “There appears to have been a major increase in the volume of weird, incoherent, and bizarre comments …”

    Yes, longie. That’s how we measure a blog’s success.

  14. Im not sure why everyone makes such a big deal about these things. Here is the problem. Yes to us, evolution is proven science through and through. However to creationists it is a direct attack on there faith. Myself personally i enjoy sitting down with a creationist and having a debate. Yes they are trying to bring the itegrity of evolution to court, why not let them. Adversity only brings strength, thus allow them to challenge the truth of evolution. Whatever problems they present let us as scientists find the answer. There is no reason to fight over it. We here already know what the truth is. Granted you have those pesky fanatics that are simply too proud to look at the truth. However they do make some interesting claims somtimes. The Curmudgeon has in many other posts done an excellent job with dealing with misconceptions about evolution. So why dont we just allow them to make what claims they will and prove them wrong every step of the way!

  15. Smith writes:

    Im not sure why everyone makes such a big deal about these things. Here is the problem. Yes to us, evolution is proven science through and through. However to creationists it is a direct attack on there faith. Myself personally i enjoy sitting down with a creationist and having a debate. Yes they are trying to bring the itegrity of evolution to court, why not let them. Adversity only brings strength, thus allow them to challenge the truth of evolution.

    A few points here: First, just as an astronomy teacher wouldn’t waste classroom time debating with astrology buffs, nor would a geography teacher debate a student who was a flat-earther, nor would the school cafeteria serve up raw sewage as an optional side dish — letting the students debate and decide nutrition for themselves, so too do biology teachers refuse to debate with creationists in school.

    It’s a waste of time. And who wants to be bothered going to court over such nonsense? It doesn’t strengthen science, it drains a school district’s resources. Science isn’t improved by wasting time debating fools.

  16. You wrote:

    Of everything we’ve seen, your Curmudgeon has found only one item worth reporting.

    Dammit, I’ve spent most of my day today on my response to that (see link below).
    The problem is your focus on what they’re SAYING. Sometimes you need a shift of focus to what they’re DOING in those articles.

    I’m reminded of a story (I thought it was a Seuss story with Bartholomew Cubbins, but I can’t confirm that), in which a boy goes home from the castle every day pushing a wheelbarrow, which the king’s guards inspect every day to make sure the boy is not making off with castle property. End of story: the boy has taken home enough of the king’s wheelbarrows to fill up his whole house.

    Anyway, here’s my post, in case you’re interested:
    http://curricublog.org/2008/11/23/fair-or-balanced/

  17. Tony Whitson says:

    The problem is your focus on what they’re SAYING. Sometimes you need a shift of focus to what they’re DOING in those articles.

    Good job, Tony. I urge everyone to visit Tony’s blog to see what he says. It reminds me of what happened in the Louisiana legislature, where they lined up three “experts” from one bible college to create the appearance of a scientific controversy.

  18. I also posted about my experiences at the hearing at Daily Kos. The problem with the newspaper reporting is that so few actually stay through the whole thing. I tried to report both on my own testimony – which included calling the creationists out on their “willful deception, in other words, lying” and got told I was not allowed to say that word by McLeroy. They also laughed when I named the creationist board members by name. Apparently I left one out and Bradley waved his hands in the air. Ironic, when they’re so intent on telling the audience and the media their changes have “nothing to do with religion” or ID/creationism. There’s an MP3 of my testimony at the DK diary, and you can hear them laughing. Messin’ with TX Education:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/21/11102/072?new=true