Texas Creationism Update (01 December 2008)

With all the fair-minded impartiality that was evident during the infamous Kansas evolution hearings in 2005 — by which we mean zero impartiality — the Texas Board of Education, chaired by creationist dentist Don McLeroy, is pretending to consider the testimony of science experts.

Your Curmudgeon has been predicting that when this show-trial is concluded, the Board will announce their faith-based decision to keep the anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state’s current standards for science education. That will allow the presentation in science class of such “theories” as young-earth creationism, the global Flood, and other religious matters.

There is a new, well-researched article on the Texas situation appearing at the excellent website run by Dr. Barbara Forrest, Louisiana Coalition for Science. Professor Barbara Forrest was a star witness for the winning side in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, and she is remarkably well-informed on the activities of organized creationism.

The article is: The Discovery Institute Targets Texas, which we recommend that you read in its entirety. Here are a few excerpts, with bold added by us:

Texas science education is currently in the crosshairs of the Discovery Institute (DI), the conservative Seattle think tank that serves as the headquarters of the intelligent design (ID) creationist movement. DI’s supporters in the Lone Star state are using the same code-language strategy that its Louisiana supporters used earlier this year, in spring 2008, when DI targeted the science education of Louisiana children. Working through the Louisiana Family Forum, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, DI helped to promote the “academic freedom” bill that the legislature passed and Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law on June 25 as the “Louisiana Science Education Act” (LSEA).

Dr. Forrest knows who all the players are, and she unhesitatingly names them. Here’s more:

The ID proponents’ goal is to have the “strengths and limitations” of evolution — code for ID creationist criticisms of evolution — included in the science standards.


“Strengths and limitations” is the most recent evolution of ID creationist code language. Until a few weeks ago, the code phrase used in the standards was “strengths and weaknesses,” which had been inserted by creationists two decades ago. Thanks to well-organized efforts by pro-science groups such as the Texas Freedom Network, “strengths and weaknesses” was exposed as merely a shopworn creationist code term …

As a result of the exposure of “strengths and weaknesses,” the code language has evolved yet again, this time to “strengths and limitations.”

To learn the details of this latest creationist maneuver, click over to Dr. Forrest’s site and read her article.

One might think that these people should eventually realize that the whole world knows exactly what they’re doing. After all, unlettered creationists immediately know that this is what they went, so it’s certainly not difficult for federal judges to understand what’s going on. But as with so many things, the creationists don’t have a good grip on reality. Besides, they’re obsessed with their mission to save the world from the evils of science. So they’ll keep on going. And so will we.

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

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4 responses to “Texas Creationism Update (01 December 2008)

  1. Have they nailed down specifically what those “weaknesses” or “limitations” they want taught are? I’ve seen some things informally (lack of transitional fossils, you weren’t there so how do you know anything) that are only weaknesses or limitations to Creationists who don’t know enough about the science they’re opposing to know those tattered old arguments have long been shredded and fed to the ducks. Exactly what do they want taught here?
    And is it just biology? Has anybody said anything about teaching the “weaknesses” of geology, which as a science doesn’t make sense without timespans in the millions of years?

  2. Pingback: News Affecting Louisiana High Schools for 12/02/2008 « Louisiana High Schools

  3. Deklane says:

    Have they nailed down specifically what those “weaknesses” or “limitations” they want taught are?

    McLeroy has been quoted in the press describing the weaknesses. Discussed in this earlier post: Discovery Institute: In Full Spin Mode over Texas.

  4. retiredsciguy

    Deklane says:

    “And is it just biology? Has anybody said anything about teaching the “weaknesses” of geology, which as a science doesn’t make sense without timespans in the millions of years?”

    Not to mention astronomy — the Andromeda Galaxy, M-31, is about 2.2 million light years away, meaning the light we see from it today originated 2.2 million years ago. Logic would suggest those stars had to be there 2.2 million years ago for this to happen. Pretty hard to explain if everything was created just 6000 years ago.

    There I go again, preaching to the chorus.