Texas Creationism Update (31 December 2008)

AS YOU KNOW, the Texas Board of Education (BOE) is currently deciding whether it should keep the anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state’s current standards for science education.

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram we read: Educators applaud Texas board’s final proposal on science. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The final proposal for the state’s science curriculum has scientists and watchdog groups proclaiming victory in a battle to protect Texas public school classrooms over the next decade from what they call “watered-down science” — specifically during the instruction of evolution.

Don’t get excited. This isn’t a done deal. Let’s read on:

Much of the concern over earlier versions of the proposed curriculum centered on a requirement that students be able to analyze the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, a phrase that some say is being used by creationists — including some members of the State Board of Education — to subvert the teaching of evolution.

But with the “weaknesses” requirement removed and a new definition for science, the new plan makes it clear that supernatural explanations like creationism and intelligent design have no place in public school science classrooms, said Dan Quinn with the Texas Freedom Network, an Austin-based nonprofit watchdog group.

Yes, but …

Educators removed that “weakness” phrase in their first draft of the science curriculum. After a public hearing that attracted more than 200 speakers, the phrase was back in the second draft, but “weaknesses” was changed to “limitations.”

So you see how it goes. We continue:

The head of the State Board of Education has said that science should admit the possibility of the supernatural when natural explanations fail. But Chairman Don McLeroy has also said that he is not trying to put creationism in public schools.

Don McLeroy, a creationist dentist, is not the kind of man you want to be in charge of education — especially science education. He’s a supernaturalist who claims he’s not pushing creationism, despite all evidence to the contrary. See: Don McLeroy: The Mind of a Creationist Dentist.

Here’s more:

In the end, the wording in the final draft may not matter because its use is not required. In May the board threw out a teacher-suggested language arts curriculum in favor of another that some board members have said they had only an hour to read before voting on it.

All is not well in Texas. And now we come to the conclusion:

The State Board of Education will hold a second public hearing Jan 21 and is scheduled to take a final vote on the new standards in March.

No doubt, they’ll do the right thing.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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