Texas Creationism: A Confused Columnist’s Views

TEXAS WILL be generating a lot of creationism news this year. Because this is the first post to be listed our 2009 archive, we’ll begin with a bit of background. Skip the indented paragraph if you’ve been following these events:

The Texas Board of Education (BOE), which is dominated by creationists, is currently deciding the standards for science education in that state’s schools. They made a number of last-minute changes to those standards at the end of a hearing on 21 January. They finally dropped the anti-science, anti-evolution, creationism-friendly “strengths and weaknesses” language. But then the board approved a surprise change proposed by BOE chairman Don McLeroy, a creationist dentist, and added a new requirement to “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of common ancestry to explain the sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record.”

Now that we’re all together, the ongoing political — not scientific — controversy over teaching evolution in Texas schools seems to have unhinged the mind of one Texas columnist. Her name is Cathy Gillentine, described as “a columnist for The Daily News.” It’s possible, however, the Cathy’s mind may have been detached from reality for a long time, and the present controversy has made her condition manifest.

In one brief column, this journalist recklessly expounds on Darwin, cosmology, the Founders, and the Constitution — and thereby demonstrates intellectual chaos beyond our ability to describe. This incredibly foolish column appears in the Galveston County Daily News, “Texas’ Oldest Newspaper,” where we read Darwin’s theory hard to swallow.

Okay, we’re warning you to brace yourself — you’re in for a bumpy ride. Here are some excerpts from Cathy’s column, with bold added by us:

So we are celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin by changing all the Texas school textbooks to say teachers can’t teach there might be some flaws in the theory of evolution.

Cathy, if there actually were flaws, they’d be taught. Let’s read on:

That’s not good science, they say, because an alternate theory to evolution brings religion into play, and we certainly can’t have that. So my Christian friends are wondering what’s happening.

The “alternate theory” is religion, Cathy. That’s the entire issue. We continue:

What’s happening is the secular humanists who have been chipping away at everything Christian are sharing another success. They are the ones who believe the Christian tenets put into play by our founding fathers may have said, “freedom of religion” but what they really meant was “freedom from religion.”

We don’t know or care about the “secular humanists,” and their views in this controversy are unimportant. The whole question facing Don McLeroy and his creationist-dominated Texas Board of Education is whether science alone should be taught in the state’s science classes, or if it should be intermixed with the alternate “theory” of Genesis.

As for “the Christian tenets put into play by our founding fathers,” we think those were “put into play” about 17 centuries earlier. We’ve studied the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the history of the Revolution quite extensively, Cathy, and frankly — you don’t know what you’re talking about. Moving along:

Just because the science books teach that Darwin’s theory of evolution was correct doesn’t mean it’s so.

[…]

I do not believe, and nobody has ever proved, that one species transmigrates into another. It didn’t happen in the past and it doesn’t happen now. Those pictures of fish climbing up out of the water and become birds are just ludicrous.

We won’t expend the effort to discuss that. Instead, see: Creationists: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked. Here’s more from Cathy’s column:

What is also ludicrous is the “Big Bang Theory,” which supposedly explains where all the living creatures began in the first place.

Your Curmudgeon tries to be gentlemanly in such cases, so we’ll let that howler pass without comment. Skipping over a few religious exhortations, we come to the end:

The Bible opens with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That’s certainly no harder to swallow than Mr. Darwin’s theory.

So there you are. We think Cathy has all the intellectual qualifications to be a fine candidate for the Texas State Board of Education.

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

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4 responses to “Texas Creationism: A Confused Columnist’s Views

  1. Nelson Thompson

    I’ll be keeping in touch with your website.
    I am a 62-year old aerospace engineer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Though degreed in Physics, I am self-taught in evolution, genetics and several related fields.
    I am also a “survivor” from a deeply fundementalist christian family–and since the age of 30, an ex-believer.
    I was wondering if you could put me in touch with someone in Texas who needs some help in the fight against creationism in our schools.
    Thanks.

  2. Nelson, try these folks: Texas Citizens for Science. They’re active in opposing creationism.

  3. The primary reason that Christians lost the “Skopes monkey trial” in the 1930’s , if my memory is correct, is because the Christians did not understand the integrity and accuracy of the Bible (as originally written). They closed their eyes and denied physical evidence (bones etc.) that were presented during the trial. BUT, if they would have read one little word in the book of Genesis they would not have lost the case. In Genesis 1:28a God tells Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply and REPLENESH the earth and subdue it:

    [Babbling deleted.]

    There is much more in Genesis and other places in the Bible to validate that “replenesh” is correct and makes sense.

    Thanks for a chance to present some accuracy from a Biblical perspective!

    Mike Mullendore

  4. Mike Mullendore says: “Thanks for a chance to present some accuracy from a Biblical perspective!”

    Mike, we don’t have bible discussions here. That’s not what this blog is for. Besides, Scopes was convicted at the trial, and fossil evidence wasn’t admitted. But thanks for playing.