The letter was signed by Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS, and David E. Daniel, president of the University of Texas at Dallas and 2009 president of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). They were joined by 23 others, including Francisco G. Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System, and Robert F. Curl, a Nobel laureate in chemistry at Rice University.
The letter begins by saying:
We, members of the Texas scientific community, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, encourage you as a member of the State Board of Education to oppose amendments to the draft state science standards that would harm the teaching of science in Texas.
Unfortunately, we predict that this letter will have no effect on Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist who is chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). Why? Because creationists never pay attention to scientists. If they did, they wouldn’t be creationists!
Your Curmudgeon’s prediction isn’t based merely on our understanding of creationists’ mentality. There is also history:
The AAAS wrote to Texas before, back in October. Their letter appeared in the Houston Chronicle. See: Alan Leshner to Texas: Intelligent Design Is Religion, Not Science. It had no effect on the creationist faction of the BOE.
Earlier, in June of last year, the AAAS wrote a letter to the Speaker of the Louisiana House, urging rejection of that state’s creationism bill. The letter had no effect, and Louisiana is now officially a creationist state.
So although it’s very nice for the AAAS to again write to Texas, we fear that they are wasting their time. Don McLeroy lives in his own universe — one in which verifiable facts and well-tested theories play no part.
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