Texas Creationism: The AAAS Speaks Up (Again)

Dr. Alan I. Leshner, head of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), has written a letter to Don McLeroy (pdf file). As reported at the AAAS website:

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.

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

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

7 responses to “Texas Creationism: The AAAS Speaks Up (Again)

  1. Another problem is that McLeroy introduced the amendment they’re describing! A letter to all of the board members would have been more appropriate.

  2. Presumably, a letter to McLeroy as chairman is a letter to the whole BOE. I suspect that those signing the letter know quite well that it won’t have any effect, but they’re going on record, fighting the good fight. Yes, it’s probably futile, but taking a stand is what’s expected, so it’s what they’re doing. “From my cold dead hands” and all that.

  3. Indeed. Well said.

  4. Still waiting to hear about Florida. (sigh)

  5. Stacy says: “Still waiting to hear about Florida.”

    Me too, but it’s convenient — from a blogging point of view — to have this be Texas week. I couldn’t handle them both at the same time.

  6. Creationist and Scientist

    It is, it my humble opinion, ridiculous to imply that creationists do not listen to scientists. I am a PhD in chemistry and a creationist. Nothing in my work suggests to me that something is wrong with my faith, and nothing in my faith suggests that there is something wrong with science. The problem is, I believe, that many scientists ‘preach’ science (pun intended) as if all the theories and speculations are fact, which is completely counter to the free exchange of ideas in science — most certainly in the training of a novice scientist. Is there evidence for evolution, yes, in the form of microscopic change, and certainly natural selection (or God-ordained extinction) occurs. But there are no experiments that can be performed to prove or corroborate the existence of a macroevolution, which is at the heart of the matter here. As a scientist, I take with a grain of salt any scientific data/evidence that cannot be backed by rigorous, reproducible experiment. The common Darwinian evolutionary theory is such a ‘theory’, and should, in my humble opinion, be called a ‘conjecture’ or ‘speculation’ in a classroom and taught along side the other reputable theories on the origin of life. Why does the CEO of a major scientific organization, or any scientific organization for that matter, think he can dictate how science should be taught? This is, after all, a free country.

  7. Creationist and Scientist says: “This is, after all, a free country.”

    It used to be. Anyway, it’s not a free blog. You’ve said your piece. Good luck with your creationist chemistry.