YOU know about Don McLeroy — the creationist dentist whose appointment as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education (BOE) recently failed to win confirmation in the state senate. When we learned that McLeroy was being challenged in the Republican primary next year by Thomas Ratliff, the son of former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, we posted the news here. After giving the matter some consideration for a couple of days, we posted this: Re-Elect Don McLeroy!
Mr. Ratliff has favored us with a comment to that latter article. To provide his remarks as wide an audience as possible, we are copying his comment here as a stand-alone article. What follows are Mr. Ratliff’s words in their entirety, with no embellishment and no interruption by us. Our brief commentary appears at the end.
We looked at Thomas Ratliff’s website this morning. We don’t yet see anything there that addresses our concerns. As we said in our earlier post:
Something is wrong here. Running against Don McLeroy and not discussing whether creationism belongs in science education is like running for President against Abe Lincoln’s re-election in 1864 and not mentioning that there’s a war going on. Our conclusion is that Ratliff is a closeted creationist, but one who has slick relationships with the state legislature.
We regret that “slick relationships” remark. It wasn’t appropriate. And we are pleased that Mr. Ratliff understands that the earth is considerably older than 6,000 years. But will he say so on his website? And what does he think of teaching the alleged “weaknesses” of evolution in the science classes of state-run schools? Does he understand that if there actually were weaknesses, or counter-evidence, such would be taught — without the need for any politician’s insistence?
In other words, does Mr. Ratliff want the children of Texas to learn science, as the scientists understand it, or does he want to teach some kind of creationist (or intelligent design) version that leaves the students not only confused, but woefully misinformed?
As Mr. Ratliff quite reasonably requests, we shall “try to refrain from any more blind assumptions.” Therefore, we look forward to a clear and unambiguous statement on Mr. Ratliff’s website. What kind of science education does he favor — evolution, straight up? Or some watered-down, religiously-oriented creationist version? This is a simple question. One or two straightforward sentences on the Ratliff website will clarify the matter.
To keep any relevant comments in one place — this post — we’ll shut comments off for our earlier two posts on the McLeroy election challenge.
Addendum: One of our readers drew our attention to comment #49 following this article: Texas Board Will Consider Letting Creationist Institute Offer Teaching Degrees, at the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education. That comment appears to be by Thomas Ratliff. Among other things, it supports the Institute for Creation Research in their quest to have their creation science degrees recognized by Texas. We’d appreciate some clarification.
Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.