Our last post about this was Texas Creationist Freak Show, Day 2. As hundreds of newspaper articles have already informed you, the creationists on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), now under the leadership of Barbara Cargill, totally failed to sabotage their state’s science texts.
All the supplemental texts that had been submitted were approved, except the pitiful offering of a creationist publisher which got rejected. We suspect that one would have been the only submission to be approved back when the board was led by Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist. McLeroy’s defeat last year by Thomas Ratliff left the SBOE’s creationists not only leaderless, but also lacking an essential vote. All the efforts of teachers, scientists, publishers, and concerned witnesses would have failed if the creationists had their former political muscle yesterday — but they lost it. That’s why reason prevailed.
Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) posted this: Victory for evolution in Texas. Here’s a sample of what they say:
Pop the champagne corks. The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC.
There are 15 members of the SBOE, so we’re curious about that vote tally. But it’s the result that counts. Another excerpt from NCSE:
One hot button: the supplement from Holt McDougal. A creationist member of the review panel released a list of Holt’s supposed errors involving evolution and common descent. But in today’s hearing, the Texas Education Agency pointed out that the full membership of the review panel had not signed off on the list.
That was amusing. As we understand it, one of the reviewers appointed by the SBOE had written up a list of objections — typical creationist stuff — and the loonies on the board tried to get a vote ordering the publisher to revise its material to comply with those objections. But then it was revealed that only one reviewer had made those objections — not the whole panel. You can read about it in the Houston Chronicle: Education board chief has homework. Here’s an excerpt, with bold font added by us:
But there was pointed discussion over the handling of alleged errors in high school biology materials by publisher Holt McDougal. Eight alleged errors flagged by David Shormann dealt with common ancestry and fossil records – key parts in the evolution theory.
Shormann is a math and science teacher for Houston-area home-schooled children. His writings profess the Earth to be about 6,000 years old. Five science experts, who also reviewed the biology materials, sent board members a letter Friday disagreeing with Shormann. They dismissed his claims as “scientifically inaccurate” and based on “overtly creationist literature.”
David Shormann? Who brought that guy to the party? We learn from the Texas Freedom Network in Creationists Appointed to Science Review Panels that — surprise! — he was appointed to the textbook review panel by Barbara Cargill. Nice try, Babs! BWAHAHAHAHA!
There’s one more base we want to cover before leaving this Texas story. We want the reaction of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
You will recall their previous conduct when their efforts have failed. You don’t recall? Well, back in 2008 they failed to get a creationism bill passed in Florida. That’s when a certain “senior fellow” threw an online tantrum and we posted Buffoon Award Winner — John West. Later that year when they were successful in Louisiana they posted five self-congratulatory articles in one day, and we wrote Discovery Institute — Ecstasy Over Louisiana. When Thomas Ratliff defeated the creationist dentist last year in a Texas GOP primary, the Discoveroids lost their greatest ally on the SBOE and we posted Discovery Institute Weeps for Don McLeroy. They recently celebrated their only victory so far in 2011 when high school student Zack Kopplin’s creationism repeal campaign failed in Louisiana, and we wrote Discovery Institute: Ecstasy Over Louisiana #2.
So how are the Discoveroids dealing with their defeat in Texas? While the hearings were going on, Casey Luskin — everyone’s favorite creationist and a Curmudgeon Fellow — posted three different articles in one day. The first wasn’t about the Texas hearing so we’ll ignore it. Neither of the other two is in any way memorable, but you can find them here: first there was this, followed soon thereafter by this one. Both were Casey’s attempts to ridicule testimony by experts.
But where’s the big Discoveroid blow-out? Where’s the tantrum we’re accustomed to seeing from Casey’s superiors? That hasn’t appeared yet. When it finally shows up — and it will — the thing may be amusing enough to justify a stand-alone post from your Curmudgeon, or it may not be worth the bother. But at this point it’s nice to know they’re upset — and they probably have a lot of explaining to do to their generous patrons.
Failure is never easy — unless it’s a creationist failure. We’re enjoying this one, and we salute all who worked to make it possible.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.