Texas SBOE 2012 Election: Schafersman v. Rowley

We haven’t paid much attention to Texas lately, but that’s going to change. All 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) are up for election this year, and in Texas that means trouble — big trouble.

In the Amarillo Globe-News of Amarillo, Texas we read Evolution tops State Board of Education debate topics. It’s about the race in SBOE District 15, where the candidates are Republican Marty Rowley and Democrat Steven Schafersman.

The last time we wrote about that district was back in May, when the GOP primary contest was between Carlisle and Rowley. We favored Carlisle, who was sane. Alas, Rowley won, and he’s now running against Schafersman in the general election.

The newspaper story is about a debate the two candidates recently had at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Rowley, an Amarillo Republican, said he does not think creationism should be taught in Texas science classrooms, but intelligent design should be included along with the strengths and weaknesses of evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! How is it possible for a human to be that stupid, and yet find his way to the debate? Perhaps the magical designer — blessed be he! — intended for it to be so. On with the article:

“I do think if our teachers are given the freedom to teach the strengths and the weaknesses of evolution, then what we’re going to do is allow our students to look at all aspects and to make a well-reasoned decision as to what they believe with regard to a particular theory,” Rowley said.

Flaming idiot! Hey, Rowley: It’s okay for the kiddies to choose their homecoming queen, but they don’t get to choose their own version of reality. Well, maybe it’s different in Rowley-world. Let’s read on:

Schafersman, a Democrat from Midland, said intelligent design is the same as creationism, but neither is valid science. “Intelligent design and creationism have no basis and no reason to be taught,” Schafersman said. “Instead, what (people are) trying to do is weaken the evolution standards.”

Y’know, it shouldn’t be such a rarity to encounter a sane school board candidate, but that’s how it is in Texas. If you need more information to help you make up your mind, here’s what the newspaper says about the candidates’ occupations:

Rowley is a certified professional mediator and serves as president of the Maverick Boys & Girls Club of Amarillo.

Schafersman is a consulting scientist in Midland’s petroleum and environmental industries.

The rest of their debate was about what we consider boring school board stuff, so we won’t bother with it. However, stay tuned to this blog because we’ll soon be writing about the race in District 5, where our favorite, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, is challenging Ken “Dog-Cat” Mercer.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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4 responses to “Texas SBOE 2012 Election: Schafersman v. Rowley

  1. I first met Schafersman at an NCSE workshop and have corresponded with him on several occasions. Steven is President of Texas Citizens for Science and has faught hard for some years against the Texas Board of Education attempts to place religion in public schools. He has a Ph.D. in geology from Rice University and has taught at several colleges. He has a blog at http://www.badgeology.com.

    He would be a great member of the Texas Board and would uphold solid science standards. As in most of Texas he has a tough battle against the fundamentalist leaning populace of his district. We wish him well in the contest!

  2. Rowley, an Amarillo Republican, said he does not think creationism should be taught in Texas science classrooms, but intelligent design should be included along with the strengths and weaknesses of evolution.

    Translation: he read the memo (*) and is in on the scam, not a clueless rube. So please don’t take the bait and assume that he believes any alternate explanation, especially one that concludes a young or flat earth. All we know is that he wants to censor educational material that has earned the right to be taught, and force taxpayers to pay for that which has not earned the right to be taught, and deliberately misrepresents that which has. The courts have already determined that what he demands is a religious view, even if it doesn’t mention God or Genesis, so there’s no need to reinvent that wheel.

    (*) Actually he missed the part of the memo where the DI warns not to teach ID either. Apparently some people – not nearly enough to suit me – asked if students should learn the weaknesses of ID, as they did before with “creationism.”

  3. Schafersman is a leading anti-creationist.