Texas Creationism: Big Shootout Next Week

One never knows what creationists will do next, because they don’t understand that their “science” has been rendered as obsolete as astrology. Due to their ignorance and fanaticism — a wicked combination — they just keep on coming, like a horde of brain-devouring zombies in some stupid movie. But the current phase of their activism in Texas may be approaching an end.

We haven’t been paying much attention to Texas lately. It’s not the same since Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist, lost his re-election bid to remain on the Texas State Board of Education. The last time we wrote about the situation was a couple of months ago: The Great Texas Textbook Hearing. Now we have to start watching again.

A long and very informative article appeared in yesterday’s Dallas Observer. It’s worth reading: Creationists’ Last Stand at the State Board of Education. The National Center for Science Education has a good summary here: Creationism’s last stand in Texas?

We found a fine new column on the situation in the Austin American-Statesman, published in the capital of Texas: Wetherington, Eagan: Don’t let science of evolution lose to the politics of teaching it. It’s by Ronald Wetherington, described at the end of the column as: “an evolutionary anthropologist at Southern Methodist University,” and by Scott P. Egan, described as: “Huxley Faculty Fellow in Ecology and Evolution at Rice University.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

This month Texas has the chance, once and for all, to send a message that sound science education really is important in the Lone Star State.

The State Board of Education is set to vote Nov. 22 on which new science textbooks and online instructional materials to adopt for Texas public schools for the next decade. What those textbooks say about evolution is, as it has been for decades, at the center of the debate before the board.

Mark your calendars. That’s next Friday — one week from today. They also say:

For those of us who have devoted our careers to the study of evolution, it is profoundly frustrating to see dishonest ideologues repeat over and over claims about evolution that scientists have clearly debunked.

This summer in Texas, for example, a politically appointed reviewer serving on an official state panel criticized a proposed biology textbook for failing to tell students “that no transitional fossils have been discovered.” That claim is absolutely not true. Researchers have discovered thousands of transitional fossils.

“Profoundly frustrating” indeed. Let’s read on:

Anti-evolution activists also argue that cells and other organisms are too complex to have developed through evolutionary processes. They insist that the so-called “Cambrian explosion” somehow weakens the evidence for evolution. They allege “fabrications” in research.

Yet scientists have, painstakingly and repeatedly, shown that those arguments and so many others are just plain wrong. They’re wrong not because of differing but honest interpretations of research data. They’re wrong because critics simply distort the factual record or ignore it altogether.

We can’t copy the whole article, but that’s what we’ve started to do because every paragraph is too good to leave out. We’ll have to skip most of it and jump to the final paragraph:

So we call on members of the State Board of Education not to pressure publishers into watering down or distorting instruction on evolution in their new textbooks. Adopt these proposed textbooks and ensure that Texas students get a 21st century education in their 21st century classrooms.

Okay, you have a lot of reading to do. We’ll be watching the developments in Texas.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Texas Creationism: Big Shootout Next Week

  1. Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

  2. SC: “One never knows what creationists will do next, because they don’t understand that their ‘science’ has been rendered as obsolete as astrology.”

    One never knows which particular sound bites any particular evolution-denier will use next, but critics who have spent more than a few days following their antics know very well the set of sound bites form which they will select it. The set 100% predictable, even if “the next subset” is anyone’s guess.

    But I would argue that that’s because a tiny subset of evolution-deniers does understand that their “science” has been rendered as obsolete as astrology. In fact the subset that sold out to the ID scam apparently knows that their “science” has even less promise than astrology or Biblical creationism, which at least make testable predictions. When Behe admitted (in so many words) at Dover that, to include ID, the definition of science would have to be broadened enough that astrology would qualify, it was another earth-shattering admission. One that ranks with Dembski’s admission that ID accommodates all the results of “Darwinism.”

  3. Now that I read your post, I like the excerpts (it’s nice to not be the only one to use the term “anti-evolution activists”) and look forward to reading the original article. But a few things leave me uneasy – Texas, “shootout,” Nov. 22, and textbooks (as in depository). Coincidence, or “design”? 😉