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.
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