Lebo: As Goes Texas, So Goes the Nation
An excellent article about the creationist insanity that reigns over the Texas State Board of Education, by Lauri Lebo: Evolution Challenged in “Textbook” Case: As Goes Texas, So Goes the Nation.
Ken Mercer says evolution is disproved by the absence of any transitional fossil forms between dogs and cats and cats and rats.
Cynthia Dunbar would like to make it required that “any person desiring to govern have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.” She also calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.”
And Don McLeroy, the leader of this group, argued passionately at last month’s public hearing that someone in this country needs to stand up to the science experts.
As members of the 15-member Texas Board of Education, Mercer, Dunbar, and McLeroy are some of the most powerful decision-makers in the country in terms of what children read in public school science class.
And last week they, and a bare majority of their fellow board members, pushed through new science standards that could very likely determine what your kid learns in biology class in the next decade.
For more than a year, board members, led by McLeroy, a Young Earth Creationist, had been leading efforts to preserve wording in Texas’ science education standards that waters down the teaching of evolutionary theory:The student is expected to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. (Italics added)
At a series of hearings in late March, they were unable to muster a majority vote in favor of the “weakness” language. However, in a last-minute push for alternative amendments, they were able to eke out a majority vote to insert other dubious phrases through a back door. As a result, creationist and pro-intelligent design organizations like the Seattle-based Discovery Institute are now claiming victory “for science education.”
But science watchdogs say the board actually created a road map to pressure publishers into putting false arguments into their textbooks attacking the validity of evolution.
And it needs to be pointed out that Republican Governor Rick Perry appointed creationist dentist Don McLeroy as chairman of the BOE not once, but twice. Creationism is the GOP’s giant problem.