Texas School Board Creationist Gets the Boot for Good

Science • Views: 4,149

Dentist Don McLeroy, the young earth creationist appointed to head the Texas State Board of Education twice by Republican Governor Rick Perry, has been rejected by the Texas Senate. I see this as very good news, but the Discovery Institute (who pushed hard to get their anti-evolution “academic freedom” language inserted into the state’s curriculum) will probably see it differently.

The Texas Freedom Network live-blogged the proceedings—and sure enough, every single Republican voted for the creationist to be in charge of teaching the children of Texas. The confirmation required a two-thirds majority, and the vote was 19 Republicans for, 11 Democrats against.

The Republican Party invariably chooses to vote against science, and in favor of atavism and young earth creationism — not just in Texas, either. What a sad state of affairs; it’s one reason why the GOP continues to lose elections, and is hemorrhaging voters.

UPDATE at 5/28/09 3:00:19 pm:

Sure enough, the Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin (who testified in favor of “intelligent design” creationism at recent board hearings on curriculum standards) is already seething and whining about “censorship,” “power grabbing,” the “evolution lobby,” and “indoctrination:” Evolution News & Views: Texas Evolution Lobby Making Power Grabs to Promote Their Censorship Agenda.

In the strange inverted world of the Discovery Institute, a democratic vote in the Texas Senate equals a “power grab.”

UPDATE at 5/28/09 4:41:23 pm:

Hold on before you pop open the champagne, because Republican Governor will now have the chance to pick another chairman for the School Board — and this one won’t have to face the confirmation process until 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry, who nominated McLeroy, will now have to select another member of the board to serve as chairman. Whoever is picked will not have to face Senate confirmation until the 2011 legislative session, unless there is a special session before then.

It’s almost certain that Perry will select another creationist; he did, after all, pick McLeroy not once but twice, even after McLeroy’s Biblical literalist views were notorious. There’s no shortage of creationist Republicans currently on the School Board, so this debacle is going to have another chapter after all.

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