Publisher Proposes Creationist Materials

A 2009 decision by the Texas State Board of Education has enabled creationists to once again try to mess with science in public school classrooms in Texas.

Read the Press Release from the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education

The Texas Education Agency has released proposed supplemental web-based materials for science courses from publishers who want their product in your child’s classroom as early as the 2011-2012 school year.

But there’s a problem with at least one of those publishers that represents a potential leap backward for science education in Texas.

International Databases, Inc., a previously unknown company apparently based in New Mexico, has submitted materials that make no attempt to hide a slant toward creationism and intelligent design, and away from established scientific fact.

Submissions by International Databases and other publishers can be reviewed at the Texas Education Agency website
.

Below are a few examples of attacks on evolution and creationist statements in International Databases’ materials found during a preliminary review by TFN and the NCSE (click on each image to enlarge):

Module 1: Origin Nucleotide (slide 19)

Since such materialistic, self organization scenarios now have a history of scientific
insufficiency for explaining the Origin of Life on Earth, the Null hypothesis (default) stands.
This allows for the testing of the legitimate scientific hypothesis……Life on Earth is the
result of intelligent causes.

Module 8: Teacher Resources (Slide 3)

…at the end of the instructional unit on the Origins of Life, students should go home with
the understanding that a new paradigm of explaining life’s origins is emerging from the failed
attempts of naturalistic scenarios. This new way of thinking is predicated upon the
hypothesis that intelligent input is necessary for life’s origins.

Module 7: Null Hypothesis (Slide 7)

This module sets up two competing explanations for the origin of life: “Non-intelligent
Causes” vs. “Intelligent Causes.” The clear intent is to make a case for an intelligent
designer. The slide below tells students that “until advocates of non-intelligent causes
sustain their claim,” students must accept that life on earth is a result of intelligent causes.

Module 7: Scientific Method (Slide 6)

Many scientists have adopted an unproven hypothesis upon which to build their theories
regarding the origin of life and its’ diversification. This ‘foundation’ is called scientific
materialism, naturalism, and so forth… There are other scientists who have adopted the
unproven hypothesis that an intelligence is necessary to explain both the origin, and
diversification of life on Earth. This view follows from the human experience that teaches
order (complexity) results from intelligent action.

We’ll remind you that it was the SBOE that opened the door to a submission like International Databases’.

In 2009, the SBOE approved new science curriculum standards that call into question the established, mainstream science supporting evolution. At the time, TFN and NCSE warned that the new standards would encourage some vendors and groups to submit textbooks and other instructional materials promoting creationist claims and other pseudoscience in Texas science classrooms.

You have the opportunity to weigh in. Contact the SBOE by email at review.adoption@tea.state.tx.us before the July meeting and tell them to stand up for science and reject creationist materials in public schools.

This article was posted in these categories: creationism, evolution, intelligent design, science, Science adoption (2011), State Board of Education. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


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22 Comments

  1. Krista G.
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Sigh… If the previous textbook fiasco is any indication for how this will play out, it certainly doesn’t look good…

    Two questions:

    *What date in July is this meeting actually taking place?

    *Does anyone happen to know if the BOE decision was in line with commissioners recommendations for textbooks?

    Thanks!

  2. Ben
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Justin, keep up the good work.

  3. Posted May 2, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I’m a Foxhole Atheist – born and raised in Texas. I’m continually shocked at what I see here. I’ll be putting what little visibility I can provide on this. Please keep reporting. Break it down if you have to, even with red arrows, lines, and circles. The easier it is to convey the problem, the better.

  4. John C
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Speaking of homonyms and mysterious coincidences Charles —
    The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, James Wallace said on on Monday that Australian soldiers did not fight on behalf of gay marriage and Muslims.
    Whereas, Jim Wallis said nothing of the sort.

  5. Ben
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Ha! Thanks for the laugh, Charles.

  6. Charles
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, well heck Ben. It’s gotta be Larry Fafarman.

  7. Charles
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I would also point out the fact that a world-famous stuntman named “Steve-O” calls Albuquerque New Mexico his home:

    http://wiki.bmezine.com/index.php/Jackass

    Perhaps this submission of classroom materials is viewed by some hidden figure as a cute little “stunt.”

    However, it should also be noted that Intelius People Search lists a Stephen O. Sample as an actual person living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  8. Ben
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Charles, the tax rolls show that it is his real name.

  9. Charles
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the name is fake, as well as the address in Albuquerque. For example, a guy by the name of Stephen O’ Doherty has been raising a big stink in Australia because the Aussie government has banned the teaching of creationism in private schools, including religious schools. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Christian Schools Australia.

    May he is saying, “Stephen O. and this is a Sample of my work.”

  10. Posted April 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    What? Hasn’t anyone noticed that International Databases = ID?

    As founder and president of No Intelligent Design In Our Texas Schools (No IDIOTS for short), I am surprised the connection to stealth ID has not been noticed by our usually keen bloodhounds on this BLOG. It is time to protest, protest, protest this submission of stealth ID. Charles got a whiff of Little Lord McLeroy in this pile, he just didn’t carry it far enough.

  11. Doc Bill
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    From public records, International Database’s corporate office is a house owned by Stephen O. Sample, age 63. If this weren’t a Poe it should be! Unregistered as either a corporation or a limited liability corporation, but maybe he filed papers. Stephen O. Sample is also registered at a reunion site having graduated from high school in Albuquerque in 1966.

    Just some creationist dood, probably retired, cranking out PowerPoints in his den. Actually, his stuff meets a higher standard of quality than McLeroy set, and I’m sure dood is probably the kind of guy who would “stand up to the experts!”

  12. Doc Bill
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Not surprisingly, the address for “International Databases LLC” is a house in subdivision on the west side of Albuquerque. Doesn’t look like it has a basement, though.

  13. Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Might want to check the “Ecology” unit – there’s a section on Global Warming.

  14. Ben
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    They have two web addresses: internationaldatabasesinc.com and internationaldatabasesllc.com.

    The former was created in December of 2010, the latter was created six days ago.

    I’m not a lawyer, but “Inc” and “LLC” are not interchangeable, are they?

    • Posted April 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      We’ve been digging and will report what we find. Anyone who finds useful information themselves, please post.

  15. Ben
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “International Databases LLC” is not registered with the state of New Mexico. TFN, I think you should call that number on the PDF mentioned above and ask Stephen O. Sample where his company is registered. Something fishy here…

  16. Ben
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    If you do a Google search for “international Databases LLC” the fourth hit gives a link to a PDF on the TEA website. That PDF says:

    Stephen O. Sample
    President

    International Databases LLC
    7205 Triana Pl. NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87114

    Then a phone number and a Gmail address.

  17. Doc Bill
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I ran a whosis on their domain name. Registered out of Scottsdale, Az through GoDaddy.Com which is sort of a cheesy way to do things. However, the Scottsdale registrant appears to be a shell to protect the privacy of the real owners.

    My guess is that it’s some creationist moron in his Mom’s basement. I wonder if she knows her knucklehead son is using her computer?

  18. Charles
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    TFN. I would take a serious investigative look into the question of whether International Databases, inc. is actually Don McLeroy, Inc. or some other such thing. I smell a rat here, and he has been dead for quite some time.

  19. Keanus
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Flippant or not, International Databases—about as generic a name as one could choose—does not show up in a Google search. Lots of sites for data bases of international significance, but nothing in New Mexico. Aside from the clearly unscientific content Texas should be concerned about a company with no history and likely little capital. If they were to get listed, I’ll bet they’d have a devil of a time getting together enough money to print enough books to stock up the Texas depositories to say nothing of keeping the book in print for the five to seven years the state would demand.

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Keanus,
      Unfortunately, this adoption is custom-made for such an entity. The SBOE is requiring that all vendors provide the materials online rather than in print format. So someone working from his or her basement on a laptop could probably put together material for this adoption — if quality and factual accuracy aren’t issues. And does anyone really think that quality and factual accuracy will be the primary criteria that certain SBOE members use in deciding which materials to adopt?

  20. Charles
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I cannot comment on this right now—have to eat dinner and go throw football with my sign. I did skim over the slides, and the first thing that caught my eye is that they are written with a happy-go-lucky, flippant, screw you attitude that I have never really seen in serious classroom learning materials. So, right off the bat from me, they get an F for “funky.”

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