Gov. Perry: We Teach Creationism in Texas

For Gov. Rick Perry so loved the Constitution that he was willing to ignore it.

Gov. Perry must be so wrapped up in his recently-launched presidential campaign, that he’s starting to forget the Constitution and the oath of office in which he swore to uphold it.

In a galling display of irresponsibility, Gov. Perry today once again waded into the culture wars for political gain when he told a young boy while campaigning in New Hampshire that “in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools.”

Gov. Perry:

A) We don’t
B) Your comments could place school districts in legal peril
C) Your comments are harmful to public education

It is outrageous that Gov. Perry would erode respect for and trust in public education in Texas, simply in order to promote his political aspirations. Texans and Texas schools are working to prepare our children for college and 21st-century jobs. Gov. Perry’s irresponsible comments wrongly suggest otherwise.

Let’s first approach Gov. Perry’s comment from the state level. There is nothing in the state science curriculum standards that calls on teachers to teach evolution alongside creationism. Nothing.

And we should remind everyone, once again, of the recently completed science material adoption, which was kept clean of creationist propaganda despite the string of evolution-deniers Gov. Perry has appointed to chair the State Board of Education.

Secondly, the federal courts have repeatedly ruled that creationism is a religious belief and it is unconstitutional to teach it as science. Gov. Perry’s full comments, according to NPR, are below:

How old do I think the earth is? You know what? I don’t have any idea. I know it’s pretty old. So it goes back a long, long way. I’m not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is.

I hear your mom was asking about evolution and, you know, it’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it, but in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.

It is clear by his comments that Gov. Perry was equating creationism with science. Two major cases have gone through the courts in recent history that have addressed creationism. The most recent, Kitzmiller v. Dover, ended in a federal district court ruling that said creationism as science in public schools is in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. There was also the Edwards v. Aguillard ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 that found the state of Louisiana’s law requiring creationism be taught alongside science was unconstitutional.

What part of unconstitutional does Gov. Perry not get?

Suggesting to public school teachers that it is OK to teach creationism in science classes could result in litigation against a school district, as it has before.

This is yet another black eye for Texas public schools. The SBOE has in recent years done a pretty good job of making a laughingstock out of the state’s public education system. This doesn’t help.

UPDATE
TFN President Kathy Miller released the following statement in response to Gov. Perry’s comments:

Gov. Perry has once again waded into the culture wars for political gain, but without considering the harmful consequences. It is irresponsible for the leader of a state, or a presidential hopeful, to suggest to public school teachers that it is OK to teach creationism as science when such attempts have repeatedly been ruled unconstitutional by the courts, and could result in litigation against a school district. And it is outrageous that Gov. Perry would erode respect for and trust in public education in Texas, simply in order to promote his political aspirations. Texans and Texas schools are working to prepare our children for college and 21st-century jobs. Gov. Perry’s irresponsible comments wrongly suggest otherwise.

This article was posted in these categories: creationism, Rick Perry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


-->

17 Comments

  1. Posted August 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Cut some slack for Ol’ Rick the hick *rick from Paint Crick, what do you expect from an Aggie cheerleader?

  2. Marsisi
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Wisconsin,

    I live in Texas, and indeed, at this time, while not calling itself “creationism” in the textbooks, creationism is being taught. In 2009, the very-wrong-wing State Board of Education considered the new curriculum guidelines for science in Texas public schools. Prior to attending the public hearing, I read up on the current guidelines, a/k/a the TEKS, approved in 1998. The new guidelines are not yet in use — the textbooks are still in the adoption stage. According to the current guidelines the students are expected to “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.” {some info clipped from here: http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4952187/k.BB16/The_Texas_State_Board_of_Education_and_Public_School_Content.htm}. That is DominionistSpeak for the bible fairytale the religious-and-nobody-else-has-rights pushes on others at every opportunity.

  3. Posted August 20, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    By Law a teacher is NOT allowed to teach Creationism. Private schools and home schools very well may teach creationism but not a public school.

    When asked by a student what about God? because it happens ALL the time. You have to say it is best that you ask your parents or your pastor. I teach science, not religion

  4. Charles
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Actually, most high school biology teachers avoid the issue entirely by neither teaching creationism nor evolution. That was the case in my high school, which was not in Texas.

    P.S. to TFN:

    I have not been posting anonymously on purpose. In years past, my e-mail address and name automatically registered in the area below the “Leave a Reply” box. That does not appear to be the case now. More often than not, that area comes up totally blank when I start to write a comment, and I just fail to notice that it is blank. There is something about the format and layout of the doggone thing that makes it seem to be invisible even when you are looking straight at it. I hope this has not been a matter of concern.

  5. Heath
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Being a bastion of hyper-conservatism, you’ll find that many Texas teachers will teach what they please, and, given the amount of conservatives in Texas, many times that means science teachers will teach creationism and belittle evolution (I know this was the case when I was in high school about 15 years ago, in a small Texas town). In other words, teachers often teach as they please regardless of standards.

  6. Lisa
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I am from Wisconsin and I was just told that by a customer from Texas that they do teach creationism. So I am officially confused. Regardless of belief, unconstitutional is unconstitutional and that’s guy’s comment really bothers me. Was he telling the truth?

  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I am from Wisconsin and I was just told that by a customer from Texas that they do teach creationism. So I am officially confused. But I like this article and shared it nonetheless.

  8. muoncounter
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Guvna “Teach both theories … Let the kids decide.” Might work in other sciences as well.

  9. jdg
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    This is even funnier. Slick Rick gets pwned. He sound so clueless…

  10. Wen
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible that the Governor of Texas is telling a youngster that he will be left to figure it out for himself when the governor doesn’t know enough to figure it out?

  11. Thefencechild
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost as if he didn’t post enough attention to his own state to know that was voted down …oh wait…

  12. der Brat
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure why anyone is surprised by what Perry said, considering 1)he is a political panderer to the Religious Reich; and 2)he is a poorly educated dimwit.

  13. Patricia
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Since Gov Perry has not completed the evolution process, he is hardly experienced enough to join this debate

  14. Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Kreationism: How Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made.

    Perry, as with most pols will say just about anything they think will win them a vote. What kills me is that the guy still thinks that evolution is “only a theory.” Like most under educated, and Perry certainly is one of them, they know only one definition for the word theory. They do not understand the meaning of a scientific theory which is 180 degrees from the more understood term.

    A scientific theory is, in layman’s terms, if something is said to be “just a theory,” it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been PROVEN and is GENERALLY ACCEPTED AS BEING TRUE. (http://wilstar.com/theories.htm Emphasis is mine)

    As a scientist, I’m appealed by the man in the street thinking evolution is “just a theory,” but when the Gov of a State says that, it is incredibly stupid. But then again, Perry IS stupid when it comes to academic subjects. He got C’s and D’s at Aggi land.

    I feel that Perry is the best gift that Obama has ever received. None of the Republicans with whom I’ve discussed him are for him or any other of the Wrong Wing Nuts who think that the whole nation is Christian and that all Christians are as far over to the Wrong side as they are. There is NOTHING right about them.

    Perry has alienated many others with his call for the nation to pray to Jesus. Jesus? JESUS? So much for the other religions in our country who do not pray to Jesus. I certainly do not, I’m not any kind of a Christian. Which is why, if the Dominionists got their way, I, along with any other person in any other religion other than Perry and Bachmann’s version of Christianity would be put to death. No, I am NOT kidding. Google the word and see what those misbegotten people believe. Some definitions exist for misbegotten, : unlawfully conceived : illegitimate 2 a : having a disreputable or improper origin : ill-conceived b : contemptible, deformed Choose the definition of your choice.

  15. Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “Because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.”

    Education is not a multiple choice question. Evolution is proven, creationism is not. Why don’t we teach the proven methods until we have a reason to change that approach?

    I’m all for using the Bible as a basis for your moral compass, it’s even worth studying as a work of literature. Why exactly do so many people insist on taking it so literally?

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I wish we did teach either both or neither!

  17. Mikey
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I want to thank the governor for throwing every biology teacher that actually teaches evolution in Texas under the bus. Thanks for making our job harder.

Post a Comment

TFN Insider Comments Policy

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>