Texas Ed Board Candidate Advocates Teaching Creationism in Science Classrooms

One of the Republican candidates for the Texas State Board of Education District 15 seat, Marty Rowley of Amarillo, is offering one of his clearest arguments for teaching “intelligent design”/creationism in science classrooms. Rowley talked to the Amarillo Globe-News for a story about next year’s scheduled adoption of science textbooks by the state board:

“Evolutionists would say that we progressed to this point through a series of unplanned, random circumstances and random events. I don’t believe that tells the whole story. I think there is more to our creation that indicates an intelligent being that has played a significant role.”

Rowley goes on to argue that science students should learn “competing theories” and what he considers the flaws of evolution.

Rowley’s opponent in the GOP primary, Amarillo school board president Anette Carlisle, told the newspaper that the science standards should be based on the recommendations of teachers, scientists and other experts. She also worries that teaching about religious beliefs in the classroom will be divisive:

“We have multiple belief systems in our student population, and we have to be respectful of that and not try to force any one person’s belief system on other students.”

In the same article, Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Project at the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, warns that “intelligent design”/creationism isn’t science.

“Intelligent design is not scientific content, whereas evolution is scientific content.”

The article doesn’t quote Democratic candidate Steven Schafersman, D-Midland, who isn’t opposed in his primary. Schafersman is president of Texas Citizens for Science, which opposes teaching creationism and creationist-inspired “weaknesses” of evolution in science classrooms.

Read the full Globe-News piece here.

You can find a list of State Board of Education candidates, links to campaign websites, maps and data for state board districts, and other election information at tfn.org/sboe2012.

This article was posted in these categories: 2012 Texas SBOE elections, Anette Carlisle, creationism, evolution, Marty Rowley, science and religion, Steven Schafersman, TFN. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Trackbacks are closed, but you can Post a Comment.


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8 Comments

  1. sue
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    From the Oxford English Dictionary a scientific theory means the following:
    “A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles or causes of something known or observed”.

    A mere theory such as creationism does not meet these criteria. The other meaning of theory goes;
    ” A hypothesis proposed as an explanation hence a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion.”

    So, please keep your notions and speculations out of our science textbooks.

  2. sue
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I lived in a country that didn’t teach evolution in schools due to religious issues. The same country believed in apartheid. Burying evolution went hand in hand with racism, bigotry and indoctrination. So please don’t force feed my kids your false completely unscientific ‘theory’. I want evidence, facts, observable experiments, fossil records and more of the ever increasing evidence for the scientific theory of evolution.

  3. sue
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Teaching creationism along side evolution is akin to teaching about the tooth fairy along side the presidents of the USA.

    Scientific theory is very different from the belief in creationism. This whole issue really infuriates me; I want my kids to be doctors, pharmacologists, geneticists, scientists – and putting creationism in with science is putting a big black hole in the midst of their knowledge-base. The USA is stunting it’s future scientists. Some kids are putting their fingers in their ears and humming when the word ‘evolution’ is mentioned – so tell me what are these educators doing to our kids?

  4. Rhonda W. Houston
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I am a legal guardian of a child who goes to these Texas schools, as well as have I earned a total of three BAs, two from a California State College twice and one from a Hawaii State College while serving my country in the Vietnam era while serving within the navy. I will say that science and religion is like mixing water with oil; They do not mix nor do they compliment each other. Religion is a philosophy as to how to view life, which may be taken in college, but NOT while learning how one’s world has developed and how the development of man actually took place, which WAS NOT through creation. Teaching creation with a subsitute to REAL SCIENCE will keep my granddaughter who is in my legal guardianship from making those strides from one year to the next to be able to be equal with those of China, Japan and any other nation with whom our country completes. Might I remind you that the Consitution has written within it,’FREEDOM FROM RELIGION’ and if this subject will take up a great deal of time which will be wasted concerning learning what is REAL for my legal guardian’s time within the established school time to proceed from one grade to another. You can be assured that I will be there to protest with legally support, to show the rest of the world your negative, republican ideas of priorities are in regards to the future of your children’s intellect and future in the job market ready to compete with the world. By teaching religion as science and comparing this philosophy with the REAL THING that is SCIENCE will show just how ignorant and controlling politically you ALL ARE who pretend to represent yourself an educational agency. Teaching religion as science won’t be preparing appropriatly my granddaughter who is my legal guardianship for what she’ll need to learn and be prepared for tomorrow, making her way through all the grades, learning more about what she’ll already learned from the lower grades. There is no comparison between SCIENCE and religion which is a philosophy (the way one looks at the world). SCIENCE PROMOTES JOBS and this is what a school system teachs; really world information

    • Rubin Sunset
      Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Well stated, Rhonda. I agree w/ everything you stated. I served IN Vietnam 68-69. I, however, do not have any children in TX schools — but that should not make any difference. TX school children deserve nothing less than accurate, unbiased history (warts & all) and pure, verifiable science w/ no apologies. What the TX State Board of Embarassment has been doing in the past is irresponsible, in the strongest sense of the word. I realize that the textbook publishers are in the thick of this “war,” and it makes me wonder — when there’s so much money involved — what are the “dark” agendas? Technology moving as fast as it is, perhaps, soon, students won’t be packing books in the near future. (Then, we’ll have cyber culture wars. Won’t that be lovely.) So, let’s keep our eyes and ears on the newly elected members. All the best to you and yours. Rubin Sunset

  5. Will Fraser
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Marty Rowley’s comments werte thoroughly and defintively dissected by multiple respondents
    to his ignorant and bizarre statement about the central tenet of biology and the life and physical sciences in the Amarillo News. Judging by the letters respondents wrote, I’d say he has captured alot of attention that will make it more difficult for him to beat Carlisle in the ‘pub primary. That said, his GOP opponent is bad enough and thinks the “experts” (flaming creationists) the board used as advisors in the least round have some form of actual academic, professional or educational credentials.
    Creationists and inteligunt desine advocates don’t have any credentials in anything related to the sciences or social policy or history. their positions on a variety of issues describe them for what they are, uneducated, ignorant, willfully deceitful frauds. The fact that there are any creationist inteligunt desine advocates acting as “advisors” to the SBOE is incredibly obtuse and bizarre. Will

  6. Mike
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    “Evolutionists would say that we progressed to this point through a series of unplanned, random circumstances and random events.”

    No, sorry, those who agree with the science supporting the Theory of Evolution, would never say that.

    • Rubin Sunset
      Posted May 14, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Mike: You are correct! Evolution is not something Science asks us to “believe” in. It is a complicated field of study, the evidence of which is growing exponentially. Insisting that “intelligent design” should be taught in tax-payer supported school systems is nothing short of irresponsible, in my opinion.

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