Alarm Bells Are Ringing: Creationists Get Influential Positions in Texas Science Textbook Review

It looks like the Lone Star State’s reputation as a hotbed of anti-science fanaticism is about to be reinforced. At least six creationists/”intelligent design” proponents succeeded in getting invited to review high school biology textbooks that publishers have submitted for adoption in Texas this year. The State Board of Education (SBOE) will decide in November which textbooks to approve. Those textbooks could be in the state’s public school science classrooms for nearly a decade.

Among the six creationist reviewers are some of the nation’s leading opponents of teaching students that evolution is established, mainstream science and is overwhelmingly supported by well over a century of research. Creationists on the SBOE nominated those six plus five others also invited by the Texas Education Agency to serve on the biology review teams. We have been unable to determine what those other five reviewers think about evolution.

Although 28 individuals got invites to review the proposed new biology textbooks this year, only about a dozen have shown up in Austin this week for the critical final phase of that review. That relatively small overall number of reviewers could give creationists even stronger influence over textbook content. In fact, publishers are making changes to their textbooks based on objections they hear from the review panelists. And that’s happening essentially behind closed doors because the public isn’t able to monitor discussions among the review panelists themselves or between panelists and publishers. The public won’t know about publishers’ changes (or the names of all the review panelists who are in Austin this week) until probably September. Alarm bells are ringing.

Following are the six creationists/evolution critics we have identified so far on the biology review teams:

  • Raymond Bohlin is vice president of vision outreach for Probe Ministries in Plano and a research fellow for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. The Discovery Institute promotes the pseudoscientific concept “intelligent design” over evolution. Founded in 1973, Probe works “to present the Gospel to communities, nationally and internationally, by providing life-long opportunities to integrate faith and learning through balanced, biblically based scholarship.” Bohlin has a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from the University of Texas at Dallas, making him a star performer for anti-evolution groups. He is listed as a “Darwin Skeptic” on the Creation Science Hall of Fame website. Probe and the Creation Science Hall of Fame promote a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of the Bible’s creation story. We know that Bohlin is in Austin this week to participate in the biology review panel meetings.
  • Walter Bradley is a retired Baylor University professor of engineering who coauthored a book, The Mystery of Life’s Origins in 1984, that essentially launched the “intelligent design” movement. “Intelligent design” suggests a scientific basis for creationism (creationism dressed up in a lab coat). Bradley, founding fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, is also listed as a “Darwin Skeptic” on the Creation Science Hall of Fame website. He is participating in the biology review panel meetings this week.
  • Daniel Romo is a chemistry professor at Texas A&M University and is listed as a “Darwin Skeptic” on the Creation Science Hall of Fame website. We don’t know yet whether Romo made it to Austin for the biology review panel meetings.
  • Ide Trotter is a longtime standard-bearer for the creationist movement in Texas, both as a source of funding and as a spokesperson for the absurdly named creationist group Texans for Better Science Education. Trotter, listed as a “Darwin Skeptic” on the Creation Science Hall of Fame website, is a veteran of the evolution wars at the SBOE and is participating the biology review panel meetings this week. He testified before the board during the 2003 biology textbook adoption and again in 2009 during the science curriculum adoption. In both instances, Trotter advocated including scientifically discredited “weaknesses” of evolution in Texas science classrooms. Trotter, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering, runs his own investment management company and served as dean of business and professor of finance at Dallas Baptist University. He claims that major scientific discoveries over last century have actually made evolutionary science harder to defend:

    “The ball is rolling and it’s going downhill. There are not enough forces on the side of Darwinism to keep pushing it back uphill forever.”

 

“…These are all well-known scientific problems with modern evolutionary theory, and they do not exhaust the list. The entire list is a very long one.”

White went on in his testimony to insist that teaching the mainstream scientific consensus concerning evolution without also presenting its alleged “weaknesses” amounted to forcing religious dogma on students. We don’t know whether White is participating in the review panels this week.

 

We’ll have more on this soon.

The state board is scheduled to hold its first public hearing on the textbooks at its September 17-20 meeting in Austin. The board has scheduled a final vote on which textbooks to adopt for November.

If you want students to learn real science in their science classrooms — not discredited creationist arguments that will leave them unprepared for college and the jobs of the 21st century — then join thousands of Texans who have signed our Stand Up for Science petition here. The Texas Freedom Network will keep you informed about the textbook adoption this year and what you can do to stop anti-science fanatics from undermining the education of Texas kids.

This article was posted in these categories: creationism, evolution, intelligent design, science, Science adoption (2013), TFNEF. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Trackbacks are closed, but you can Post a Comment.


-->

77 Comments

  1. PghGuy
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Science is based on the establishing provisional truth claims through the end result of a process known as the scientific method…..

    ….the result of this method is the construction of working models within reality that demonstrate consistency and are predictable.

    There are 3 million biologists worldwide working in 10,000 laboratories……decades upon decades they have average over 100 published papers a week in peer reviewed journals specific to and confirming he process of evolve by the environmental pressures of natural selection upon the adaptive mutations of organisms.

    Creationism demonstrates nothing, has no theory, impetus or process in how that is accomplished through the scientific method.

    It belongs in a public school comparative religion class as an elective…not in any science classroom.

  2. Wade
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m a native Texan, originally from Tyler, and I live in Austin. I have a college education, a high I.Q., and a low-tolerance for ignorance and closed mindedness. I’m guessing this might be one of the reasons a lot of these “enlightened” people on the Texas SBOE would find me to be not one of their chosen ones.

    Let’s just cut to the chase, okay? Since you flat earth, creationist/intelligent design people seem bound and determined to dumb down and airbrush out reality from our children’s text books, how about at least change the name of one of your ‘think tanks': Texans For Better Science Education, simply to Texans For BS Education?

    You people help make my state the laughing stock of the country! But worse yet, you cretins are insistent that your kids grow up to be an even more hateful, ignorant, ill informed and intolerant redneck version of yourselves.

    Please Note: Jesus was NOT a hateful,ignorant redneck. If He comes back, he won’t hang out with Latter Day Pharisees & hypocrites like you dolts. You can praise the Lord all you want, but it ain’t coming back at you. Spreading hate and ignorance was NOT the agenda Jesus stood for. Get that through what’s left of your thickheaded skulls!

    You people are so dumbed down, it’s scary…

  3. Ron
    Posted September 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory

    : an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events

    : an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true

    : the general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science
    : knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation
    : a particular area of scientific study (such as biology, physics, or chemistry) : a particular branch of science
    : a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc.

    The Theory of Evolution is an idea, a theory. It is not based on facts learned through experiments or observation and therefore is not a science. I accept it as a theory and choose not to believe it.
    Intelligent Design is also an idea, a theory. It is not based on facts learned through experiments or observation and therefore is not a science. I accept it as a theory and choose to believe it.

    Whichever one of these theories you believe (evolution, intelligent design, other), you must admit that there is only one truth. Since none of us were at the beginning, none of us absolutely knows the truth about it. We use science to experiment and observe our natural world in order to come up with theories about how it came about.
    To say that one is truth and the another false is saying you have faith in one over the other. True science should be unbiased about its experiments and report only observed facts. From these facts, theories can be derived. The theories can be further tested and from the results, theories can be strengthend (not proved) or rejected. I cannot say that evolution is false as truthfully as you cannot say that creationism is false. Both theories are an individuals faith in how truths that are observed support their beliefs.

    To me, evolution has many unanswered questions that can be answered by Creationism.
    – How did the sexes evolve at the same time?
    – How does non-living matter start living?
    – How did evolution create intelligence, morality, and meaning?
    Intelligent Design answers these questions. Do these questions make Intelligent Design the truth? No, but they provide explanations to facts we observe today.
    Do these prove Evolution is false? No, but they indicate that this belief needs more support.

    I don’t understand why there is so much negativity on these blogs. It is good that everyone wants to find the truth. Throwing around hateful comments does not make a person change their thinking. It only makes a person defensive.
    It is ok for schools to teach several theories so that a child can learn what science is about. It is not ok for schools to teach only one theory. And neither theory should be taught as truth since no one knows the truth.
    Peace to all of you. May you find the truth you’re looking for.

    • Pen
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      faith is not needed to believe in the theory of evolution because it is based on facts. Intelligent Design is nothing more than creationism in disguise so faith will be needed. maybe a trip to the Museum can help
      with some of your unanswered questions.

  4. Pen
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    looks like Texas A&M didn’t make the Project Steve list of living scientists named “Steve” who support evolution.

  5. Uno Bubba
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It’s rather interesting to watch the United States from the outside. You seem to have a very vocal minority who want to drag your country into a sort of 16th century christian caliphate, where women are possessions; anyone different is demonised and shunned and the truth is confined to what is written in a fifth- or sixth-hand translation and edited/expurgated version of a series of fairytales set in Arabia.

    It would appear that the rest of the West has been through the Enlightenment and moved on but America is stuck in a bit of a time warp, where church holds sway over state. You know that science is right… you’d even like to admit it but you can’t countermand the pronouncements of the semi-educated hick who brainwashes you every Sunday morning.

    Good luck with the experiment. You’re in august company, along with Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran.

    • JC
      Posted August 30, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Your observations are on the spot! The rational majority are being held captive by an irrational, oppressive, and tyrannical minority of delusional hyper-religious fanatics/zealots. As a nation, we’ve been dealing with them since inception, even Thomas Jefferson was forced to deal with the Danbury Baptists. With the advent of private religious schools being recognized as credible educational institutions (“universities”) throughout the latter 20th Century (ce), the propagation of such extremism appears to exponentially worsen.

  6. Bob Peckham
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Please understand that I am not judging creationists, but rather their erroneous and dangerously misleading ideas. Creationism is an idolatry and a form of unrighteousness you will hear about in Gods judgement. You are misleading little children. Jesus tells us through Luke 17 “”It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.” This is God’s word you are misrepresenting, and you have made it so central to your thought that it philosophically eclipses God to all who witness your thinking. I believe in God, the creator of heaven and earth, but I would no more claim to know how how did it or how old it was, than I would try to predict what day of His coming.

  7. Steve
    Posted August 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Of course people should have the right to freedom of religion.
    Unfortunately, the problem with those involved is, being delusional, they can’t help themselves and insist on forcing their version of crazy on everyone else. They of course start with the equally weak minded and those who are easily influenced like children. They are no different from con-artists and sex offenders in this regard. Of course having lost their link with reality, they come up with Creationism and try to force it into schools. It would be funny if it wasn’t also frightening. The irony is these people are evidence of The Theory of Evolution. Trouble is they seem to be heading towards growing tails and walking backwards into the sea…

    • Wade
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Fantastic comment, I’m with you. Personally, I’d be delighted to pitch in $100.00 to start a fund to help these godforsaken Texas devolutionary dimwits find their way back to the sea, pronto. Better still, make that a Shuttle service, backwards stepping is way too slow a means to rid our state of their unwelcome presence.

  8. Randy
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Creationism or intelligent design are not scientific. Therfore a total waste of time in any sciece curriculum or text. Teach it at Sunday School if you want, but do not defeat the scientific method with belief-based “fact” with no empirical backing. If your beliefs are so good, they can stand on their own, but not in science class. Evolution sure looks real, based on overwhelming evidence, so unless you have evidence to the contrary, it is not science, period.

  9. doodlebugger
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    The best part is Kelly and all you other creTIONISTS OUT THERE IS THAT CREATIONISM IS NOT GOING TO MAKE IT INTO any SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS OR THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SELL ‘EM ANYWHERE.
    As for Gail Lowe,,,,,,she is disgraceful

  10. Kelly Kafir
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow… you folks are quite venomous… Scientific method demands questioning and peer review demands healthy skepticism but it seems that you want people to just accept your version with no questions asked. Very Anti-science. And yes, I do have a degree in science. There is no reason that a faith in God and science cannot be compatible. Your name calling and Alinsky tactics don’t worry us. We know we are doing something right when people like you start screaming and name calling.

    • doodlebugger
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      KELLY,
      IF you have data or scietific research disproving evolution, and by extension the foundations of many other sciences, you need to write all that down, submit it to a peer reviewed science journal like Science or Nature and collect your Nobel Prize. Science IS critical thinking. And it has overwhelmiongly, conclusively and thoroughly concluded that creationism and intelligent design creationism are fraudulent, deceitful misinformative garbage.
      As a Christian I’m thoroughly ashamed of your ignorance and your attacks on logic reason and the scientific mehtod. If you want your child to be anti science and a scientific illiterate like you thats fine.
      Keep YOUR HANDS of everyone elses children.
      NCSE website,,,,get an education. YOUR CLAIMS have huge denominational, scientific and legal problems.
      Creationism is not belief in a creator. all religions believe that. ITS FRAUD.

      Your comments are DISGRACEFUL Dark Ager.
      As a bearwer of false witness and a liar, I’m surprised you put yopur name on your post. Attack logic reason and the scientific method elsewhere.

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I’ve seen what you favorited on Facebook, Kelly. Fox News, Michelle Bachman, and, Zeus help us, “Atlas Shrugged” – the movie. As for your degree in “science”, you either had some crappy instructors, or, more likely based on your favorites, you went in with your opinions already fossilized and simply regurgitated the answers you figured would get you passing grades without actually trying to understand what you were being taught. My guess is that was your plan from the very beginning, which is a particularly nasty form of lying, Kelly.

    • JDE
      Posted August 12, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      “And yes, I do have a degree in science”

      That was a waste of a great deal of someone’s money.

  11. Dan
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Students who actually care should hold an old fashioned book burning. If their state refuses to buy actual science text books, then the books are not really worth the investment. Especially when wikipedia exists.

    I think the whole argument over textbooks seems a little behind the times anyway. There are more important battles to fight in my opinion.

    • Kelly Kafir
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes… book burning… just like in Nazi Germany! ‘Cause, “IT’S NOT FACIST WHEN WE DO IT!!”

      • doodlebugger
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Read my post above. 15 million science articles in the Library of Congresses science section. ZERO creationism articles. They’re in the religion section. WHY?
        ITS NOT SCIENCE ,,,Hello !!! anyone home.?
        Look up Kitzmiller vs Dover 2005. Creationism is NOT science according to the COURTS .
        Find an accreditted university or credible science organization that endorses creationism as scientific. THERE AREN’T ANY.
        Keep your crap somewhere else fraud. I hate dark age logic attackers bringing DECEIT into
        our schools.

      • Dan
        Posted August 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        It only took one reply to get to Godwin’s law! hahaha

        I was thinking more of a show of civil disobedience: students destroying their textbooks, not because they hate school, but because their school is willfully spending money on crap that stands in the way of their education. If you don’t like book burning, then pick another theme that gets the point across. My main point is that textbooks are on their way out anyway. They are expensive, difficult to read, heavy, and have less information than you can get from a couple internet searches.

  12. Mark W
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    This is child abuse, plain and simple.

    • Rubin Sunset
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      @Mark W. I agree “Child abuse” may seem extreme to some, but confusing school kids w/ religious mythology and dressing it up in junk science is not going to train the next generation(s) of scientists, bio-tech experts, zoologists and on and on. I’m a recent subscriber to National Geographic. Now, I feel like I’m really getting and education in life and earth sciences. Reading about the careful research being done by those scientists — finding correct answers, not just assuming — doesn’t make me feel stupid (well, maybe a little) but puts me in awe of their dedication, courage and inspiration. Place the ID/creationist faction of our SBOE next to those fine scientists and our theocracy advocates … heck, there’s NO comparison. So Mark — blaspheme on w/ no apologies. Our opposition will continue to fight hard and dirty. You must care about the education of our kids. The religious right has another agenda and it has NOTHING to do w/ preparing students to be successful in a global economy.

  13. Eric Bram
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see that they have any say on what goes into the textbooks. They don’t even get to choose (or even vote on) what textbooks get chosen. The Board of Education does that. All the article says is six of the professors (out of a total of over two dozen) who were invited to review various textbooks that were submitted for possible adoption by the school board, and make suggestions or objections to the textbook manufacturers for possible changes, are known to have creationist beliefs. That’s it. They are a minority of the reviewers, the textbook publishers don’t have to listen to them, and the Board of Education doesn’t even hear what they have to say. And who knows who gave advice to the publishers in the first place. And after all that, the Board of Education can choose whatever books they want – with no input from any creationists. So what’s the big deal? I guess whoever did the inviting wanted to be inclusive and invite a broad spectrum of academics to review their textbooks and give their two cents opinion. Should the state (and can they, under the First Amendment), impose a theological or religious test on those who get invited to review proposed textbooks?

    • Richard
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Don,you couldn’t be more off. Watch the documentary the revisionaries on PBS. You can stream it or watch it on Netflix. It will scare the shit out of you. The power these idiots have is frightening.

      • Charles
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        Nah. People like Eric are frightening—either because of ignorance or playing their cards close to the vest. Discovery Institute minions and executives show up here on TFN Insider and start out with subterfuge nonsense just like this. Been there. Seen that 5 years ago.

    • Chuck Wolber
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Nice job jumping on the first comment there “Eric”. I bet you have never managed to do that before ;)

      Bonus points for setting up a straw man. No one ever said that the panelists were choosing the textbooks. Going back to the actual article, we find the following quote:

      “In fact, publishers are making changes to their textbooks based on objections they hear from the review panelists.”

      So yeah, it is kind of a big deal.

      P.S. The best part of your organization’s phony posts is that they work so well as 101 level material when teaching people how to spot logical fallacies.

  14. Donald
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    For the most part independent bible historians regard much of the Pentatuech and the gospels as mythology or fables. Anyone trying to pretend to be an authority on this subject matter who contends for creationism or ID as part of science is just pure and simply a liar. In fact those mentioned in this piece would, if truth was on the ground, climb a tree to further a lie If they fear that their religious beliefs are not going to be foisted on others. The devestating results of the Dover trial(05)should have signalled that they need a new game, new team and a whole new concept(why not try real science)? We need to make lots of “noise” following the lead of TFN when the time comes.

  15. Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Time to TAX the churches. Get rid of the tax exemption, they are not charity, most are big business. For example the Mormon church give3s as much as 1% of it’s revenue to help the poor.

  16. John C
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I think people need to be aware of the definition of ‘Theory’ and understand its use in scientific literature.

    Evolution is a ‘Theory’ supported by empirical data and the most likely candidate for life today.

    Intelligent Design is a ‘Hypothesis’ that has little to no empirical data and relies on cherry-picking gaps in Evolutionary Theory. It certainly lacks the evidence to be labelled as ‘An alternative to Evolution’.

    It’s a real shame that people are willing to lower the standards of American education for their selfish needs.

    • Kelly Kafir
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      You said it… GAPS in evolution… so by the definition of the scientific method, if there is no evidence to support your hypothesis of evolution. There are parts of the hypothesis that are provable but there are huge gaps and therefore, it cannot be a theory. If you can’t rule something out, it must be considered a possibility.

      • doodlebugger
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The rock record has missing time in it due to erosion and other events. TGHAT DOES NOT PROVE THERE WAS A MAGICQAL EVENT.
        You get an F in geologty sweetie.
        AND, you need tio look up what science is BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW.

  17. S
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I had this long response, but this post doesn’t deserve it so all I can say is…

    If the people listed are fanatical, then I’m with all of you.

    But, if all of you are basing your hatred off the simple fact that intelligent design challenges the theory of evolution, you are part of the problem. Be good teachers and just get it done the way you need to get it done.

    • C
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Challenges the theory of evolution? Are you serious? That’s like saying we should teach alternate theories of gravity and the Earth revolving around the Sun. The problem is YOU.

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      “But, if all of you are basing your hatred off the simple fact that intelligent design challenges the theory of evolution”

      It never has. It never will.
      Intelligent design is a belief at best. It is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

      You should know that even IF you manage to somehow disprove evolution (which you wont), that does not mean that intelligent design automatically is true… Science doesn’t work that way.

      I’m willing to bet my balls and eyes that you have never even looked through a single microscope.

      • Kelly Kafir
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        You’d be blind and balless (which I suspect you already are)… and the more I study, the more I am convinced that there is order and it goes from an organized state to a disorganized state and not the other way around. The more I study, the more I am convinced that it is impossible to believe every system, every cell is random… or came on the “backs of crystals from alien beings”…

        • doodlebugger
          Posted August 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Kely, as a former Mariune infantry officer and a christian I find your willingness to attack science logic reason and others to be so incredibly non Christian as to be astonishing.
          Take your meduication throw away the Jack Daniels bottle and get some sleep.
          YOU ARE A SCIENTIFIC ILLITERATE and apparently a liar.
          Disgraceful

        • ReadIt
          Posted September 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          Your observation of less ordered to ordered is something many have noticed. But it’s selective sampling. The true “dominant” life forms of earth, in terms of number, variety and sheer mass are the simplest: bacteria.

          I recommend turning to good ol’ Stephen J. Gould for more on this subject: http://www.amazon.com/Full-House-Spread-Excellence-Darwin/dp/0674061616

    • Chuck Wolber
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The “Flat Earth” hypothesis challenges the theory of a “Spherical Earth”.

      This is how misinformed you sound when you suggest that the hypothesis of an “Intelligent Designer” legitimately belongs in a science textbook.

      It has *nothing* to do with a hatred of “Intelligent Design”. It has everything to do with deliberately misleading of children.

  18. Al
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    The people of Texas are obligated to deny a Fundamentalist Christian Governor access to the Governors Office. And to include that denial for all Christian Fundies who seek political office. Who else knows why or who one votes for but the voter?

  19. Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    O.M.G.

    Creationism is religion! it is NOT science! Do people come to their church and teach evolution?

    • S
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      creationism is an aspect of belief in a God, and teachers, and that is not something that is found in scientific text books, so no matter how much is cut out of the text books chosen….its not going to be even a significant part of the curriculum.
      and who knows, maybe someone should teach them evolution at their church?

      • Dan
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        No one would object to challenging evolution in public schools — so long as the challenge is based on legitimate science. But arguments promoted by advocates of creationism/”intelligent design” are based simply on junk science. And the main issue here isn’t that creationists will succeed in getting religious ideas inserted as an alternative to evolution (although that’s something we have to watch for). The real problem is the campaign to force science classes and textbooks to teach pseudo-scientific nonsense designed to confuse students about what established, mainstream science really tells us about evolution. That’s not how you prepare students to succeed in college and the jobs of the 21st century.

  20. bob
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    And meanwhile, countries like china and india continue to increase the intellectual property of their nations by teaching real science instead of bogging students down with this creationism vs science “debate” bullshit.

    Texas is not only backwards, they are moving backwards toward the dark ages.

    • rp
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Beg to disagree there. But India is at least as bad when it comes to doubtful material.
      I’ve seen anthropology textbooks that list the “races” – Causasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid.
      And if pure empirical data is to be reviewed, do check the resistance to the idea – that is backed by genetics and archaeology – that the Aryans came to India and did not originate there. Or claims that homeopathy, palmistry, astrology, crystal therapy, even yoga, have strong empirical backing.
      Just saying that the fundamentalists here don’t have a corner on the ignorance market.

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        It might be doubtful as a sensitive subject, but it cannot be denied that black people / white people is similar to different breeds of hamsters, or dogs, or fish, or whatever.

        Its just variety, and as long as you keep any eugenics out of it it should be fine.

      • doodlebugger
        Posted August 3, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Well at least you tacitly admit fundamentalists are ignorant. That works. Thanks

    • Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      While it’s easy for everyone to make fun of Texas, please remember that because of the state’s size, what happens here severely impacts the rest of the country. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that a great deal of this is more about economics than religion – to keep the ignorant ignorant. Even if they never get Adam and Eve in textbooks, the problem is new evolutionary findings that get kept out of the books to give students some sense of doubt about evolution – that it’s a theory in trouble, controversial in science, etc. Also, the academic freedom bills are a problem for other states besides Louisiana in Texas – one even showed up in New York, so everyone stay attentive of what’s proposed in your state/district – local politics do count.

      • Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Louisiana *and Texas, sorry.

  21. Mk2
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Once again, Texas never fails to embarrass those of us who aren’t Christians, but live here. We continue to lower the bar, regarding our educational system. I’m ashamed to be from this backwards, fundamentalist state.

  22. Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Our very own C-SCOPES Monkey Trials. The State Board of Texas did not appoint one GEOLOGIST or Earth Scientist-as far as I can tell. I am very embarrassed for Texas.

  23. M.
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I can confirm the presence of most of these individuals in the meetings here in Austin. I am doing my best to make sure content is in line with the current scientific consensus.

    • Dan
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for standing up for Texas kids and sound science education, M.!

    • Burzghash
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Thank you for what you’re doing. I’m several states over, but I’m glad there are people within Texas who are doing their part to make sure that science remains scientific.

    • Daniel
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the tip. Please make these people understand they are trying to include THEIR religious beliefs into science which has no relevance in science.

  24. Charles
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    What? They didn’t invite Ken Ham? Amazing. Of course, by the time Ratliff gets through with these guys, they will all be nothing more than smoked turkey.

  25. Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Time to let the creationists have their own schools and evolutionists have theirs. Let’s say adios to the one-size-fits-all gummint edukayshin sisstum while we have tyme.

    • Hartmut
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      The problem is: that is the plan of the fundies and their political lackeys. They want a separate system for their offspring and want all the money for public edcuation to get diverted there, so the secular public schools MUST fail (one cannot run the whole system pro bono).

  26. Posted July 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Time to take a stand against religion. In my opinion, their followers are the cause for most of the problems in the world because a lot of them think their religion is the only one. I personally don’t like any of them, but have to tolerate them.

  27. Don108
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    There was a time when textbook companies printed so many books for Texas and states that followed Texas, it was simply financially impossible to print other books. States not adopting Text policies had to stay with older books or go along with Texas.

    Now, however, thanks to electronic books. Texas is in the process of becoming an irrelevant bully, waving its arms ineffectually at the side of the electronic highway.

  28. Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Theocracy anyone?

  29. Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Theocracy anyone?

  30. Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Weep for our children. Then quit weeping and vote the f#ckers out of office.

  31. Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Weep for our children. Then quit weeping and vote the f#ckers out of office.

    • Jim Ramsey
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Don’t you think the obvious next step for the anti-science faction is to legislate alternative answers to the standardized tests in Texas?

      That way a child can answer “6,000 years” and that will be a (or the) right answer.

      Of course, that answer doesn’t actually work, but who cares.

  32. Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Texas – Leading the Nation to the bottom of the list of best educated high school students. I can’t wait until some of those high school students get to an actual institute of higher education and when asked ‘How old the world is?’ they reply (with strong conviction) ‘6,000 years old!’ and are summarily flunked and dismissed from the class.

    • Jim Ramsey
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      OOOPS! I punched the wrong reply button.

      My reply to Dru is now a reply to Andrew.

      Sorry.

  33. Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I would like my children taught science in science classes. If I want my children to learn creationism I’ll take them to a fundamentalist church (like that is ever going to happen). But I might take them to a moderate or liberal church where they’re taught the Bible creation story is a parable, just like the parables Jesus taught us. I want my children and children who attend public schools to get an education that competes on a world wide scale, not dumbed down by the patently ridiculous make up excuse of an intelligent design theory that attempts to help religiously shallow rooted people maintain their blinders view of the world.

  34. Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, oh dear, how will our children **EVER** get a decent education? Leave the state I suppose, or better leave the country, go somewhere (almost anywhere) where they don’t teach fairy tales as “the truth”

  35. Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I applied to be on the review panel – as an educator – but was not chosen.

    • Rubin Sunset
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      @Martha Griffin: I wonder what the criteria is — who is selected — who is not, and why….? To use a very old expression, “Follow the Money.” I strongly suspect that ticket holders for the crazy train (as I call ID/creationists) have money themselves or the “Discovery” institute are backing them. They certainly have an agenda and it’s very dark. Soldier on!

  36. Ben
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I figured Ide Trotter was babbling away in some dusty corner of a nursing home by now.

  37. Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Time to BOYCOTT the CHURCH!

  38. Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Time to BOYCOTT the CHURCH!

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Well, you could see it that they are leading the troupe that is dragging us all back to the dark ages

  39. Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    The “nation’s leading creationists” is a really awkward term, since creationists by definition are behind the pack.

    • Hartmut
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I presume it has more to do with the heavy metal (Pb) that has a similar effect on the brain. You may also find among them many that deny that lead is actually detrimental to health.

  40. Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Time for other states to stop ordering the same books.

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>