The Alaska Supreme Court has just slammed the door on the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute‘s efforts to shut down the so-called “Troopergate” investigation involving Sarah Palin, Alaska’s governor and the Republican vice-presidential nominee. The court’s decision means investigators may release a report tomorrow on whether Palin improperly pressured her public safety commissioner to fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper. Palin later fired the commissioner, who had refused to fire the trooper.
This isn’t good news for Palin’s running mate, Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The McCain campaign had furiously struggled to block the investigation and tomorrow’s expected report. If the report shows that Palin abused her power as governor — and then lied about it — the McCain ticket could find itself falling ever further behind the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in polls.
The Liberty Legal Institute is the legal arm of the Plano-based Free Market Foundation, which itself is the Texas affiliate of the far-right Focus on the Family. Click here for more background on the case and why in the world a religious-right… Read More
Far-right groups like the Free Market Foundation (the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family) are now dredging up a discredited project by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute in an attempt to “prove” that mainstream science is torn by controversy over evolution. Supporters of the seven-year-old Dissent from Darwin project claim that more than 700 scientists from around the world have signed on to a statement critical of the science behind evolution. This recycled effort comes a week after the 21st-Century Science Coalition announced that — in only a few weeks — more than 800 scientists from Texas alone had signed on to a petition opposing efforts to water down instruction on evolution in public school science classes.
The National Center for Science Education launched Project Steve as a light-hearted parody of the “Dissent from Darwin” nonsense. In fact, few of the Dissent signers are even biologists. At least one professor of dental health has signed on to “Dissent,” however — something that should please the creationist chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, a Bryan dentist who wants public school science teachers to… Read More
The State Board of Education is responsible for developing curriculum standards and approving textbooks that help our kids succeed in school and prepare them for college and the jobs of the 21st century. Lowe, R-Lampasas, appears to see the state board as simply another avenue for promoting her own personal and political agendas. As reported by the Graham Leader:
[All emphasis here is ours.]
Gail Lowe, Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education, told the Young County Republican Women she will continue to fight for conservative values Monday.
How about fighting for a good education for Texas kids instead of a political agenda for ideologues?
Lowe said her core values are to fight for strong curriculum standards, insure a thorough textbook adoption process, exercise prudent financial management and represent traditional values in education.
Traditional values? Like censoring textbooks? No thanks.
On the topic of certain books, Lowe said she is opposed to those exposing children to alternative lifestyles such as Heather Has Two Mommies in schools.… Read More
From today’s TFN News Clips…
“Not anti-religious. Anti-Christian.”
— Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, warning a university student reporter that 90 percent of his professors are anti-Christian. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that our neighbors north of the Red River have their share of wing nuts as well.
Glanzer and Null, education professors at Baylor University, were sharply critical of the new 21st-Century Science Coalition. The coalition of more than 1,000 Texas scientists insists that the State Board of Education shouldn’t water down instruction on evolution when it adopts new science curriculum standards for Texas public schools. Glanzer and Null, however, suggest that readers discard scientists’ opinions on what should (evolution) and should not (“intelligent design”/creationism) be taught in public school science classes. Really.
Many questions remain unanswered by the biologists who seem most interested in trying to control curriculum. Why do biologists assume they are experts in curriculum when they are not? Why are biologists afraid to broach the exciting intellectual problems surrounding the relationship between faith and science? Why not discuss the history of biology as a discipline and how the field’s approach to this problem has evolved over time? Why not discuss with students why biologists tend to operate within a naturalistic framework, including the benefits and limitations of the framework?
Well, here’s a question they should have asked: Why not… Read More