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
We told you that the far-right Liberty Legal Institute, based in Plano near Dallas, had failed Thursday to persuade an Alaska judge to shut down a legislative investigation into alleged abuses of power by Sarah Palin, the state’s governor and Republican vice presidential nominee. Now the Anchorage Daily News reports that the state’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear an emergency appeal from Liberty Legal. If the Supreme Court rejects the appeal, investigators are set to release their findings on Oct. 10.… Read More
The Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute has failed to persuade an Alaska judge to block a legislative investigation into possible abuses of power by Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president. On Thursday Alaska Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski basically told Liberty Legal and its clients, five GOP state lawmakers, to take a hike:
“It is legitimately within the scope of the Legislature’s investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination of a public officer.”
We told you last month that the Liberty Legal Institute, the legal arm of the Plano-based Free Market Foundation (itself the Texas affiliate of the far-right Focus on the Family) was helping Republican state lawmakers in a lawsuit designed to shut down the investigation into what has been dubbed “Troopergate.” A bi-partisan legislative committee had voted in July to investigate whether Palin had improperly pressured state employees to fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper. At first Palin said she would cooperate. After she became the Republican vice presidential nominee, however, she reversed her pledge and ordered aides not to obey subpoenas seeking their testimony.
By intervening in the case, Liberty Legal/Free Market… Read More
Come help the Texas Freedom Network celebrate 13 years of working for mainstream values like religious freedom, individual liberties and strong public schools. TFN’s 13th Anniversary Gala kicks off at 7:30 this Saturday (October 4) at La Zona Rosa in downtown Austin. In addition to Austin’s best silent auction and delicious food, you can enjoy great tunes from the amazing Ruby Jane Smith and rocker Ian McLagan and the Bump Band.
This is TFN’s biggest fundraiser of the year — a time when progressives of all stripes can come together to celebrate the mainstream values we all share. Click here to get tickets and learn more about the celebration.
On Tuesday a remarkable coalition of scientists from Texas colleges, university and private industry announced their support for new public school science standards that would provide a 21st-century education for Texas students. Media coverage of the 21st-Century Science Coalition press conference at the Texas Education Agency in Austin was heavy. The press conference came the week after work groups made up of teachers and academics appointed by theTexas State Board of Education proposed new science standards that support teaching about evolution and oppose teaching about “supernatural” explanations in public schools.
Coalition spokespeople announced that more than 800 Texas scientists had already signed a pro-science petition at http://www.TexasScientists.org/. A sampling of comments from the press conference:
From the San Antonio Express-News
“We are here to support and promote strong, clear, modern science education in Texas schools,” said David Hillis, professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin. “Texas public schools should be preparing our kids to succeed in the 21st century, not promoting political and ideological agendas that are hostile to a sound science education.”
“We should teach students 21st-century science — not some watered-down version with… Read More