Easiest $500 Perry Ever Made

Gov. Perry, we’d like to bring an exciting money-making opportunity to your attention.

Have you ever met Ken Mercer? You might have. Mercer is the District 5 representative on the State Board of Education and, proudly, a member of that body’s far-right bloc.

Last month when the SBOE debated adoption of instructional materials in science, Mercer made a very generous offer:

You show me one (science curriculum standard) where there’s God or Jesus, intelligent design, creationism. Show me that, and I’ll give you $500.

The National Center for Science Education has video of Mercer’s offer:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i3tAjp6jeQ&w=400&h=255]

Now fast forward a few weeks, where you stated unequivocally:

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.

Video here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj7spLBfMHY&w=400&h=255]

You and Mr. Mercer should talk about that $500 check. He doesn’t strike us as a welcher, so we’re sure he’ll hand that $500 right over.

A word of caution, though. A bunch of us fact-checked your creationism comment, and despite your assertion, we couldn’t find anything in the standards calling for creationism to be taught in public schools, probably in large part because it’s a constitutional no-no. Our guess is that Mercer doesn’t technically owe you anything. But since you’ve appointed most of Texas’ Supreme Court justices, you might be able force him to pay up, if you want to explore litigation.

Oh, and do you have the Texas Education Agency’s phone number? They need to hear about this offer, too.

10 thoughts on “Easiest $500 Perry Ever Made

  1. I think what Perry meant is that Texas teachers ignore the approved state curriculum and teach whatever they please. The question is not so much what the ideal says to do as it is what the people actually do. That’s an old sociological/anthropological principle made famous by Emile Durkheim.

  2. Creationism should be taught in every American school. The country also needs to get back to it’s Christian roots, embrace the wholesome atmosphere that was pervasive in Philadelphia in 1787. It was that wholesomeness that allowed our Founding Fathers to create our extremely well thought out Constitution. If Philly hadn’t been so gosh darn wholesome back then we would probably have a terrible Constitution.

    In 1787 Philly was the largest city in America with a population of 45,000. How wholesome was it? The city had 34 lawyers, 16 clergymen and 117 taverns. That could be a clue. And the country as a whole? Nationally the average alcohol consumption, per capita, was twice what it is today – alcoholism and public drunkenness were rampant throughout the colonies. Just 17% of the population attended church services on a regular basis. And over 40% of women in the country were pregnant when they got married (alcohol related?) In at least two counties in Massachusetts, that bastion of puritanism, 90% of the women were pregnant when they made their way to the altar.

    Of course none of this makes any difference to social conservatives, one of their priorities seems to be rewriting Amerian history. So in the next volume of “History Of America” by Cynthia Dunbar and David Barton look for Philly to have 16 taverns and 117 clergymen.

  3. Yes, we could go back another century to when the freedom loving Christian colonial governments were hanging/burning/drowning/dismembering any poor wretches accused of being witches or worse merely on spectral evidence.

  4. Having done a little substitute teaching in Austin and Pflugerville ISDs over 10 years ago, I have to agree with Charles’ comment about creationism (and other fundamentalist Christian dogma) being inserted into classrooms by SOME teachers at all grade levels. Back then it was not widespread or sanctioned by the school administration, but my impression was that some school principals and certainly other teachers were aware. It seems to me that this was before the big curriculum battles at the SBOE. I had heard of the commotion at textbook hearings back then, and certainly the Gablers were in the news, but for the most part science teachers I had contact with taught Darwin without any particular drama or controversy. I am curious to know if anyone has looked at this recently.

  5. Like GeorgeE I’d like some references for the information in JamesBreck’s post. With references I could tweak some of my socially conservative friends. What say James. Where did you get these interesting numbers?