Former Texas SBOE Member: Opposition to Teaching Creationism in Science Classrooms Is Like ‘Pre-Holocaust Germany’

Cynthia Dunbar sounds just as extreme as she was when she left the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) at the end of 2010. Dunbar spoke Sunday night in Dallas as part of a panel discussion after a screening of the new documentary film “The Revisionaries.” The film, which premiered on Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, chronicles efforts by Dunbar and other religious-right SBOE members to hijack the revision of the science and social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools from 2008 to 2010. Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Dunbar on Sunday claimed opposition to including creationist’s anti-evolution arguments in science classrooms is “viewpoint discrimination.” From Kennedy’s piece:

Dunbar is one of several board members featured in the documentary, which “stars” former board Chairman Don McLeroy and his “young-Earth” view of creation, including his belief that dinosaurs were alongside other animals aboard Noah’s Ark.

The documentary revisits the board’ 2010 debate over teaching evolution.

Dunbar said even though “experts” oppose discussing other views as science, “that’s what they talked about in pre-Holocaust Germany as well.” She added that “making us a homogenous society that has [only] one ideology that’s acceptable is not what this society was based upon.”

While she was a member of the State Board of Education, Dunbar authored a book in which she describes public schools as unconstitutional, “tyrannical” and a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” In 2010 she led successful opposition on the SBOE against requiring that students in social studies classrooms learn how the Constitution “protected religious freedom by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” Dunbar supported a substitute requirement (which the SBOE passed) that questions whether separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution. Dunbar chose not to run for re-election in 2010.

You can read Kennedy’s full article about what Dunbar said at “The Revisionaries” panel discussion here.

4 thoughts on “Former Texas SBOE Member: Opposition to Teaching Creationism in Science Classrooms Is Like ‘Pre-Holocaust Germany’

  1. I loved the sentence in Bud Kennedy’s blog column, “Thurman, 31, wept when he talked about McLeroy, calling him a “warm and kind” man who cooperated completely,” together with the photo of Scott Thurman and Don McLeroy with their arms around each other. Yes, Don McLeroy is a cordial and friendly man and he and I have always been cordial. However, don’t let this personality trait fool you. Don has dedicated his life to opposing science.

    In my opinion, Don is an ignorant bigot who irrationally hates science, irrational hate being the definition of bigotry. Of course, Don would quickly respond that he loves science and reads popular science books and articles all the time. Yes, he reads them, but not with any true understanding. Don loves his own version of science, one completely divorced from the real version. His views about science are confused and mistaken and he rejects the philosophical materialism and naturalism embedded in the scientific method. This view against the methodological underpinnings of science is what makes him anti-science. It is not rational to define science on your own terms and say you love it, but implicitly hate true science.

    Don wants us, like he himself has done, to “stand up to the [scientific] experts.” His complete devotion to his Fundamentalist Protestant religion and Young Earth Creationism is what makes him irrationally hate and stand up to real science, the naturalistic kind, and that’s what makes him a bigot–albeit a warm, kind, and friendly one–in my opinion.

    For those who might think naming Don McLeroy as a bigot is an ad hominem remark, it is not. I defined bigotry and included the reasons why I think Don matches that definition. Please feel free to disagree. I did not call Don a fool or idiot as many have because he is not those. He is an intelligent man but intellectually misguided and willfully misinformed. He is too willing to accept Young Earth Creationist literature as facilely true and unwilling to look beneath the surface and study what legitimate scientists are really saying, or he doesn’t believe them or he doesn’t care. Don is the perfect illustration of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” The remedy is to gain greater and deeper knowledge and throw off your illusions. I might add that many Evangelical Christians accept the fact of evolution as part of the Divine plan, but Don has decided he does not want to take this legitimate scientific path as many theistic evolutionists do.

    Be sure to watch Don’s guest appearance on the Stephen Colbert show tonight. When Colbert pushes his buttons, I want to see if Don misrepresents the truth or not. I’ll be taking notes.

  2. I side with Richard Dawkins’ appraisal of creationist Kurt Wise (also a nice guy, irrational, dedicated, etc, etc) which is this: such a person is a disgrace to the human species.

    Same goes for McLeroy. He is a disgrace to the human species; a complete parasite. McLeroy takes from and profits by all that science and technology has produced and gives nothing back in return, not even an acknowledgement.

    Looking forward to Colbert making a monkey out of little Donny.

  3. I was in the audience at the screening of THe Reivisionaries last night in Dallas and heard Cynthia Dunbar’s analogy to pre-Holocaust Germany which caused an audible and collective gasp from a large portion of the audience. Her argument that “making us a homogenous society that has [only] one ideology that’s acceptable is not what this society was based upon” yet I see the SBOE wingnuts wanting to create and espouse only one homogeneous society based on their ideology. I think Colbert did an OK job with McLeroy but he didn’t come off as looney as he is.

  4. On the Colbert Report tonight:

    Don McLeroy: “Nothing is what a sleeping rock dreams of.”
    DM: “Humans and dinosaurs walked together.”
    DM: “Jefferson is a fellow religious conservative.”
    DM: “If the textbooks don’t meet our standards, they’re out.” [Not necessarily.]

    Stephen Colbert: “I’ve always been a fan of reality by majority vote.”