BREAKING NEWS: A proposed amendment adding “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories back to the science standards has failed on a 7-7 vote.
11:17 – With the defeat of “strengths and weaknesses,” the board is now on to other amendments. Ms. Cargill begins.
11:20 Despite Chairman McLeroy’s repeated prohibition against signs in the hearing room (targeted at TFN members quietly holding signs saying things like “Stand Up for Science”), creationists who wanted “strengths and weaknesses” in the standards have brought a couple of bright neon signs to the hearing room today reading:
“Don’t Censor Science”
“No Science Censorship”
Finally, Mr. Agosto requested that Chairman McLeroy ask the creationists to withdraw their signs. He did.
11:28 – Here is the vote breakdown on the Mercer “strengths and weaknesses” amendment:
Yes: Bradley, Cargill, Dunbar, Lowe, McLeroy, Mercer, Leo
No: Agosto, Allen, Craig, Hardy, Knight, Miller, Nunez
Berlanga is absent today. We are told she will be able to participate tomorrow by videoconference.
This is a huge victory for sound science, but not the final word. The final vote will be taken on Friday. And board members may now offer additional amendments to the standards, so there is still room for mischeif by anti-evolution board members. So Act 1 is over with a victory for science advocates. Stay tuned as Act 2 begins.
11: 32 – Ms. Cargill’s amendments right now appear to be mostly small changes to some elementary science classes. Nothing on evolution yet.
12:02 – We’re still here. Ms. Cargill continues to offer amendments to elementary-level science classes. For the most part, these are fine and are bringing no objections from board members. Anti-evolution amendments are still to come.
12:12 – The board is now moving on to amendments for standards for courses in secondary schools.
12:13 – Gail Lowe offers amendments that would apply to all high school courses. We’re checking them now. Update: So far, these look OK.
12:35 – The board breaks an hour for lunch.