‘Reality by majority vote’

Key moment from last night’s Colbert Report interview with Don “Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts” McLeroy? That probably came when host Stephen Colbert asked the former Texas State Board of Education chairman who decides what information gets into textbooks:

Colbert: “I imagined that experts wrote textbooks, but in fact it gets voted on at a school board as to what is true?”

McLeroy explained that the state board sets the standards for what should be in the textbooks, leading Colbert to wonder aloud what happens to textbooks that don’t meet the board’s standards:

McLeroy: “If they don’t, they will not get adopted.”

Colbert: “I have always been a fan of reality by majority vote.”

Of course, Colbert’s deadpan response neatly sums up how the State Board of Education decides what millions of Texas students learn in their public school classrooms: “facts” are determined by a majority vote of politicians, not research, scholarship or — clutch the pearls — experts who actually know what they’re talking about. The full clip (above) is online here.

4 thoughts on “‘Reality by majority vote’

  1. The Big Lie.

    McLeroy says this in his comedic debut:

    “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and when I looked at the evidence for evolution, I found it unconvincing so I don’t think he used evolution to do it, that’s my big deal,” McLeroy responded.

    “When I looked at the evidence.” All creationists tell this lie. Looked at the evidence? No, they haven’t. In fact, all creationists steadfastly refuse to “look at the evidence.”

    Just try to get a YEC to calculate how much water would be needed for Noah’s flood and watch them scream and run away from such a simple model. They won’t do it. Time and again YEC’s have claimed “they’ve done the math” but they haven’t.

    Looked at the evidence, Don? No, you haven’t. You lie.

  2. Charles: “I would still like someone to explain to me why no dinosaur bones are found in the cultural deposits at prehistoric Native American archaeological sites dating as far back as October 23, 4004 B.C. We know these people were hunter-gatherers and finding sufficient, high-quality protein was a really big issue. We often see people eating mice and tiny land snails like those in your garden.”

    YF Creationist: “Em diner sores wuz too big and dangerus ta keel.

    Charles: Yes, but we know that dinsosaurs the size of dogs, cats, and chickens existed in great abundance. Why don’t any of them show up as food at these archaeological sites? We know that these people were highly skilled hunters. It would have been easy as pie to bag one or ten.

    YE Creationist: Well, maybe they didn’t like the taste of dinosaur. They’ze lizards you know.

    Charles: “Have you ever eaten alligator”?

    YE Creationist: “Naw!!! Cain’t say that I have.

    Charles: “I have. It’s good—tastes like chicken.” Dinosaur most likely tasted like chicken too, being as how they evolved into chickens.”

    YE Creationist: Well, mebbe them ancient Native Americans had some sort of religious food law that forbid eating dinosaur meat. Some people think they wuz desended from the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.”

    Charles: “Cyrus Thomas and others in the 1800s proved that Native Americans were not descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel. Besides, the cultural diversity among Native Americans across the United States was great and wide in prehistoric times. It is highly unlikely that all of them would have had such a food law. The last time I looked German Nazis were not so hot on eating Jewish gefiltefish. However, if they were starving like Archaic Period Native Americans were at certain times of the year, they might consider eating one. If the Donner Party ate their own people, I find it hard to believe that a hungry Native American would have passed up a nice, juicy easy-to-catch dinosaur burger. A hungry man will eat just about anything.”

    YE Creationist: Well, do you ‘member that thar tree in the Garden of Eden. It’s fruit had some sort of special chemical in it that changed Eve’s brain so she could tell the difference ‘tween good and evil? Maybe them dino sores had some special chemical in their meat that’d drive a man crazy if he wuz to eat it. That would have sure stopped ’em.”

    Charles: “How many animals today have a special chemical like that in their meat? One or two might. However, it would be hard to believe that all of the many species of dinosaurs would have had that problem.

    YE Creationist: “Well, maybe the dino sores wuz here only a short time and became extinct before anybody got hungry enough to eat one. Maybe just a couple of weeks.”

    Charles: “Well, all the evidence indicates that they were around for a lot longer than two weeks. There were gazillions of them, and they all took longer than that to reproduce. We even find the remains of their hatched eggs.”

    YE Creationist: “Well, there is jist got to be a true ainser I hasn’t thought of yet.”

    Charles: “What makes you say that”?

    YE Creationist: “Well, Genesis 1 here says that…”

    Charles: “I know what it says, but that is not the question. The question is: What is God doing here in Genesis 1, and how do you know that what you think it says is correct.”?

    YE Creationist: “The Bible wuz written simple so a simple man like me can read it and know what it says. Besides, I has had a special infusion of the Holy Spirit that lets me see special things in the Bible that you cain’t.”

    Charles: “Well that’s not quite true. The Bible is a fairly recent translation and compilation of ancient writings, and it was put together when most people did not know how to read. God gave the ancient Jewish people highly educated priests to read the Torah, understand it properly, and mediate that meaning from God to the people. He knew stupid people like you would screw up the meaning reading it on your own.”

    YE Creationist: “They’ze both science and history in Genesis 1 and it was inerrant in its original manuscript.”

    Charles: “How do you know that”?

    YE Creationist: “Preacher Beverly told me so. Heez been graduated from the Hogwamp College of the Bible. Got his ‘doctrit’ down thar.”

    Charles: “That’s nice. Did he bother to tell you that the original manuscript of Genesis 1 does not exist today and that no living human being in many generations has ever seen it”?

    YE Creationist: No, but hit was Moses what writ it.”

    Charles: “Did preacher Beverly tell you the difference between “ye olde steak house” and “the old steak house.”

    YE Creationist: “Naw!!! Cain’t say that he did.”

    Charles: “The earliest manuscripts of Genesis we have are not written in the early, archaic form of Hebrew that one would expect of moses and his time. The difference would have been great like Middle English (faeder ure) vs. modern English (our Father). All the evidence from the best Biblical scholars indicates that the earliest versions are written in the later kind of Hebrew that would have been used in King David’s time. David’s scribes were writing down and preserving the ancient Hebrew stories that had been handed down orally from one generation to another for many centuries. That’s why it has two accounts of creation. The scribes had obtained two conflicting orally related stories, did not know which was correct—so they included both. Oral stories. You know what happens to a story you tell on one end of the pew and pass down to the other end of the pew. It changes from what the true story originally was.

    YE Creationist: “You izza makin’ me mad now. I know fer a goldern fact that Moses writ Genesis and that hit and the whole rest of the Bible is “in-err-ant. That means it izz true science and true history red in simple words.”

    Charles: “The words of the Bible make no such claims for the Bible itself.”

    YE Creationist: “Hit does too. Right here at the top of the first page in my authorized KJV, it says Moses wrote the book in big letters right at the top of the page.”

    Charles: “Uh-h-h-h-h. The book publisher wrote those words in the 17th century. God did not do that. Some limey at a London printing office did.”

    YE Creationist: “Hit ain’t not so!!! God has writ ever word that is in my KJV Bible by the practice of autowriting at all times and in all generations.”

    Charles: “Are you telling me that if a man in London tomorrow accidentally leaves a comma out while preparing a new edition of the authorized KJV–the Lord made him take it out.”

    YE Creationist: “That’s what I’m a sayin’!!!!!” You liberally science types just don’t understand the way God works ’cause yer sin is blinded you to it.” The Bible says: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).”

    Charles: “Well, what does that mean”?

    YE Creationist: Hit means jist what it says. It means that if God’s holy and in-err-ant word says that 7 + 7 = 392, then the truth is 392 because that is what God says it is.”

    Charles: “So, you are telling me God cannot add numbers correctly.”

    YE Creationist: “Naw dangit. I’m sayin’ that if you think 7 + 7 = 14, then you are a leanin’ to your own understanding. You need to go with God and 392.”

    Charles: “So, you are telling me that God is irrational, stupid, and maybe in need of therapy for being detached from reality. That does not sound very perfect or inerrant to me.

    YE Creationist: “I am not a sayin’ that. My God is not stupid!!!

    Charles: “I agree with you whole heartedly. Have you ever considered the possibility that you might be the stupid person in this picture”?

  3. Gotta love Charles! Also loved the Colbert Report last evening. McLeroy came across as a babblin’ idiot.

  4. It just goes to show you how utterly worthless it is to argue with one of these loons. If you were sitting at a table in the lunch room and dropped your sandwich to the floor to demonstrate gravity exists and how it works, one of these people would claim that gravity does not exist—that you are an atheist dog if you believe in gravity—and instead claim that God caused the floor to rise up and catch the sandwich. This is the kind of so-called “science” these “revisionaries” want to teach our kids.