Evolution deniers don’t like it when science textbooks tell students the truth. And creationists were really unhappy last year when they failed to pressure publishers into undermining the teaching of evolution in new biology textbooks adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) for Texas public schools. So now they’re making a last-ditch effort to bully publishers into falsifying the science in those textbooks.
We told you in January that the head of an East Texas organization that opposes the teaching of evolution, the absurdly misnamed Educational Research Analysts, had filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Neal Frey’s complaint charged that Pearson Education’s high school biology textbook was wrong in explaining the close similarities between chimpanzee and human DNA. The textbook said scientific evidence shows that chimps are the closest living genetic relatives of humans. Creationists hate that. Pearson responded to Frey’s complaint by pointing out how he simply doesn’t know what in the world he’s talking about.
Well, this week the Texas Freedom Network discovered that SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill backed Frey’s complaint. Of course, it’s no great surprise Cargill would support a fellow evolution denier’s efforts to dumb down a science textbook. What’s particularly troubling here is how she did it.
Writing in a January 8 email TFN obtained through a request under the state’s open records… Read More
The Creation Museum in Kentucky is unveiling a new exhibit: an Allosaurus skeleton that it says proves that the biblical story of creation is true. From Talking Points Memo:
“While evolutionists use dinosaurs more than anything to promote their worldview, especially to young students, our museum uses dinosaurs to help tell the account of history according to the Bible,” Ken Ham, president and founder of the Creation Museum and its parent organization, Answers in Genesis, said in a statement. “This remarkable allosaur is a great addition to our dinosaur exhibits. It’s been a pleasure to work with the Peroutka Foundation, which wants to use this great fossil in a God-honoring way.”
A geologist working for Ham’s anti-evolution organization Answers in Genesis claims that the relatively intact skeleton, reportedly discovered 12 years ago in Colorado, “is a testimony to an extremely rapid burial, which is confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.” Michael Peroutka, one of the board members of the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation that provided the skeleton to the Creation Museum, also says the fossil is evidence supporting the Bible’s description of a worldwide, catastrophic flood 4,500 years ago.
No, it isn’t. Such… Read More
You might think it would be difficult for the Texas Republican Party to lurch even further to the political right. But you would be wrong, especially when it comes to public education.
Wealthy real estate and car dealership magnate Don Huffines’ narrow defeat of incumbent state Sen. John Carona in their Republican Primary last month could be a big blow for supporters of public schools in Texas. Carona has held the Dallas-area Senate district’s seat since he was first elected in 1996. He has long been an opponent of private school vouchers, which divert tax dollars from public schools to private and religious schools.
Huffines, who campaigned as a tea party Republican, tells Dallas public radio station KERA that he supports “certain types of vouchers.” Among those “types” is the tax-credit voucher scheme pushed by state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, last year. Such backdoor voucher schemes create tax breaks for businesses that contribute money to “scholarship” programs for students who attend private schools. Those tax breaks lower funding available for public schools.
Moreover, even Gov. Perry’s former state education commissioner, Robert Scott, has warned that “the potential for fraud is incredible” with these tax-credit voucher schemes. In
The ideologues at the anti-evolution Discovery Institute put a lot of time and resources into pushing an agenda that would undermine the education of children across the country. Then they portray themselves and like-minded activists as somehow persecuted for doing so. They’re really shameless. Case in point: check out the editorial cartoon and quote from the Renaissance Era scientist and philosopher Galileo the Seattle-based organization tweeted on Friday:
The Discovery Institute, which promotes “intelligent design”/creationism as an alternative to evolution, and other creationists insist that the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution is flawed. In fact, they argue, the evidence will one day show they’re right — if only scientists will stop persecuting them for trying to find that evidence. We heard those arguments repeatedly during the debate over new science curriculum standards and textbooks in Texas. So the Institute’s use of the out-of-context quote from Galileo is hardly a surprise. That kind of “argument” is really all they’ve got.
But the portrayal of Galileo being criticized — like, supposedly, supporters of creationism today — neglects to tell the whole story. (Imagine that.) Galileo was indeed persecuted, especially for his insistence that Earth revolves around the sun instead of… Read More
We told you Monday that a religious-right group’s voter guide reveals that several Republican candidates in Texas State Board of Education elections this year think government shouldn’t be responsible for making sure all children get an education. The same candidates also support shifting tax dollars from public to private schools. So it might not be surprising to hear that their hostility to public education is matched by their disdain for science and separation of church and state.
According to answers in the voter guide, District 7 incumbent David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, and Fort Worth challengers Eric Mahroum and Lady Theresa Thombs in the District 11 Republican primary all support teaching “intelligent design”/creationism in public schools. They also want biology textbooks to teach creationist arguments about so-called “weaknesses” of evolution. District 11 incumbent Pat Hardy, R-Fort Worth, indicated that she opposes teaching both “intelligent design” and those discredited “weaknesses” arguments.
All of those candidates, including Hardy, say the Ten Commandments should be displayed in public school buildings, that marriage is a union of one man and one woman and that “no government has the authority to alter this definition.”) They also “strongly agree” that “the more people live by… Read More