Last week we looked at the anti-evolution activists Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Gail Lowe wants on official teams that later this spring will review proposed science instructional materials for Texas public schools. But Lowe has been pushing her anti-science crusade for years now. Read More

Even as Gail Lowe tries desperately to save her nomination to another term as chair of the Texas State Board of Education, she's demonstrating precisely why so many state senators are hesitant to confirm her. Her nominees to panels that will review science instructional materials this year show that she's more interested in promoting her personal beliefs than in basing what public school students learn on facts and sound scholarship. Read More

Mother Jones magazine has published excerpts of a conversation with state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, regarding the lawmaker's House Bill 2454 -- what should be called the Academic Fraud Protection Act. HB 2454 would force Texas institutions of higher education to look the other way when creationists fraudulently promote "intelligent design" as legitimate science in classrooms. In his discussion with Mother Jones, Rep. Zedler pretty much says it shouldn't matter that "intelligent design"/creationism proponents aren't making claims based on science: Bill Zedler: If somebody does decide to weigh in, why should they be discriminated against? Mother Jones: Because they don’t have the scientific evidence to substantiate their views. Bill Zedler: The debate ought to be: “How did it happen?” But we’re not gonna allow that one to be brought up! I don’t think they oughta be thrown off campus if they come up with it.…… Read More

Disingenuous efforts by creationists to portray themselves as persecuted in mainstream academia for their anti-evolution beliefs are getting a boost from a Texas lawmaker. State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, has filed legislation in the Texas House of Representatives that would make a mockery of the terms "higher education" and "research." From his House Bill 2454: "PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RESEARCH RELATED TO INTELLIGENT DESIGN. An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member's or student's conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms."…… Read More

This is Part IV in a series of four posts in which TFN Insider had university scientists analyze problematic changes the State Board of Education made to science curriculum standards for Texas public schools in 2009. This year publishers will submit — and the state board will approve or reject — instructional materials based on these flawed standards. The following entry examines the current version of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (9)(D), which reads as follows: (9)  Science concepts. The student knows the significance of various molecules involved in metabolic processes and energy conversions that occur in living organisms. The student is expected to:

(D)  analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life.… Read More