The Louisiana Family Forum is upset that its state Board of Elementary and Secondary Schools voted overwhelmingly last week to approve new biology textbooks that don’t include creationist arguments against evolution. So the LFF posted a poll question on its website:

Do you support BESE’s decision today to approve a list of Biology textbooks with known false and inaccurate information?

And how do you think people responded to that absurdly biased (and inaccurate) question? Not as the LFF would have preferred. As of this morning, 9,452 people had responded: 96% saying that, yes, they do support the BESE’s decision. Oops.

Maybe you want to register your support for the BESE’s pro-science education decision. The poll question is on the upper left portion of the web page.

UPDATE: Well, shoot. The LFF has now changed the poll question. Now its:

Do you trust “Obama and the Lame-Duck congress” to protect the American tax payer in the pending tax debate?

Two votes so far, both yes.… Read More

The San Angelo Standard-Times last weekend reported this stunning comment from Gov. Rick Perry, the highest elected official in Texas government: "I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution. The State Board of Education has been charged with the task of adopting curriculum requirements for Texas public schools and recently adopted guidelines that call for the examination of all sides of a scientific theory, which will encourage critical thinking in our students, an essential learning skill."…… Read More

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

“Take bones,” he says, offering a brief description of the collagen and amino acids in bones as an example of biological complexity. “Intuitively people have a tough time thinking nothing guided this. Are we supposed to believe that all of a sudden, say on April 1, five million years ago, the first bone appeared? The question is, how did evolution do this, and the evolutionists have been painted into a corner. They don’t even have a clue. How did that first piece of bone get there?”

That’s Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education and a young Earth creationist who believes Earth is less than 10,000 years old. McLeroy is quoted in a new Times of London article about how the state board is revising curriuculum standards for nearly 5 million public school students in this state — and, because Texas is so influential in the national textbook market, essentially for millions of other kids around the country.

Of course, evolutionary scientists don’t suggest that the first bone appeared “all of a sudden” millions of years ago. That’s not how evolution works. But that’s how McLeroy and other creationists on… Read More

Is the primary divide in the debate over teaching about evolution one between scientists and people of faith? No, writes the founder of the Clergy Letter Project, an organization that demonstrates that faith and science are not inherently at odds with each other. In his piece for Huffington Post, Michael Zimmerman writes that the real divide lies between people of faith themselves. Money quote: "It's time to look at the fight with fresh eyes. It no longer makes any sense to talk about the issue being a battle between religion and science since so many religious leaders and scientists are comfortable working together. What's really going on is a fight between those who have a very narrow view of religion and religious leaders who think a good deal more broadly. Those who are attacking evolution are attempting to define all religion in their own image and to marginalize all alternative religious voices in their single-minded attempt to promote their minority perspective."…… Read More

We have many times noted (one example) disingenuous claims by creationists that their attacks on teaching about evolution in public school science classrooms have nothing to do with religion. Now anti-evolution pooh-bah William Dembski offers more evidence that those claims are little more than misleading propaganda.

Writing on his blog Cultural Noise, Paul Murray notes descriptions offered for courses Dembski teaches at the North Carolina-based Southern Evangelical Seminary. (Dembski is listed as a non-resident faculty member there. He is a full-time faculty member at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.) The courses on “Intelligent Design” (creationism dressed up in a lab coat) have some interesting requirements:

–  One course requires “a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade).” – The same course also requires students to “develop a Sunday-school lesson plan based on the book Understanding Intelligent Design (worth 20% of your grade).” – At least two courses require students to make “at least 10 posts defending ID” on “hostile” Web sites (worth 20 percent of the students’ grades).

So a significant requirement to pass Dembski’s classes is to engage in a… Read More