Texas Ed Board Candidate Advocates Teaching Creationism in Science Classrooms

by Dan Quinn

One of the Republican candidates for the Texas State Board of Education District 15 seat, Marty Rowley of Amarillo, is offering one of his clearest arguments for teaching “intelligent design”/creationism in science classrooms. Rowley talked to the Amarillo Globe-News for a story about next year’s scheduled adoption of science textbooks by the state board:

“Evolutionists would say that we progressed to this point through a series of unplanned, random circumstances and random events. I don’t believe that tells the whole story. I think there is more to our creation that indicates an intelligent being that has played a significant role.”

Rowley goes on to argue that science students should learn “competing theories” and what he considers the flaws of evolution.

Rowley’s opponent in the GOP primary, Amarillo school board president Anette Carlisle, told the newspaper that the science standards should be based on the recommendations of teachers, scientists and other experts. She also worries that teaching about religious beliefs in the classroom will be divisive:

“We have multiple belief systems in our student population, and we have to be respectful of that and not try to force any one person’s belief system on other students.”

In the same article, Kathleen Porter-Magee, senior director of the High Quality Standards Project at the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, warns that “intelligent design”/creationism isn’t science.

“Intelligent design is not scientific content, whereas evolution is scientific content.”

The article doesn’t quote Democratic candidate Steven Schafersman, D-Midland, who isn’t opposed in his primary. Schafersman is president of Texas Citizens for Science, which opposes teaching creationism and creationist-inspired “weaknesses” of evolution in science classrooms.

Read the full Globe-News piece here.

You can find a list of State Board of Education candidates, links to campaign websites, maps and data for state board districts, and other election information at tfn.org/sboe2012.



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