The Year in Quotes: Science

by TFN

With the new year approaching, it’s worthwhile to remember what we’ve heard from the religious right in 2009. We will start today where we began the year: with the religious right’s efforts to undermine science education by watering down instruction on evolution in public school science classrooms.

“Jeffrey Dahmer Believed in Evolution.’”

— The subject line of a widely circulated e-mail attacking the teaching of evolution in Texas public schools and suggesting that learning about evolution led Dahmer, an infamous serial murderer, to kill and cannibalize 17 boys, TFN Insider, February 2, 2009

“I disagree with these experts. Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts that are… I don’t know why they’re doing it.”

— Texas State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-College Station, in a rambling defense of the creationist arguments he used to attack evolutionary theory during the final debate over new public school science curriculum standards, TFN Insider, March 27, 2009

“I pray for my three friends, Pat Hardy of Ft. Worth, Bob Craig of Lubbock, and Geraldine ‘Tincy’ Miller of Dallas. They voted against the Republican Party platform and allowed themselves to be constantly lobbied by prominent atheists and secular humanists. These three Republicans will now have to stand accountable before their constituents.”

— Texas State Board of Education Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, criticizing fellow Republicans on the state board who didn’t support watering down instruction on evolution in public school science classrooms, San Antonio Express-News, February 9, 2009

“Evolution has been jammed down our throats our whole lives. I’m glad of the opportunity to look at the other side of the coin.”

— Tim Smith, an Abilene resident who attended a church seminar designed to show how scientific evidence supports creationism, not the theory of evolution, Abilene Reporter-News, January 10, 2009

“While state legislatures haggle over the words science, theory, and weaknesses, American schoolchildren continue to rank poorly in science education among the nations of the world. Pouring more money into the status quo of evolution-based science education isn’t the answer. Teaching the truth is.”

— Henry Morris III, a prominent evolution denier and CEO of the Dallas- based Institute for Creation Research, which has sued the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for refusing to grant the organization approval to offer master’s of science education degrees in the state, U.S. News and world Report, February 2, 2009

“Personally, I don’t believe in evolution. I don’t believe I came from a salamander that came out of a pond.”

— State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, discussing his proposed legislation that would have exempted the Institute for Creation Research from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s rules, Austin American-Statesman, March 16, 2009

“When the Universe was smaller, the gravitational effect was huge and the time on Earth would have been a billion times slower.”

— Robert Carr, a retired chief executive and contributor to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, offering his thoughts about how God created the earth in six days, AFP, February 5, 2009

“The obvious problem here is that it is simply not possible to be a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word, and at the same time, embrace the tenets of atheistic evolution.”

“What kind of monster parents teach their children that they’re descended from rodents and reptiles?”

“What do these apostate morons celebrate at their Sunday services, the lies about humanity’s origins told by Moses, Jesus, and Paul?”

— Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., writing in his book Sowing Atheism: The National Academy of Sciences’ Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children They’re Descended from Reptiles, which Texas State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy heartily endorsed. TFN Insider, March 18, 2009

“The culture war over science education, the teaching of evolution, is going to be there, no matter what. Education is too important not to politicize.”

— State Board of Education member Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, finally being honest about turning public schools into political battlegrounds, Texas Tribune, November 3, 2009

“Am I a religious fanatic? Absolutely. You’d have to be to do what I do.”

— State Board of Education member Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, Texas Tribune, November 5, 2009

“It must have slipped these people’s minds that God created the heavens and the earth and has control over what’s going on. (Dear Lord Jesus … did I just open a new pandora’s box?) Yeah, I said it. Do you honestly believe God would allow humans to destroy the earth He created? Of course, if you don’t believe in God and creationism then I can see why you would easily buy into the whole global warming fanfare.”

— Chris Allen, a Kentucky TV weatherman who holds no college degree, listed in a report by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., as a member of a list of 700 “prominent scientists” who object to the statement that the scientific community has reached a consensus about the effects of human activities on global warming, EthicsDaily, April 20, 2009