Creationism and the Dumbing Down of Texas

Looks like Texas is on the move to be as stupid as Kansas.

Yes, it looks like creationism may be taught in public schools on an equal basis with evolution. That’s fair, right? Except that creationism a.k.a. “the theory of intellligent design” is religion (well the Christian fundamentalist brand anyway) and evolution is science.

Listen, if you want to believe in creationism, go ahead. If you can’t find any way to reconcile your religious beliefs with science other than to reject evolution, a-ok. But that is a religious preference. You might as well reject the theory of gravity while you’re at it. And all those old bones and fossils they’ve dug up? Fakes, just like the moon landing. It’s a pretty slippery, greasy slope of ignorance.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed conservative Dr. Don McLeroy to head our state’s Board of Education. And the expectation is that McLeroy will lead the way into creationism in the upcoming board debate over state textbooks.

According to Kathy Miller, president of the liberal Texas Freedom Network:

Since his election in 1998, Mr. McLeroy, a Bryan dentist, has dragged the Texas State Board of Education into a series of divisive and unnecessary culture war battles:

-- He voted in 2001 to reject the only advanced placement environmental science textbook proposed for Texas high schools even though panels of experts – including one panel from Texas A&M – found the textbook was free of errors. In fact, Baylor University used the same textbook.

-- In 2003 Mr. McLeroy led efforts by creationism or “intelligent design” proponents to water down discussion of evolution in proposed new biology textbooks. He was one of only four board members who voted against biology textbooks that year that included a full scientific account of evolutionary theory.

-- In 2004, Mr. McLeroy voted to approve "abstinence-only" health textbooks that failed to include any information about responsible pregnancy and STD prevention, despite state curriculum standards requiring that students learn such information.

KTRH-AM is running a survey today on whether creationism should be taught in the schools. Guess what? By a 65-35 margin, listeners want it. Makes me proud.

I counterpropose we follow the lead of Oregon State University physics graduate Bobby Henderson who founded The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to protest the Kansas decision. As Henderson pointed out, there are also multiple views as to how Intelligent Design works. According to his theory, a Flying Spaghetti Monster dressed in pirate regalia is in control of the forces of our universe. For the full text of his letter, click here.

This makes about as much sense as what we’re proposing to teach our kids in Texas. – Margaret Downing

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