Texas Science Textbook Wars: Ed Board Slashes Time for Public Comment

Categories: Education
The always entertaining spectacle of the State Board of Education assessing science through the filter of Jesus will be slightly less entertaining when things start up again this week, if only because the time allowed for public comments has been slashed drastically.

New SBOE chair Barbara Cargill, who's already admirably filled the wingnut shoes of her predecessors by publicly announcing there are only "six true conservative Christians on the board," has limited public comments to four hours, "regardless of how many people sign up to testify," the Texas Freedom Network says.

The board later this week will take up new science materials for adoption.

"Unfortunately, hopes that the new chair might focus the board on ensuring that Texas kids get a sound education have almost evaporated just two weeks after her appointment by Governor Perry," TFN's Kathy Miller says. "Ms. Cargill appears to be just as determined as her two predecessors to promote divisive 'culture war' battles on the state board and in our children's classrooms. And her decision to dramatically limit public testimony this week demonstrates a stunning disregard for the concerns of parents and other citizens who want students to get a science education that truly prepares them to succeed in college and a 21st-century economy."

The four-hour limit means not only will the board not get to hear from people they will blithely ignore, such as people who don't think cavemen rode dinosaurs, but it also means we won't get to experience the "experts" and their "evidence" about intelligent design.

In these dark days, we could use that entertainment, dammit.


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29 comments
Lee
Lee

This is absurd!  How can the SBOE even consider this with absolutely zero evidence???  Why not start teacing Harry Potter in science classes??  You have as much evidence that Harry Potter is real as you do Adam & Eve!  Unreal!  It's no wonder TX has the most uneduated workforce in the US!

autumn
autumn

anybody else picture Dolores Umbridge when reading this story?

Louis
Louis

All the atheists and evolutionists who are crying foul here are a bunch of sorry crybabies. Evolution and atheism are not the be-all of science. Believing in creation and design is not the end of science. You people would be the first to exclude Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, from teaching science. Did Newton's belief in design and creation prevent him from being the greatest physicist that ever lived? I don't think so.

Me thinks the lady (i.e. atheists and evolutionists, not Cargill) does protest a little too much. Some people want to use the force of law to ram their religion down everybody's throat while accusing the other guy of being guilty of the same crime. Texas is not putting religion in the textbooks, not by a long shot. On the contrary, Texas is removing YOUR religion from the textbooks and giving children a questioning mind. Texas' motto should be, "Question authority, all the time."

Bravo, Barbara Cargill.

Rick_K
Rick_K

Denying evolution requires ignorance or dishonesty.  My guess is that the TX school board, like the defendants in the Dover trial, are not all that ignorant. 

Education Grrrrl
Education Grrrrl

WHAT!!  Everyday Mathematics is a great curriculum....these people on the board must have never taught school....in fact, I bet the main book they supported was the one from Pearson enVision Math where the word problems are so difficult---I've had first graders break down in tears because they didn't have the skills yet to read those problems.....could we get some REAL teachers elected to this board???

Evan
Evan

Jesus Christ, Scientist! Have you tested your hypothesis? 

Scott Bodenheimer
Scott Bodenheimer

“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”  - Dame Edith Sitwell

Barbara Cargill, and all the people that support her, are embarrassments to Texas.  Hopefully one day we'll have a true separation of church and state, and religious teaching will be back in Sunday schools or parochial schools or the home where it belongs.

H_e_x
H_e_x

What the hell is wrong with this woman? She sounds like every busybody on a HOA board. Drunk with power, she is trying to not only make Texas the laughingstock of the country, again, but to make sure children everywhere are as ignorant as she is.

Dr. GS Hurd
Dr. GS Hurd

The religious-right would like nothing better than for concerned parents to withdraw their children from public education. This would increase pressure for some form of voucher program that would then finish their goal of destroying public education.

The Far Right does not want an educated, literate public as we are harder to control. Let me recommend two books;

Hedges, Chris2008 “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” New York: Free Press.

Phillips, Kevin2006  "American Theocracy" New York: Viking Press

Ben Franklin was quoted as saying, "We have a democracy, if we can keep it."

big red
big red

Anyone who has a school age child and does not get them into a good private school ASAP should have CPS sicced on them.

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

You people would be the first to exclude Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, from teaching science. Did Newton's belief in design and creation prevent him from being the greatest physicist that ever lived? I don't think so.

Your analogy is not correct. I would try to prevent Isaac Newton from teaching science if his curriculum was, "The only reason apples fall from trees is because Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, declared them to be the very most evilest fruit. Don't just take my word for it. It's in Genesis. That's the Bible! Nuff sed."

HC
HC

I have an idea--let's get a huge group together to refute germ theory, because it's not the be-all of science.  We can get the public to believe diseases aren't caused by microorganisms, but by miasma.  Imagine--no sanitation, dangerous food, high mortality rate.

If scientists stopped believing evolution was a viable theory, we would have huge portions of the people dying of influenza, because the knowledge of antigenic drift helps scientists create new flu vaccines every two years.  We would also not believe that the heavy use of antibiotics causes bacteria to mutate and become multi-drug resistant.  More people would die from disease in the US that is easily preventable.

You all don't think evolution doesn't happen and isn't a viable theory, I say never get a flu vaccine again.

H_e_x
H_e_x

*facepalm*The stupid is strong with this one. Creation is a part of religion. There is no evidence for it and it can never be tested. 

autumn
autumn

since when are religious beliefs any form of science? atheism isn't a science; nobody is saying it is. "creationism" is just the christian version of the beginning of times. would you feel comfortable, louis, with your kids learning all other religions viewpoints as well? and evolution isn't religion. and atheism and evolution do not go hand in hand. i think you're confused.

Your statement "Texas' motto should be, "Question authority, all the time."" is the biggest crock of shit i've heard in a long time. Texas's motto should be "Turn a blind eye and see what we can get away with."

commonsense
commonsense

That's no solution. We need to take back control of the public schools.

Louis
Louis

One does not need the to bring Jesus or the Bible into the discussion to show that evolution is a brain-dead pseudoscience. Calling it voodoo science would not do it justice.

Louis
Louis

Why lie and pretend that you have a valid argument? What we're talking about here is Darwinian evolution, according to which all species descended from simple lifeforms. Mutating bacteria and viruses have never been shown to evolve into higher lifeforms. The reason that Darwinian evolution is not science is that it is not falsifiable.

Sir Karl Popper (of falsifiability fame), the eminently knowledgeable philosopher of science of the last century thought that Darwinian evolution was just metaphysics, i.e., a religion.

Why do you insult people's intelligence with lame and hypocritical arguments? You ain't nearly as smart as you think you are.

Louis
Louis

You're not just a liar. You're stupid as well. See ya.

Louis
Louis

All great lies use truth as a camouflage.

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

I'm not lying. You have trouble with facts.

Louis
Louis

Why do you lie?

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

The problem with what you're suggesting is that the "crappy voodoo science" which you inexplicably want removed from schools represents mankind's basis of understanding for all life sciences.

Are you just trying to feel better about your own inadequacy by making the next generation of kids as ignorant as you are?

Louis
Louis

I never demanded anything about teaching God or religion in school. Why do you lie? I just want your crappy voodoo science out of the schools.

Again, do you have an experiment that can falsify the claim that the species evolved all by themselves from simple lifeforms?

OK. You don't have to answer the question. It's rhetorical. I wouldn't want you to put your foot in your mouth, again.

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

Wait just a banana-creatin' minute.

You poo-poo the idea of unicorns, yet demand that children be taught about an invisible sky god that is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Oh, and said sky god created the universe and everything in it. How is that any different than a steadfast belief in unicorns?

Louis
Louis

You don't understand falsification. Do you have an experiment that can falsify the claim that the species evolved all by themselves from simple lifeforms? There is no such experiment.

What you wrote above is stupid. It's like saying that the theory of unicorns is perfectly falsifiable because all one has to do is show that they never existed. Looking for rabbits in the pre-cambrian is not a scientific experiment. Talking about the Cambrian, the Cambrian explosion is a perfect example of the stupidity of Darwinian evolution. Extremely complex creatures just appeared out of nowhere. And the whole tree of life notion according to which living organisms belong to a nested hierarchy is being blown to pieces.

Thenonymous
Thenonymous

What are you talkling about? Evolution is perfectly falsifiable.In fact, if you could produce some human fossils from the Pre-Cambrian period, you'd shoot the whole thing to hell. So get on that. We'll wait.

Scott Bodenheimer
Scott Bodenheimer

Thanks Louis, I enjoyed reading about Karl Popper on Wikipedia.  It's ironic that you mention him, since he's famous for his ideas on Verisimilitude, in which he says that knowledge is objective, and that subjectivity invades all human knowledge.  The more objective science is, the truer and more valuable it is.  Popper said that Darwinism was not entirely objective, but it still encompassed much truth and significant value.  His ideas about creativity in a creature's evolution had nothing with God or a Creator, but instead the individual organism's striving that induced change was a sort of creative act.  Like a giraffe that stretches to reach higher leaves and causes her neck to lengthen. 

An amazing contemporary correlation to Popper's theory of Verisimilitude is Stephen Colbert's concept of "Truthiness" in which political zealots string together various subjective criteria into rhetorical devices that in fact bear no relation to objective truth.  For example: "Saddam had WMDs in Iraq", or "Reducing Taxes Creates More Jobs", or "God Created the World in Seven Days."

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