Texas BOE: Here We Go Again

Texas BOE: Here We Go Again February 8, 2013

Young earth creationist Don McLeroy is no longer the chairman of the Texas Board of Education, but his replacement, Barbara Cargill, is just as bad. Here she is complaining that the state science curriculum doesn’t teach “another side to the theory of evolution.”

Our intent, as far as theories with the [curriculum standards], was to teach all sides of scientific explanations…. But when I went on [to the CSCOPE website] last night, I couldn’t see anything that might be seen as another side to the theory of evolution. Every link, every lesson, everything, you know, was taught as ‘this is how the origin of life happened, this is what the fossil record proves,’ and all that’s fine, but that’s only one side.

Yeah, and they only teach one side of heliocentricity, gravity and the germ theory of disease too. Because there’s only one side; the “other side” is nothing but ignorant religious objections.


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  • Sastra

    But when I went on [to the CSCOPE website] last night, I couldn’t see anything that might be seen as another side to the theory of evolution.

    I originally read this as “But when I went on to the CSICOP website last night …” and thought hey yeah! The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is exactly where you should go for information on creationism!

    And then I saw I misread it. And then I remembered that they changed the acronym anyway …

  • …was taught as ‘this is how the origin of life happened, this is what the fossil record proves,’ and all that’s fine, but that’s only one side.”

    She does know that the other side of the fossil record is just more fossils, right?

  • glodson

    And it isn’t even the origin of life… It is goddamned speciation. I wish those ignorant morons could at least get that right. They don’t understand what Evolution actually is, they don’t even understand what science actually is, but yet they have the authority to dictate how we’re to teach these in schools?

    Just fucking great.

  • jufulu

    Your final Jeopardy question for all the money is: “There are this many scientific theories on the origins and development of life. You have 10 seconds to come up with your questions. (Cue wait music.).

    The correct response is, “What is one?”

    This was a trick question. There are many theories on the origins and development of life but there is currently only one scientific theory.

  • gopiballava

    Arr, me hearties. I am also disappointed to see only one side. They should teach at least three sides. They say nothing at all about His Noodly Appendage. R’amen.

    I’d be interested in hearing the kind of rationalizations they’d come up with if they went over alternate hypotheses that included man being created from a clot of blood, or the world being created by Vishnu exhaling. Our Christian heritage wouldn’t work as an excuse because this isn’t religion class, this is supposedly about reality. I think we’d quickly see that they don’t really want *all* sides taught.

  • Randomfactor

    She does know that the other side of the fossil record is just more fossils, right?

    Paraphrasing the Little Old Lady, “It’s fossils all the way down!”

  • Randomfactor

    Besides, don’t the textbooks at least MENTION Lamarck?

  • jnorris

    Free clue for the TBOE (care of Barbara Cargill): pick any five countries who’s students do better in science than your students; get copies of their science textbooks; have the sections on Creationism translated into American English; finally, insert same into your textbooks.

  • Michael Heath

    PBS aired an edited version of The Revisionaries the other evening. I suggest watching because the documentary was great at revealing Christianists arguments as they verbalize them. It’s about the culture wars as they were fought in some sessions of the Texas SBOE.

    It also includes Don McElroy effectively committing malpractice against dental patients of his. The documentarians interviewed him as he worked on his patients, making culture war arguments while his hands and tools were in his patients mouth. I’d love to see some credible experts go after his dental license.

    Unfortunately the documentary could be harmful when it comes to how casual viewers will perceive this controversy. At least the edited version required viewers to be literate of science, history, and how Christianists fight in bad faith to make credible conclusions. That’s because the documentarians never countered any of the lies told by the Christianists with corrections. Where of course at least some of what they argue would be reasonable if their premises were actually true. But those premises aren’t true; even the major premises needed to make their arguments are false. This fact was not revealed; therefore an ignorant viewer might conclude these Christianists are just attempting to get a balanced view of science and history taught, which is needed because of liberal bias.

  • oranje

    @Modus: Yeah, but it’s one of their B-Sides. Not their best work.

  • What the heck is she complaining about? The CSCOPE curriculum for a high school biology class has “Unit 06: Evolution (15 days).” A whole 15 days to teach evolution? The curricula for the other grades don’t even use the word “evolution”.

    The parents have had at least 15 years to drum their ignorant babble into their kids and they can’t stand up to 15 days of reality?

  • TGAP Dad

    I second Michael (#9) on The Revisionaries. You get to see McLeroy and the amazingly horrid Cynthia Dunbar proudly and openly pushing their xtian agenda into the education standards. There is a scene toward the end of the movie when McLeroy, who is also a dentist, is at an event which looks to be a tent revival. In casual conversation with his seat mates, with whom he seems familiar, he speaks very openly:

    Don McLeroy: One of the nice things about bein’ a dentist is when you, uh… I have an audience every day. Every morn- you know all day longI have about 7 or 8 people I get to practice on.

    Uidentified parishioner: And they can’t do much talkin’ back!

    DM: I know. It’s just wonderful!

    Unidentified Parishioner 2: Yeah they’re capt- you got a captive audience!

    DM: I know. And most of ’em are ideologically aligned with me anyway. And if they’re not, they need to hear it anyway, right?

    This to me was more telling than all the rest of the movie. He, and his ilk, are going to push their religious and ideological beliefs onto a captive audience, because they can. Makes me sick.

  • glodson

    Besides, don’t the textbooks at least MENTION Lamarck?

    They might, and they should. As that is part of science, eliminating what is wrong. Hell, he can even get a mention as we start seeing epigenetics emerging.

    Though wrong, he’s got a place in the textbooks as we watch the emergence of the Laws of Inheritance and the development of the Theory of Evolution. In the same what that we talk about the Ether, which led the the Michelson-Morley experiment, which failed to even measure a difference in the speed of light as the Earth travels in the orbit around the Sun and paved the way for Relativity.

    Both are great examples for students on how science should work. When an idea is shown to be false, we have to discard it and move on, or modify it to be right if possible.

    Creationism has no place as it isn’t even science.

  • @John Pieret #11

    Their preferred version of events only took 6 days, not 15. And then He rested.

  • abb3w

    My impression is that Barbara Cargill is little more than dully ignorant; Don McLeroy appeared dully, zealously, and maliciously ignorant. She actually is a slight improvement, but there’s room for a lot more.

    Still, that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Texas is famous for having lots of room….

  • sailor1031

    The hell with evolution. How come they never teach the other side of relativity theory? or quantum theory? or tectonic plate theory? or………I’m sick and tired of this evolution getting all the attention – like it’s the only theory out there!!