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Prepare for an ugly battle in Texas - Comments

Ascaphus's Avatar Comment 1 by Ascaphus

I suppose colleges could refuse to accept Texas high school diplomas.

Matt

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 17:10:00 UTC | #262614

debacles's Avatar Comment 2 by debacles

Everything's bigger in texas...including lies.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 17:12:00 UTC | #262615

TouchedbytheBishop's Avatar Comment 3 by TouchedbytheBishop

Why on earth are there THREE creationist blockheads on a science committee?! More to the point, why on earth are there THREE creationist blockheads dictating which parts of science children are allowed to learn?!

I mean, that's like letting a nazi write the syllabus for an israeli history class....'In 1941, the great Adolf Hitler killed X amount of u little buggers! Haha! How do you like us now?!'

Absolutely ridiculous.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 17:18:00 UTC | #262617

a non e-moose's Avatar Comment 4 by a non e-moose

@ascaphus

Let's hope it doesn't come to that. They should offer a foundation year to texans at least...

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 17:32:00 UTC | #262624

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 5 by Border Collie

I used to be proud to be a Texan. That pride only comes in scattered moments these days. Texas is so full of situations wherein exactly the wrong people somehow arrive in positions that have undue influence. I don't know what to do about it. Write my state representative or senator? A number of years ago when the legislature was considering the concealed handgun law (allowing people to carry concealed handguns legally), I wrote a letter of protest to my representatives. I received letters in reply thanking me for my support of the proposed concealed handgun law! By God, sheeeeit, we're ignernt and proud of it!!! Git in the pickup, Mabel, and hand me a beer!!!

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:09:00 UTC | #262642

Sittingduck's Avatar Comment 6 by Sittingduck

Texas, you've got trouble...

Of course it affects much more than Texas. They are one of the largest markets for textbooks and the publishers pay close attention to what sells there.

Does anyone else get the feeling that the moronic forces of human nature are building up to a fever pitch? I think I wil lie down for awhile...

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:30:00 UTC | #262663

black wolf's Avatar Comment 7 by black wolf

Please tell me they've got some secret competition in some Southern states to out-dumb each other, and that they've put a huge wad of money on the outcome.
To image that they could be in this for their own conviction is just frightening.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:42:00 UTC | #262676

NewSkeptic's Avatar Comment 8 by NewSkeptic

Okay, who do we write to? The Texas Board of (Mis-?)Education?

Can Antipodeans join the mail-in, or should this (more probably) be for Texans only?

For that matter, does anyone know if Texan schools include Globes, or have they ruled that the Earth is flat (and Antipodeans should have fallen off the Earth, already ... )

(Scary - I looked at a job opportunity there a couple of years ago. I'm glad we didn't go ... )

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:45:00 UTC | #262679

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 9 by Carl Sai Baba

I've lost count of how many times I have said this...

"Oh shit, I LIVE in Texas!"

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 19:29:00 UTC | #262723

Zamboro's Avatar Comment 10 by Zamboro

Bring it on, godbags.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 19:34:00 UTC | #262730

JDAM's Avatar Comment 11 by JDAM

Y'know, it's not like this has not been going on in America since it's founding. Religion, whether Catholic or Protestanism in all its wonderous forms has been around and has been influential, at least on the surface, of most things that happen here.

My experience with "religious" Americans is that proclaiming one's faith in "Gawd" is something you just "do" in order to stay on the right side of your neighbors who are doing it for pretty much the same reasons, sort of like a national Pascal's wager going on. In my lifetime I have had numerous occasions to press some of these people on their beliefs and they all say pretty much the same thing..."Oh, you can't really take (this or that passage in the bible) literally. It really doesn't mean what it says." If the pseudo-scientific/pseudo-religious nut jobs on this committee make any decisions, Americans are going to pretty much continue on with their lives as they always have. If they believe that the Earth is 6000 years old and men walked with dinosaurs, they will continue to believe that. If they really have doubts about stuff in the bible, they will continue to have doubts, and America will go on as it always has. Politicians virtually MUST proclaim a belief in gawd, even if they have none, and my belief is that most of them do not.

If we all continue to keep doing what we are doing in as polite and friendly, but as bold a way as we can, we will continue to grow as a movement, and change minds, one at a time. Having had to make the transition while in a very Catholic family many decades ago, I can tell you first hand that doing so is NOT easy!

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 20:00:00 UTC | #262756

Marku's Avatar Comment 12 by Marku

No offense to African Americans, but what was the American Civil War about? Why did they unite North and South? One can see how stupid the South is, but just imagine if they won and formed their own country. They'd probably be flying planes into building right at this moment. That's if they didn't inbreed themselves into total retardation, which probably would've been more likely.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 20:21:00 UTC | #262780

DiveMedic's Avatar Comment 13 by DiveMedic

Uh oh.... I really hope this doesn't become Kansas on steroids.

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 20:56:00 UTC | #262805

Cowcakes's Avatar Comment 14 by Cowcakes

This is as logical as putting Guy Fawkes in charge of a fireworks display.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 00:30:00 UTC | #262848

hobar's Avatar Comment 15 by hobar

A few days ago I delivered pizza to a voting site and was able to meet Laura Ewing, who is running for State Board of Education District 7. I told her my mother had informed me of her pro-evolution stance and wanted to confirm that I had voted for the right person. She confirmed that while she is pro-evolution she is also Christian and believes God created the Earth. So there you are...a glimmer of hope from Harris County Texas.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 00:39:00 UTC | #262849

jdaudett's Avatar Comment 16 by jdaudett

@9: I was under the impression that Texans DO care more about high school football than everything else in high school. Makes me glad I didn't grow up there.

@14: I betcha it will become Kansas on steroids. If there is a war on evolution in this country, Texas just became their central front. I hope that the textbook companies realize that Texas just decided to go off the deep end and start looking at California or New York as the way of setting the standard texts.

I think that science textbooks should have to submit themselves to a peer review standard. Maybe that would solve the problem.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 00:39:00 UTC | #262850

Wosret's Avatar Comment 17 by Wosret

"Why won't you die?" - Vegeta.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:00:00 UTC | #262853

agn's Avatar Comment 18 by agn

"Ronald K. Wetherington, professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence"

Why should an anthropologist be on this committe??

Where are the physicists, for example?

Surely, there exist in in Texs numerous scientists whio are better qualified than Mr. Wetherington to review the curriculum standards.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:30:00 UTC | #262855

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 19 by rod-the-farmer

Maybe someone with local knowledge can explain to us here just how these people GOT their positions. Where they appointed, or elected ? The article says "named". Does that imply Dr. Leroy was the sole individual responsible, or is there some sort of committee that chooses from a list of potential candidates ? As for the anthropologist, that would seem to be a much better candidate than Leroy the Dentist.

Anyone reading who has any connection at all with their local university could write to Texas newspapers, saying that based on the apparent anti-evolution philosophy of the "science curriculum standards" group, you will be advising your university/college to require remedial science courses for a year before admitting first-year students from Texas high schools.

Whether or not your university actually DOES this, is immaterial. The threat may be enough.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:50:00 UTC | #262857

friendlypig's Avatar Comment 20 by friendlypig

Comment #276357 by NewSkeptic on November 1,


For that matter, does anyone know if Texan schools include Globes, or have they ruled that the Earth is flat (and Antipodeans should have fallen off the Earth, already ... )

What on Earth do You mean?

Of course the Earth is flat!

It's was the Texans fell off and banged their heads, not the Antipodeans.

The intelligent ones were at the back and had some soft IQs to land on

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 03:03:00 UTC | #262882

dochmbi's Avatar Comment 21 by dochmbi

Looks like they'll be playing some 3v3 Arena PvP.
Pew Pew lazers.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 04:07:00 UTC | #262936

stephenray's Avatar Comment 22 by stephenray

The scientists should resign. They're obviously there to provide a veneer of credibility. The simple fact that the committe has put three creationists on the panel shows that understanding of how to teach science is as fundamental and deep as Sarah Palin's understanding of the ethics of government.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 04:38:00 UTC | #262938

bluebird's Avatar Comment 23 by bluebird

All's quiet on the Kansas front?? I've been preoccupied with Missouri issues, so didn't realize storm clouds are brewing again over our neighbor:
http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/kansas-creationism-kathy-martin-update-19-oct/

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 05:21:00 UTC | #262941

AFTER's Avatar Comment 24 by AFTER

Part of me just doesn't get the States. Why is this even allowed? Regardless of personal beliefs, can't people see that there is an agenda here? Education is not about advancing a pro-communist agenda or a pro-liberal agenda or a pro-ID agenda. It's about advancing knowledge. This is not even thinly veiled stuff.

I feel sorry for young Americans, especially those who live in Palinland.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 08:21:00 UTC | #262959

black wolf's Avatar Comment 25 by black wolf

rod-the-farmer:
Maybe someone with local knowledge can explain to us here just how these people GOT their positions. Where they appointed, or elected ? The article says "named". Does that imply Dr. Leroy was the sole individual responsible, or is there some sort of committee that chooses from a list of potential candidates ? As for the anthropologist, that would seem to be a much better candidate than Leroy the Dentist.

This should answer your question:

§161.1001. Establishment of Advisory Committees.
The commissioner of education has authority to establish advisory committees and to appoint the
membership of advisory committees. The commissioner may establish an advisory committee based on state
or federal law or State Board of Education (SBOE) recommendation or as the commissioner deems
expedient.
Source: The provisions of this §161.1001 adopted to be effective April 20, 1994, 19 TexReg 2384; amended to be
effective February 19, 1997, 22 TexReg 1636.


The Commisioner is Robert Scott.
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/commissioner.html
"While many children experience challenges, Scott knows that with high academic standards every child can be given the tools to succeed both in school and life beyond school."

http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/robert-scott-named-to-head-texas-education-agency/
"Scott is not thought to be that deep into right-wing political ideology."

AFTER,
Why is this even allowed? Regardless of personal beliefs, can't people see that there is an agenda here? Education is not about advancing a pro-communist agenda or a pro-liberal agenda or a pro-ID agenda.

When you have creationsts/IDeologues on the advisory boards, who got there from locally elected school boards, you'll get the same on committees. It doesn't matter if their ideology has been proven not to be science but religion. If they crawl up the policy ladders, they come to be in charge sooner or later. The current Commissioner in charge is a lawyer, which is why I suspect he has no qualification to differentiate between the politicized ID agenda and science. ID is notoriously good at convincing lawyers and ignorant voters (judges not so much, yet).

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 08:28:00 UTC | #262961

InfuriatedSciTeacher's Avatar Comment 26 by InfuriatedSciTeacher

I'm aware that many here don't like him because he's a theist, but I sat in a talk Ken Miller gave on Friday on this topic... he pointed out that despite what we seem to think, this is not limited to the south. He also presented a number of resources for HS teachers to deal with the inevitable questions, a guide to refute the set of 10 questions from Answers in Genesis, and agreed with Myers that this is NOT going to go away. I had the privilege of an individual discussion with him afterward, and while his cognitive dissonance is GLARING (he includes his religion as an unnecessary add-on to acceptance in evolution, which he fully conceded violates logical thought. "That's why it's called faith", was the response), he also stated the intent to continue combating creationism in science courses, to the point of offering to come speak in any school district that is being pressured to include it in their classes. While many of us would prefer an atheist, at least he's trying to help. Texans, email the man.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 09:31:00 UTC | #262971

amalthea's Avatar Comment 27 by amalthea

I have difficulty believing that, out of pure dogma, the state of Texas will allow 6 people to choose what kind of science will be taught in their schools. Bearing in mind that their decisions have the capacity to intellectually neuter their schoolchildren, who will then become the laughing-stock of the rest of the USA, not to mention the world. Will US universities even consider students from Texas, knowing that they are taught ID and creationism?

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 14:46:00 UTC | #263074

Ascaphus's Avatar Comment 28 by Ascaphus

...I have difficulty believing that, out of pure dogma, the state of Texas will allow 6 people to choose...


I don't understand the difficulty. At this point, they wouldn't even be setting a precedent. Religiously indoctrinated people have proven themselves capable of sacrificing themselves (literally and figuratively), their children, and any number of people both believers and otherwise. Why is this a stretch?

Matt

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 16:31:00 UTC | #263185

wouldbesakota's Avatar Comment 29 by wouldbesakota

This is just plain scary. My state, California may be 47th in education, but we're blue enough to teach evolution with no mention whatsoever about creationism. Nonethelesss I just checked my bio text book and found that there's only half a unit specifically on evolution.

Ah, well...

But I do find it frightening that a great deal of textbooks are published by this state.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 19:12:00 UTC | #263238

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 30 by chewedbarber

Write my state representative or senator?


Ha, ha, yeah, that is going to do so much. Texas politicians routinely win elections by calling opponents godless. hehehe, best of luck!

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 19:20:00 UTC | #263242