Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don McLeroy, A Profile

The Austin American-Statesman has a profile of Don McLeroy, the head of the Texas State Board of Education. It is as balanced a piece as it probably could be and the author, Laura Heinauer, delves into his history and his work with the school board and the science standards.
McLeroy's amendments included adding a requirement that students analyze and evaluate the insufficiencies of the theory of common ancestry to explain gaps in the fossil record.

He has succeeded in rewriting the state's definition of science as it pertains to teaching to require "testable explanations" of nature. McLeroy said the change should allow the questioning of all scientific explanations and opens the door to the possibility that the universe was created by God. But he wants more.
As with many creationists, he is quite passionate and has enthusiasm for his work. The problem is that there is no support scientifically for his ideas. But problems remain:

University of Texas professor David Hillis helped form a group called the 21st Century Science Coalition to combat the effort to include the weaknesses of evolution in the public school curriculum.

"If Chairman McLeroy is successful in adding his amendments, it will be a huge embarrassment to Texas, a setback for science education and a terrible precedent for the state boards overriding academic experts in order to further their personal religious or political agendas. The victims will be the schoolchildren of Texas, who represent the future of our state."

How do you get someone like this up to speed in terms of biological education so that he even understands what he is railing against. His entire perspective is religious—giving little thought to the actual ideas of evolution.

Hat tip to LGF.

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