Friday, March 27, 2009

The Universe is How Old?

More from Texas. State Rep. Barbara Cargill, the one who wouldn't reply to my letter has introduced an amendment. As Discovery Blog reports it:
Texas Board of Education creationist Barbara Cargill today proposed an amendment to the science standards saying that teachers have to tell their students there are different estimates for the age of the Universe. This is not even a veiled attempt to attack the Big Bang model of the Universe, which clearly, and through multiple lines of evidence, indicates the Universe is 13.7 +/- 0.12 billion years old.

So Ms. Cargill is right, if she means that "different estimates" range from 13.58 to 13.82 (given one standard deviation) billion years old.

But she doesn’t mean that at all, does she? If you read her website, you’ll see she’s an out-and-out creationist. She has a large number of, um, factual errors on her site that are clearly right out of the Creationist Obscurational Handbook.

Anyway, her antiscience amendment passed 11 - 3.

That it passed by that large a margin means that the general level of science education on the board must be pretty limited or creationist sympathies must run high.


  1. Amazingly, she has a Masters of Science in Science Education, and taught biology for a long time. Amazing!

    Honestly, a part of me just want to let them have their way. Fine, teach "weaknesses." It will not make any difference to the average person, and those who go into science will figure it out.

    Even as I say that, though, and even though I work in communications and have no specific stake in whether evolution is true, I don't want ID taught because I don't want more people growing up thinking evolution and Christianity are incompatible.

  2. I have long thought that if YEC supporters actually had their way and the average science teacher spent, say 20 minutes outlining their tenets and then said "now, lets see how well those claims stack up" the party would be over very quickly. The kids would come home and tell their parents, "today we learned how terrible those young earth arguments really are." Here's the problem: they would also say "boy, those Christians sure are stupid," not allowing for the fact that there are legion of us out there that don't support the YEC model in the slightest. Ken Ham and folks like him think they are the "true" Christians because they have held true to the text of Genesis, ignorant of the fact that they have badly misinterpreted the text.