Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back To Texas...

It looks like the Texas text book controversy is heating up again.  This time, ABC has noticed.  Will Weissert writes:
Publishers submitted proposed textbooks this summer, but committees of Texas volunteer reviewers — some nominated by creationists who are current and former Board of Education members — raised objections. One argued that creationism based on biblical texts should be taught in science classes, while others objected that climate change wasn't as settled a scientific matter as some of the proposed books said.

Pearson and many other major publishers weren't willing to make suggested major edits and changes. Pearson has challenged the list of alleged errors that the citizen review panel claims are in the biology book and that members raised during Thursday's meeting.

The concerns included differences of opinion on how long it took Earth to cool. Another objection called for emphasizing that modern discoveries in the fossil record reveal a "balance between gradualism and sudden appearance," suggesting that rather than developing over time, life got a boost from an intelligent designer.
These issues would not happen if people had to pass basic science competency exams before they could be elected to school boards. Of course, they would just complain that their brand of science wasn't represented in the exams and that the exams were unconstitutional and then we would be back at square one.  As long as creationist candidates for these boards are well-funded, this problem will be with us.  Kudos to Pearson and the other publishers for resisting the proposed changes.  


  1. DanSantos8:37 AM

    "These issues would not happen if people had to pass basic science competency exams before they could be elected to school boards."

    I highly disagree with that. This is a political/sociological/religious issue - not one based on their knowledge of the subject.

    Look at the people in the YEC camp who hold PhDs or Masters in the appropriate fields, and yet still manage to come up with ways to mangle the science enough that they can make it fit their views of theology.

    It's not a "if only they knew more" issue - it's an issue that has its roots in their fundamental worldviews.

  2. I agree that it is a highly sociological/political issue. That doesn't change the fact that people who make decisions on scientific matters should have to have a minimum of understanding and knowledge of them. Most of the people that I have encountered that are dead-set against evolution can't find it on a map. They have no idea what it is, but BY GOD, they don't like it and they want it gone.

    This is similar to what happened up in Dover, in 2005. The local witnesses said they wanted their kids to learn intelligent design but, when questioned, had no idea what ID was. What they really wanted taught was young-earth creationism. Judge Jones referred to their mendacity in his ruling.

    I don't want alchemy taught in school because I know it is crap science. People on school boards need to know and understand the whopping amount of evidence against the young-earth position and be able to cogently say what that is and why it is crap science. Otherwise we will never be rid of these idiotic textbook controversies that center around creationism.