Creationists cave to science

Recognizing that they don’t have the facts on their side, the creationist members of the Texas State Board of Education gave in to science:

The Texas State Board of Education delivered a blow to social conservatives Friday, giving final approval to supplemental high school science materials after a brief flare-up over some lessons teaching the principles of evolution.

The lessons in question included a lab comparison on chimpanzee and human skulls, the fossil record and cell complexity.

A board-appointed reviewer had called the lessons errors and recommended changes, but a group of scientists objected on Friday, threatening to re-ignite a fierce debate over teaching evolution in Texas public schools.

There was some worry amongst those who understand and favor science that the recent appointment of Barbara Cargill spelled trouble for the teaching of biology. She “questions” evolution (which is code meaning she doesn’t understand it), so it was thought she might start a whole new round of creationist canards and bullshit in an effort to undermine a proper science education. That fortunately has not happened. I find this pleasing, especially considering just how frequently I will be sitting in one of my bio courses, learning something which only makes sense in the light of evolution. Anyone who denies the theory simply does not understand – nor desires to understand – biology.

So a tentative bravo to the Texas State Board of Education. Here’s hoping to see more votes for science.

Creationist dentist loses primary

Don McLeroy, creationist dentist and long-time member of the Texas State Board of Education, has been beaten in his primary.

McLeroy, one of the most outspoken social conservatives on the panel, ran firmly on his record as he faced his toughest opponent since he was first elected to the board in 1998.

McLeroy is an utter moron with no understanding of any subject (except teeth) and no qualifications to do anything (except drill teeth). His record is a piece of garbage that should be a point of shame. Except it isn’t for him because he’s genuinely too stupid to realize. Like, Sarah Palin stupid. It’s severe.

The guy believes the Universe is 6,000 years old, the U.S. was founded by Christians to be a Christian nation, and that abstinence-only education ever made sense. He’s wrong on everything – and proud of it. The man is a menace to education.

Good fucking riddance.

Evolution debate ends in compromise

Absolutely not.

For 20 years, Texas science teachers have been required to cover the strengths and weaknesses of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Two decades later, that rule has been changed. They traded the curriculum for a new set of standards.

Board of Education member Bob Craig said the new curriculum will require students to use critical thinking to discuss, analyze and evaluate the information for yourselves.

Lies. The new ‘standards’ will set science back.

For example, the revised biology standard (7B) reflects two discredited creationist ideas — that “sudden appearance” and “stasis” in the fossil record somehow disprove evolution. The new standard directs students to “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency of scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis and the sequential nature of groups in the fossil records.” Other new standards include language such as “is thought to” or “proposed transitional fossils” to make evolutionary concepts seem more tentative.

These people are stupid. Straight up stupid. Not politically, of course. They are, naturally, quite coy in that respect – that is the second most notable characteristic of the creationist mind. The most notable, of course, is the ability to simply not understand a single, damn thing about science. These people hate science. It conflicts with the beliefs with which they grew up, so they act like little babies and fail to realize that they are wrong. They assume what they hear of science must be incorrect because it does not fit their fairy tale. It’s rather pathetic, really.

By making these changes, the board of education hopes students will use reasoning and experimental testing to examine all sides of scientific explanations, including evolution.

“You need to have that critical thinking by the student,” Craig said, “and you need to have a free discussion of any scientific explanation.”

The revisions apply to students in kindergarten through 12th grade who take the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS test. However, they focus primarily on high school students.

“Have that free discussion, analyze and evaluate,” Craig said. “Critique those scientific explanations, and encourage critical thinking because that’s what we want to do in all fields.”

Scientists have that free discussion. High school students are not qualified in the least bit to tackle any of the vague, coy-creationist, sneak-attack, trojan, flat-out-fucking-liar terms listed.

“Somebody’s got to stand up to experts!” cries board chair Don McLeroy.

Don McLeroy is the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. He is also a dentist. Next time 9 out of 10 of his colleagues tell you to do this or that with your teeth, tell them they aren’t allowing you to freely discuss, analyze, or evaluate any of the evidence. Tell them it is YOU that should be critiquing the field of dentistry. Those arrogant experts have been holding down the ignorant layman for far too long, I say!