Monday, January 26, 2009

Texas Vote is half-right

On 23 Jan Texas voted to remove the 'weaknesses' argument from their science standards . .Yea! The move is hailed as a victory for science and science education. As Eugenie Scott, NCSE, put it:

"The misleading language [in the original science standards] has been a creationist loophole in the science TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills] for decades. Its removal is a huge step forward."
However . . . and isn't there always a however. At the last minute the avowed Creationist Chairman Don McLeroy slipped in the catchphrase "sudden appearance" into the heart of the biology standards. This "misrepresents the state of modern geology. The board should consult with the geologists who work the oilfields of Texas, and then remove this inaccurate amendment." (Steve Newton, a geologist and public information project director at NCSE)

Reportedly, several board members were upset they weren't given time to review these amendments and to seek expert opinion.

Well, we knew the fight wouldn't end here, but at least the immediate threat over legitimizing the whole false 'weaknesses' argument ended well in Texas. For the most part I am proud of Texas and I am sincerely hoping the Chairman hears about it from the Texas Voters . . . much like the Kansas, Ohio, and Dover PA Creationists heard about it when they got voted off their respective school boards.

Can't wait to see the Discovery Institute's reaction. I predict a typical knee-jerk reaction. I am sure they will find some way to claim it's a positive step for them, regardless of the apparent defeat.

Addendum: John West already had one comment to make:
“They did something truly remarkable today,” John G. West of the Discovery Institute, a group that questions Darwinism, said in a statement. “They voted to require students to analyze and evaluate some of the most important and controversial aspects of modern evolutionary theory.”
Lets us not let down our guard, because the vote isn't official until March and you know the DI will be campaigning hard -- after all it's the only thing they seem capable of doing. So let's keep reminding the people of Texas of the facts, because you know their marketing muscle won't!

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