Viva la Evolution: The Creationists Return to Austin

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the classroom, SBOE returns.

Designing woman: July has been a grim month for Texas education. First there was the report that students taking early versions of the state's new end-of-course exams failed miserably. The worst performance was 42 percent in physics, but at least students know where their cell phones come from — China, where the physicists live.

Then there was this week's report that nearly 60 percent of Texas middle- and high-school students get suspended or expelled from school at some point, a fact that "alarms state leaders."

Thank heavens for state leaders, then, like those fine people on the State Board of Education, who this week will answer the alarm and get down to ensuring that Lone Star students get the best education the 19th century can provide. That's right, it's evolution versus creationism time again.

We know what you're thinking: Weren't the creationists turned back in 2009, when board moderates rejected efforts to introduce intelligent design — code words for the "Book of Genesis" — into the state's science curriculum? Ha! The folks recently described by board chairwoman Barbara Cargill as "six true conservative Christians" don't give up that easily.

While the board rejected egregious attempts to introduce creationism in 2009, it adopted "compromise" language that leaves "true conservative Christians" another bite at the apple. (And just look at how the first one turned out.)

"One day they slammed the door on creationism," says Dan Quinn, spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network, a progressive watchdog group. "The next day they ran around the house throwing open all the windows to let it in another way."

On Thursday, the board will adopt a list of accepted science "supplemental materials" — e-books and online instructional items. Normally the board would be undergoing a lengthy public process to adopt new textbooks, but the state blew all that book money on tasers for Rick Perry's security detail. You could have seen some of the proposed supplemental materials if you'd bothered to file a public records request. You did that, right? No? So much for "let there be light."

Cargill, one of the six holy elect, has limited the public hearing about the material to four hours, with each speaker getting two minutes. Then the board can vote to select whatever material it chooses. Fortunately, the six holies are a minority on the 15-member board. Unfortunately, Democrat Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi has decided to skip the meeting and take a vacation.

All that "alarm" must have tuckered the poor dear out. —Patrick Williams

 
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43 comments
Lee
Lee

An interesting investigation is charting the progressive eviction of God and all things Biblical and moral from our schools against the the influx of lower test scores, metal detectors, and family counseling. Another interesting contrast is the academic prowess of private- and home-schooled students vs. those from the public schools. I guess if you continue to teach people that they're just hairless apes in a purposeless existence, that's how they'll act.

Chandler Fozard
Chandler Fozard

I always find it amusing that creationists are called narrow- or closed-minded, or that we are the ones who are referred to as archaic or uneducated, after I read posts from the likes of my predecessors. Here are the facts: 1) creation scientists have just as many degrees behind their names from the same respected institutions as evolutionists, 2) creationism is more consistent with what we KNOW from science than evolution (bio-genesis, 2nd law of thermodynamics, fossil evidence and the missing link, etc.), 3) the discrepancy is not in the science but in the hearts of men; scientists who bring bias to the table (on both sides) equals bad science with an agenda. Read some good books. Psalm 19; Romans 1 and 2. Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box; In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation; The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (book or DVD); visit www.ICR.org, etc. Even if you choose to disagree with their conclusions at the very least you'll know both sides. It has been well said that an atheist can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find the police.

Simon James
Simon James

Texas is run by the greatest minds of the 13th century. Education is de-funded and Christian Soldiers march on Austin to proclaim Darwin a fool and the Bible the undisputed truth. Anybody want to buy a house in Rowlett?????

Carol
Carol

I find this a very biased report. For example, the conservative Christians on the school board are termed "holies". Also creationists are derided. The conservative Christians and creationists deserve as much respect as those who disagree with them. Can we not talk about different viewpoints or ways of viewing human origins rather that deriding those who hold different viewpoints from the non-conservative members of the school board? How about some unbiased reporting.

JB
JB

If our world and we are the product of "Intelligent Design", the grand architect is an absolute incompetent...

Simon James
Simon James

Is it any wonder my house is for sale and I can't get the hell out of this third world toilet they call Texas.

Juju
Juju

vbfgnturnd

Seth Muse
Seth Muse

Show me some evolution. It's measurable, right? Observable? Got a fossil or two of transitional nature? Show me the one....no wait, we should have thousands....of fossils showing transitional change over the millions of years. I'd love to see them.

Survival of the fittest is a great theory...until it's applied to humans.

Sonar77859
Sonar77859

The students are the ones not thought of. If this was truly a "scientific" debate, the students would be taught how to be objective in looking at ALL of the theories and discerning the facts to support the proof or lack of proof for their own conclusions. Unfortunately, this is a "poltical" debate and the close minded liberals cannot see past their own self importance to see the damage they are doing in the long term. Forget indepedent thought, it's no longer needed.

Sciencephile Megan
Sciencephile Megan

A separation of church and state saves the religious and nonreligious alike. This debate rages on because of a failure to recognize that. Teach children what is highly scrutinized, testable, measurable and critical thinking in school. We all pay taxes to keep them intelligent, not indoctrinate or teach pseudoscience and fringe BS. Keep the religion in church and home where it does not corrupt learning. Teach your children how to think, not what to think. They are people that should be educated so they can make their own choices. If science threatens what you believe, that's your problem not children who deserve a real education.

SyLabus
SyLabus

If we can't get people like this out of our government, Texas is doomed. While the average voter wasn't paying attention, the creationists loaded the Board of Education with these rabid ideologues, and here we are. They are doing more than messing with evolution, folks. They have literally re-written history in some of our major textbooks, to leave out figures they consider liberal and devote more space to conservative icons. They are brainwashing our kids from the ground up.

Lee
Lee

The fact thatn this debate is even happeneing speaks volumes to the reason tX has the most uneducated work force in the US! Please someone explain to me how in the world people like Cargill, Perry or Bush are elected to hold any kind of office?!?! Unreal!

Rich
Rich

Even more Stupid is the creationist trying to apply some kind of arm chair science to try to disprove the science they hate.

Luckeebreak
Luckeebreak

We need to vote all this science crap out in the next election and return to biblical law and start stoning non-believers...

TimCov
TimCov

What is truly sad to me, is that in the late 70s and early 80s I was taught in Sunday school that god created man and all the life on Earth through evolution. The reason the Bible says 7 days is because man could not understand the spans of time involved when we were told of creation.

Donuan1
Donuan1

I don't think educating children on the fact that nearly every evolutioary story they have been taught is an outdated lie such as moths on trees, the horse (manure) series which was reversed, ontongeny recapitulates phylogony, piltdown man, just for starters and that they tested the newly formed rocks of mt st Helens with the modern "absolute dating" methods and found that 20 year old rocks appeared to be "billions" of years old. What does that have to do with Genisis? How is that "religious"? Its not but the religion of atheism is the foundation of the disproven evolution philosophy our children are fed. Disproven fairy tale.

Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Here you have it. This is the REAL WORD! WITH REAL FACTS.

1. WHY do children in Christian schools TEST HIGHER and are SMARTER than the public education system?

2. WHY are children in the public education system failing?

3. It seems to me that GOD has been replaced with a POLICE OFFICER at every public school.

4. WHY are kids who are HOME SCHOOLED graduating early in many cases and being more productive in society?

DON'T think that I'm PRO-RELIGION. I'm ANTI BIG Government involvement. Let the results show. When LOCAL governments had reign over what was taught to their kids test results were higher (WITHOUT SCHOOLS CHEATING!)

10 years ago the USA STD rate was 1 out of every 10 persons had an STD in the USA. NOW it's 1 out of every 3. This goes for ALL US Citizens By the CDC! Something is amiss. IF Religion was the cure it isn't... If what is taught in the public school system was suppose to work, it hasn't! This is just 1 example. STD information is taught in HEALTH CLASS. There is NO GOD involvement in that class. It IS TAUGHT in public schools! WITH PICTURES! from what I remember. So WHY the BIG FAILURE? The students are given facts and know what the risks are.

When I was in school we NEVER were pushed towards Darwin OR Creationism as a rule of thumb. Maybe it's time to jump off the stupid bandwagon and get kids to learn what will make them successful. READING, WRITING, MATHS. Science for some is fine. But how about we get kids that can fill out an employment application IN ENGLISH!

Take that VIVA LA STUPIDO. AND understand you twinkie, that China doesn't invent. It copies technology. It reverse engineers then manufactures. Even Japan had the mobile phone prior to China. Duh!

BoundedReality
BoundedReality

Here we are again, can you believe it? Listen, these guys have lost any credibility when trying to sell creationism as a plausible alternative for evolution to all but the willfully ignorant and those who's agenda is more akin to evangelism than teaching science.

The true irony here is that we have religious adherents who want to propagate their own brand of morality, ostensibly, for the good of our nation and its children, and are doing so through lies, deceit and occasionally just plain old ignorance. No one, who hasn't been dead and buried for at least 5 years, believes that the Genesis story or creationism or intelligent design are scientific "alternatives" for anything.

It's nothing more that a way to get Christian beliefs taught in public schools under the guise of science. At least have the moral decency to admit what you are trying to do. Those who are pushing this issue have no basis whatsoever for taking the moral high ground. They are being outright deceitful and they know it.

Stop your feet, cover your ears and by all means keep your mouth shut, but evolution is a fact and it's here to stay. Crawl out from under your collective rocks and go read something besides the Bible.

http://boundedreality.wordpres...

Thinkdamit
Thinkdamit

What is the difference between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims? Muslims have stricter dress code.

Sane and Christian
Sane and Christian

Creationism is lunacy, so there needs to be reporting that acknowledges science over the ignorant mob mentality of zealots.

Simon James
Simon James

The Right wingnuts deserve to be derided as fools and bufoons.

Nonya59
Nonya59

Hmmm. Let's see, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, growth and development all over the place, no state income tax, the absolute beauty of the Palor Duro Canyon and the prairie of the panhandle to the hill county, to great beaches, don't let the screen hit you on the way out.

Video_9
Video_9

There are tons of them.Go to any museum and you can see them....go to wikipedia and read..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

Go to the library and read a biology book...

If you have never seen them its because you don't want to. You are only a click away from the information you want.

Robert Masters
Robert Masters

Homo erectus - 1.75 million years ago, Homo Sapien (humans) 175,000 years ago. Size, scull shape totally different from modern human.Show me ANY physical evidence that the greatest man who supposedly ever lived only 2000 years ago and was supposedly crucified in public... none.

FFA
FFA

Hey Megan, show me the "Proof" of evolution. I do believe you anti-creationists have a missing link or two that you can't explain.

Chief Walksalot
Chief Walksalot

sients is of da debbil. if yew don't axe sept Jeesus, yer gonna birn. anyone noes that the earth is only 500 or so years old!! Yep, about 5ive hunnert years ago, the earth fell out of the sky, then god popolluted it with pants and animals, like dogs and cats. " and god said : Let there be pants. And the pants begat trousers, and the trousers begat jeans, all in accord with the Book of Levis.

Seth Muse
Seth Muse

Here's a compatible theory you may find interesting.

Genesis talks about 3 days of creation, but the sun and moon are day 4. Those are to govern time. So before the creation of the sun and moon, time was not measurable.

Also, don't forget that Genesis 1 is a poem. Of course, they were meant to convey knowledge in a memorable form, not express metaphoric legend.

Dr. GS Hurd
Dr. GS Hurd

This is a very good example of compounded ignorance. The "moths on trees" is apparently a reference to the Ketterwell Peppered Moth experiments in the 1950s. These were questioned in the 1990s, replicated in the early 2000s. Ketterwell was entirely vindicated.

"horse series" apparently suggests that the equid fossil record is inadequate, or commonly misrepresented. If someone (probably not Donuan1) were honestly interested, they would buy, or borrow a copy of

"Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae" Cambridge University Press (October 30, 1992)

Or, they might just spend a few minutes looking at Wikipedia page on the evolution of Equidae, and following the associated links to specific fossils.

"ontongeny recapitulates phylogony" was a short-hand for Ernst Häckel's failed embryology theory. It was rejected over a century ago and is remembered only by historians and creationists.

"Piltdown man" was a fraud discovered and exposed by scientists. It actually delayed the general acceptance of Raymond Dart's South African human ancestor fossil discoveries, and humanity's origins in Africa- which had been predicted by Darwin.

The vast majority of scientific literature on radiometric dating methods is devoted to how NOT to do it. Creationist stupidity (or duplicity) in generating false radiometric results would fill a book. In fact, creationists have filled several books with their absurd efforts which are testament to either their real incompetence, or a real effort to deceive. The Mt. St. Helens "dating" by ICR is a good example. In a massive pyroclastic field, they selected large rocks with obvious exotic inclusions, and then applied a "whole rock" dating method. Stupid, or crooked? You decide.

John Dibble
John Dibble

The answer to your first question has more to do with the parents than the school being Christian - parents who are willing to spend money on private schools are more likely to deeply involve themselves in their children's educations. The vast majority of things taught in private schools, even religious ones, are non-religious in nature. It has nothing to do with Christianity, it all has to do with good parenting. Question 4 is also answered by this - parental involvement changes a lot, regardless of where the student is educated.

As to the second question, there are various reasons for that. Some public schools do well, some don't.

As to question number three, when has God ever provided security? Did God stop Columbine or any other school shooting from happening? It's sad, but the world we live in requires a bit of security in our schools.

As to STD rates, you should take note of something - STD rates and teen pregnancy are higher in states where abstinence only sex-education is pushed instead of comprehensive sex education. In other words, the rates go up when the students aren't given all the facts about condoms and other methods by which they can prevent STD transmission. The AO version of this is pushed largely by the religious.

"When I was in school we NEVER were pushed towards Darwin OR Creationism as a rule of thumb. Maybe it's time to jump off the stupid bandwagon and get kids to learn what will make them successful. READING, WRITING, MATHS. Science for some is fine."

And how do you determine who the "some" who science is fine for if you don't expose all the kids to science? If we want our nation to continue to be the most advanced, we need our children educated in science. Science gives us our new technology, new medicines, etc. Evolution is part of that - it is the foundation of modern biology, and knowledge of it has practical applications in medicine, agriculture, computer science, engineering, and many other fields. But no, let's have our kids wallow in ignorance so they can continue to fall behind the rest of the world. That's a much better solution.

iBook of Jobs
iBook of Jobs

You obviously didn't go to my church school. I'd have killed for a pair of sandals.

Nonya59
Nonya59

Books, scrolls, and various other reading materials were once available stating the facts in the same manner you choose to point to here. If there was a biology book or Wikipedia in our not so distant history they would have stated "facts" that the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. It's officially known as the THEORY of evolution. Since you like to read, look up the definition of theory. It is not a fact nor has the evidence you point to proven anything.

Nunya
Nunya

Not True.... I have read some micro biology books that makes question thisreligion of evolution.

Robert Masters
Robert Masters

There's a difference between a missing piece and absolutely NO evidence at all (creationism)

Catbird
Catbird

Dear Chief:

Some day you may regret that you wrote those very hurtful, mocking words and you may need the sort of help only God can provide.

On that day, please knoe that the Lord will still be there, holding out his hand for you but you will have to make the decision to accept His help on His terms.

I look forward to reading your post about the day the scales fell from your eyes and you understood your true identity and confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Blessings to you Brother.

BoundedReality
BoundedReality

Let me add,

That the goal in schools is to teach science, and I'm all for teaching alternative theories...for example it's perfectly acceptable to teach both wave-particle duality alongside particle-only (Pilot Model) in a physics class.

It is NOT acceptable to teach either creationism or Intelligent design in a science class however, because they are not science.

What do I mean by that? Simply that they do not submit themselves to any type of objective peer review process, to my knowledge they have NEVER given any presentations at scientific conferences, they have never been published in any of the top level peer reviewed journals in the field of evolutionary biology, geology, astronomy or physics. Until they do this, and until they can scientifically substantiate their claims it is philosophy at best, deception at worst, but in no case is it science.

Good video on what "peer review" is, and how it works.

http://boundedreality.wordpres...

steve314
steve314

Great answer! A really excellent rebuttal of an absurd rambling piece of nonsense.

Dr. GS Hurd
Dr. GS Hurd

Unfortunately, the very people who are so proud of being ignorant will keep voting to make as many other people as possible ignorant as well. The Dunning–Kruger effect demonstrated that the more ignorant a person is, the more certain they are that they are well informed. The anti-science, anti-public education gangs additionally show that ignorance is cumulative- they know even less together than they do alone.

General Drake
General Drake

When has God provided security? Really? You proved it yourself. When was there a columbine incident while God was allowed in scools? NEVER! Now it is as one of our founding fathers said, if they ever did take the bible out of school there wouldn't be enough police to contain the crime. The bible was MANDATED to be taught in school by our founders and the Supreme Court. Since it was reversed...so goes the protection. Its amazing how well u helped prove yourself wrong.

Sane and Christian
Sane and Christian

You should seek more reputable texts.

Darwin proposed the theory, which was based on observation and logic. Then geneticists discovered DNA, which proved that the design of species was the product of specific genes that mutate over time, a very long time.

When you question the "theory", remember that with science, you cannot prove certain things with 100% certainty, no matter how true they are. For example, you cannot scientifically prove that Genghis Khan existed. We know he did, based on well-documented history, but you cannot prove this scientifically.

Dr. GS Hurd
Dr. GS Hurd

Sadly, there is an entire "industry" devoted to promoting lies about science. The Intelligent Design Dicotute is a good example, as are ICR, and Answers in Genesis, Inc.

When I consider what the Bible teaches, and what these creationists say and do, I am certain that they either never study the Bible, or never believe in it.

Here are just two examples from scripture that teach the physical universe is a co-equal revelation, and is to be trusted;

Psalm 85 which reads, 11 “Truth springs from the earth; and righteousness looks down from heaven.” The Hebrew word translated here as 'truth,' is "emet" which basically means “certainty and dependability.” So the Earth itself is a source of truth, of “certainty and dependability.”

Romans 1: 20. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Oh, and then the parts about not lying are clearly written, and fairly well known. But there is one often ignored, 1 Peter 2:12 "Have your conversation honest among the unbelievers..." The point being that if you lie about things that are obvious to an educated person, your Christian witness is compromised.

mattb
mattb

Seriously, Geneal??? First off, who said god wasn't allowed at school? No one is telling children that they can't pray or believe in god at school. What has been removed from public schools is MANDITORY prayer and bible reading. Children can still bring bibles to school, pray at school, and believe in god at school, but that cannot be forced on anyone. How would you like it if your children were forced to read the Quran in school? How about the Book of Mormon?

"...The bible was MANDATED to be taught in school by our founders and the Supreme Court." Really? Can you back that up? I don't ever remember reading that part in the constitution about all school children being required to read the bible. Believe it or not though, I am actually in favor of requiring school children to read the bible...along with the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Four Nobel Truths and the Eightfold Path in Buddhism, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and any other religious texts in a survey of religions course. As he old saying goes, “Understanding of the bible is the surest path to atheism.”

And finally, as for god providing protection, where was he for the Jews during the Holocaust or the Siege of Jerusalem? Where was he for the early Christians who were brutally tortured and executed by the Romans? Where is he when a little boy dies in his mother's arms of leukemia? Where was he for the pious sufferers of the bubonic plague during the dark ages?

The fact is, it hasn't been belief in god that has lead to the enormous improvement in the average quality of life over the past several hundred years. It is our better understanding of the natural world around us. Hell, people in the 1300's sure prayed hard and believed in god (they probably even required learning about him in their schools, if they had any), but that sure didn't stop a person with an infected wound from dying a miserable death, which could have been prevented with soap and water. Where was their god then?

 
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