Creationists Urge Texas Ed Board to "Strike the Final Blow to the Teaching of Evolution" with Biology Textbooks
Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist and former Texas State Board of Education Chairman who made a star turn as the anti-science Sunday school teacher in last year's "The Revisionaries", was unseated from the board in the 2010 Republican primary. Yet his crusade, to use science textbooks to explain the full wonder of God's creation to the state's impressionable young school children, has never really ended..
Yesterday, he showed up at a tense SBOE public hearing in Austin on the proposed adoption of biology textbooks, into which McLeroy's ideological allies are trying to slip in language friendly to creationism. He came out, guns blazing, urging the board to "strike the final blow to the teaching of evolution, support the Bible, and adopt these books."
McLeroy's position is a head-scratcher. The proposed texts have the endorsement of groups like the National Center for Science Education, the Texas Freedom Network, and the ACLU because of their evolution-is-fact approach. Mavis Knight, a Democratic board member from Dallas, had to ask McLeroy if he was being facetious.
He wasn't. The books' dogmatic language contained "hidden gems just waiting to be mined by inquisitive students" who would see through the liberal propaganda.
"Ironically, evolutionists argue that creationists want to force their religious views on the text, but just the teaching of biology does that, and teaching evolution demonstrates that's not how God did it, since true testable science trumps dogmatism," he explained to the board.
The parade of others peddling creationism science, including Ide Trotter, who TFN describes in its live-blog of the hearing as "one of the state's most strident creationists"; Discovery Institute fellow Ray Bohlin; the Liberty Institute's David Walls -- took the opposite approach, arguing for the inclusion of language casting doubt on evolution.
They were countered by an equally lengthy parade of science professors, educators and other people who believe in science. The board did not take a final vote, but TFN declared the hearing a "lopsided victory for science."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.