Oh, Texas, this guy runs your school board?

By Phil Plait | May 21, 2009 10:30 am

If you ever want to see just how far people will go to deny reality and promote antiscience, then look no further than dyed-in-the-wool creationist Don McLeroy, who is the Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. This has to be watched to be, well, believed:

Yes, someone has to stand up to experts! Because what do they know with all their facts, research, data, and, um, expertise?

Wow. Simply wow.

Mind you, there were some issues with McLeroy’s nomination recently to stay as head of the Board but, bowing to pressure from the far-right religious faction in Texas, the state senate nomination committee has put his name on the floor for confirmation. PZ has the details.

I’ll add here, once again, that I am not attacking Texas as a whole. That would be foolish. I am however attacking those in power who would use that power to teach that which is clearly wrong, attack that which is clearly right, and thinly disguise what they’re trying to do: overthrow the First Amendment and instate a theocracy. It’s really just that simple.

Texas: doomed

Tip o’ the ten gallon (yet empty) hat to Robert Luhn, Director of Communications for the NCSE.

Comments (159)

  1. Dave

    He said something but I don’t think he delivered it very well…

  2. Can you offer any advice on how a humble Texan with a brain can help stop a bunch of not-so-humble Texans who share half a brain between them?

  3. IVAN3MAN
    The Scientific Method vs. The Creationist Method
    Click on the picture for the link to:

    Evolution is a Fact and a Theory

  4. Calin

    How many times does it take calling something science before your strength of will alone makes the statement true?

    Infinity? OK, somebody tell that guy.

  5. Hungarian

    Well, the guy is obviously dumber than what it takes to make a scientific argument about the Cambrian explosion (I guess he’s talking about that), but much smarter than the “average citizen way of think” role he’s playing.

    So he’s a really good politician. Not an expert, but a really good politician. Too bad that he’s fighting for a questionable cause.

  6. Technolinguist

    The simple truth about the “strengths and weaknesses” argument is that it’s a wedge strategy for religious groups. It’s not appropriate to be teaching “strength and weaknesses” arguments at the level of education of this curriculum, because any particular “weakness” would be with something within the mechanics of evolution (and hence a topic at the undergraduate or graduate college level). That evolution happens and much about its mechanics are understood with sufficient evidence to confidently make it a fact of reality.

  7. TS

    Ignorant intelligent people are scary.

  8. QUASAR

    Their average IQ is below 50!

  9. rob

    yoo hoo…Phil. you’ve been lying to us. here at this site, the evolution of the solar system is cogently explained by an engineer:

    http://www.creationastronomy.com/preview/

    turns out jupiter didn’t evolve from apes!

    how come when god created jupiter and the earth 6000 years ago he didn’t create a bank account in my name? think of all the interest i could have accrued!

  10. Talk about damning your opponents with faint praise! And it’s too bad he didn’t know Gould well enough to learn about Punctuated Equilibrium.

  11. This is why we should have stricter standards on a national level for education. The right-wing creationists realized years ago they needed to fill the school boards and local political structures with their believers to create a nation of brainwashed zombies. This is proof of the success they’ve had getting the ignorant and the ill-informed into places of power.

    Texas has one of the largest educational systems in the nation. The US falls further behind the rest of the world in science and math education every year. People like this are why we can’t catch up. At least if we nationalized some or all of the curriculum in these areas, it’s less likely these fringe beliefs could take hold and trample the education of our kids.

  12. BMurray

    Didn’t Texas as a whole elect these people to their positions? Democratic government is always a mirror on the citizenry.

  13. Mena

    Hey Don, the Middle Ages called and they want their awareness of science back…
    Oh, and mathematics isn’t particularly complicated either. It’s actually kind of fun.

  14. Greg in Austin

    For those of us who live in Texas and are wondering what action we can take, please take a look at the Texas Freedom Network: http://www.tfn.org/

    There’s information there on all the relevant bills, how to contact your Representatives, and info on any hearings and events.

    8)

  15. Ramel

    Erm, didn’t the cambrian explosion take tens of millions of years? Not exactly the most sudden of events…

  16. McLeroy isn’t an idiot. He has just allowed ideology to blind him to objective truth. There is no way to take those blinders off either. No evidence will make him change his mind. Toss him out and get someone who actually knows that education shouldn’t be perverted by ideology.

  17. Cindy

    Has anybody pointed out to this guy about how hard it is to get fossils – the animal has to be buried pretty quickly after death by silt, ash, mud, or tar and then not be disturbed long enough for those layers to turn to rock? It’s not like every animal that dies turns into a fossil. Or that every ecosystem has favorable conditions to create fossils.

  18. @greg_in_austin Thanks for the link. Hopefully there is enough idiocy on the state board of education that the next election we can replace them with people who have, you know, an education.

  19. Aline

    Huh, I’m having trouble following what he’s talking about. But, he seems to be making the same mistake that I used to make when I was say about 12 years old, which is to assume that what we know now about science is everything there is to know. Yeah, there are still some things we haven’t figured out yet.

  20. Evil Eye

    I’m still waiting for creationists to come up with a scientific model instead of trying to tear down one that has taken billions of years to build.

  21. al

    So all it takes to understand evolution and all this is to look at a chart and not mathmatics? yes! Because science is not mathmatics… its science and its not just looking at charts. Hence why most experts – who you know you have to respect and all – spend how many years becoming experts and gaining doctorates on a single subject that they are passionate enough about to want to spend the rest of their lives scraping by to study it? Oh lets respect them but not listen to them because they may know what they are talking about more then people who use one single book to answer all of lifes questions – a book put together by a group of men who had one single thing in mind when doing it…

  22. Kiaburra

    Rob, I looked at the sample videos in the link and discovered a cure for low blood pressure. C’mon, say it with me: The Stupid, It Burns!

    Does the host understand he’s saying an equivalent of, “According to the germ theory of disease mortgage banks are immune from a weak economy, therefore only the Bible is a true guide to cleanliness”?

  23. John Keller

    He ought to get together with Jenny McCarthy

  24. Matt M

    Wow, if you follow on the next video, he states that genetics not evolution is the basis of modern science. He then goes on to mention Mendel to substantiate his belief. Obviously he has not read Mendel’s work with fly evolution!

  25. liquidmorpheme
  26. Old Geezer

    Isn’t technology wonderful? You can clearly hear every word he says, even with his head crammed that far up his ass!

  27. Rob,

    “yoo hoo…Phil. you’ve been lying to us. here at this site, the evolution of the solar system is cogently explained by an engineer:”

    I actually did take a look at those videos and wrote a fresh post about them. For some bizarre reason, I was imagining something tricky and clever, something that would take a lot of very sophisticated effort and research to debunk. Instead it was a a stream of pure stupidity with the following sentence structure:

    verb, noun, which proves that evolution is intellectually bankrupt

    Even a double facepalm isn’t enough. But hey, at least Ray Comfort finally has competition!

  28. Mike

    Well, at least he didn’t call his opponents ignorant sluts. That’s something.

    It drives me bonkers; the call to let the children make up their own mind about what happened in the deep past. How are they suppose to do that?!?!?!? Per Technolinguist, that’s what happens at the LAST rung of the education ladder, graduate school and beyond.

  29. Matt M

    Rob,

    “yoo hoo…Phil. you’ve been lying to us. here at this site, the evolution of the solar system is cogently explained by an engineer:”

    OMG! He claims he used to be an atheist and evolutionist! LIE! LIE! LIE!

    I’m no expert on astronomy but even I can sense his BS!

  30. I hate to say this. But I sent that vid to my sister, who is not religious,and doesn’t understand evolution, but supports it as our understanding ove life on the planet. But when she saw the vid, she had the reaction that I fear is typical of Joe Schmoe. Whats wrong with that?

    We have been following this, we generally have some scientific background or at lest understanding wether taught to us, or self taught. I fear that the video presented, unless it gets some comments embedded into it, will not do anything to sway anyone. “Standing up to these experts” seems like a honest thing to do to many many people. Its sad.

  31. Has anyone informed this gentleman that creationism/ID has gaping holes in it that can only be filled with “An intelligent creator that you can’t comprehend used magic!”?

  32. sean greenwalt

    Perhaps we should allow 6th graders to decide the validity of Calculus while we’re at it.

  33. Jon

    Does anyone else find it odd that the clip ends with him saying “We need to be honest with out kids”?

  34. Ted Judah

    In addition to being doomed, Texas is big, and funny-shaped too.

  35. That man just babbled frantically.

    I’ve pretty much ignored the creationist claptrap my whole life so now I’m trying to catch up and understand the “logic” behind their “thoughts”. Are they saying that the absolutely vast wealth of information that appears to make absolute rubbish of the idea of the instantaneous creation of our planet only several thousand years ago with all biology and geology exactly as they are now.. that all that data and information collected over the last centuries is.. what exactly?

    This is where I get lost in their bizarre ideology. What does all this vast information about geological, astronomical, biological and genetic processes represent if not a story of the existence of our planet? A 2000 year conspiracy by wacked-out anti-creationists inventing data, research, medicines and inventions and it’s supposed to be all false, completely misguided? For what insidious purpose? Ok.. If it is a conspiracy by scientists, where is the opposing explanation for why we are discovering all these things, and beautifully interrelating them and spinning off endless new discoveries, creating new medicines to heal humans, creatures and our planet, exploring the galaxy.

    I would really like to understand why this politician thinks we need to silence our “Experts” I can understand his desperate need to validate his own ideology, but how do people like this hope to do that against the vastness of scientific understanding is where I get so confused with their “thinking.” How can it ALL be wrong? They seem to have frantically zeroed in on this “evolution” factor and not even noticed it’s a very tiny thread in a tapestry that refutes their entire cosmology.

  36. @equinox

    The argument goes something like this. “We’ve never seen a crocoduck, so clearly animals do not change into other animals like evolution claims. The Bible says that every creature was created and reproduces after its own kind, so clearly every creature was created exactly in its present form from the beginning. Changes can occur within a creature, but a dog will always be a dog, a duck will always be a duck, and I am not descended from monkeys!”

    The “beginning” is fuzzily defined, with some literalists saying 6,000 years ago and more “liberal” people just not specifying how long ago.

  37. This guy is a good argument for Texans to home-school their children.

  38. ccpetersen

    So, um, when do we get to talk about the strengths and weaknesses inherent in believing in magical sky daddies who put fossils in the ground to confuse humans?

  39. @ccpetersen

    So, um, when do we get to talk about the strengths and weaknesses inherent in believing in magical sky daddies who put fossils in the ground to confuse humans?

    Creationist says, “What weaknesses?”

  40. Davidlpf

    to add to what Old Geezer said.
    [scotty voice] Captain he is far up there we can only see his feet [/scotty voice]

  41. timmy

    Phil, I appreciate the fact you did not attack Texas as a whole, it is so fashionable these days. That “fellow” wasn’t elected BMURRAY, he was appointed by the guv and seated by the senate. I wrote the guv and complained . The guv said that he was elected to vote his conscience. I said that he was elected to vote mine.
    Didn’t vote for him anyway.

  42. Two things:

    1) Just once I wish someone would stand up right in front of these clowns, while the cameras are rolling, and say words to the effect, “You, sir, are an uneducated imbecile and have no business being on this board.”

    2) Just once I wish someone would explain to me why religious nonsense is supposed to be sacrosanct in public debate. If a politician were trying to claim that leprechauns created the world as we know it and thus leprechaun theory should be given equal billing in science classes, he’d be politely ignored if not outright ridiculed. Yet if someone says an equally invisible “god” created the world as we know it and thus divine creation should be given equal billing, nobody says a damn thing or they politely cough and rubber stamp the idiot’s proposal. Why the double standard? Is it strictly tradition? If so, is there a timeframe that must be met before your idiotic belief becomes sacrosanct? Ten years? A century? A millennium?

  43. Shamik

    I flip out when people start talking about the gaps in the fossil record. Fact is, fossils of land creatures are incredibly hard to find because the process of fossilization requires a very specific set of circumstances. Add to that, the surface of our planet is constantly changing. For that reason, there is a rather scant record of animals like us. The sum of the human fossil record could probably fit in someone’s closet. However, its much easier to make fossils of sea animals. That is why there is a tremendous fossil record for sealife, which clearly shows many of the “missing links” that anti-evolutionists seem to blather about. However, echinoderms and fish are far less sexy than saber-toothed tigers and the public rarely hears about this fact. That along with data from DNA studies offers positive PROOF of the LAW of evolution.

  44. Technolinguist

    Trying to fight these people by explaining why they’re wrong is a dead end. They’ll never listen. We have to play their game and attack from the political angle. It doesn’t matter if you believe in evolution; the scientific community agrees, and hence, that’s what should be in SCIENCE curricula.

  45. BJM

    RE: “This guy is a good argument for Texans to home-school their children.”

    Really? What about his kids and the kids of the thousands of people like him?

  46. @BMurray: No. It’s only a reflection of the people who bother to vote. People care whether Kris or Adam is the American Idol, but don’t see much point in voting for officials and politicians (especially for school boards and other municipal-level offices). In fact, most people don’t know what’s going on very much at all.

  47. R.W. Thomas

    Watching this confused me.

  48. Lawyer

    That guy is a total pee-brain! Its really difficult to understand how backward Texas can be, especially in spite of how nice people try to be from there. At the end of the day, if you push them on their backward morals, the nasty side of a Texan always comes out (cases in point – Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Sessions (says Obama is deliberately trying divide an conquer with America), and this guy Don).

    As a Texan who has lived in Massachusetts and Virginia (for comparison), I find one incontrovertible fact…. The good (god??)-natured smiles of a Texan disappear when they are cornered on their often backward values… Literally, everyone is backward there from lawyers, to judges…to Docs.

    There’s a pervasive wavelength in the minds of Texans not found anywhere else in the Universe…D.C. and Massachusetts were the exact opposite – and such a pronounced split is not good. Good post Phil!

  49. Keith

    @Lawyer,

    This “backward valued” Texan, as you refer to us, happens to think Mr. McLeroy is a blithering idiot. The scientific truth of evolution has been repeatedly demonstrated, despite the efforts of religious nuts to tear it down.

    We’re not all a bunch of hicks who go blindly along with morons like McLeroy. Please don’t impugn us all.

  50. Bicky

    It’s possible that this person is just acting in order to keep his job.

  51. It’s possible that this person is just acting in order to keep his job.

    Which is worse? Openly pursuing your idiotic creationist agenda, or pushing it on behalf of others, knowing full well it is b.s. and will result in a lesser education for your kids?

  52. Ryan

    This is an example of a human being trying disparately to find a way to cling to his illogical religious beliefs in the face of overwhelming and contradictory evidence. Very painful and sad to watch.

  53. Gould did say that, maybe not 10x’s before breakfast, but he did say stasis is data. Albeit, McLeroy is conveniently forgetting the other part of punctuated equilibrium, ie the rapid change.

  54. Jess Tauber

    First God creates you, and then you die- where you go from there depends on whether you toe the (Republican Party) line. What is life when eternity is at stake? Their preachers tell them evolution is against God- preachers are the experts- they trust them with their kids, their marriages, their last rites- who are they to question them (what cachet does an evolutionary biologist have relative to some man who has God whispering in his ear?). God, God, God. Life is a blip. The Book tells you how to deal with it. No detours allowed.

    Most voters vote for at least basic like-believers, regardless how otherwise talented at leadership or administration they may be. They don’t vote for scientists or engineers unless they claim at least basic belief.

    If it weren’t for Sputnik back in ’57, all this science crapola wouldn’t even be an issue in lower grades. The USSR is dead. China is our ‘friend’. Our current enemies don’t need no stinkin’ scientists (unless they can cook up a nuke or two). Zombicized religious soldieroids can already drop bombs on wrong-belief civilians from a zillion miles away- why should kids have to think? God is Great (but not less filling).

  55. That video was painful. He was as incoherent as Miss Teen South Carolina a couple of years ago.

  56. Joe

    whaaaAAATTTT?

    This video is evidence that we are more closely related to chimpanzees than previously thought. Notice the gesturing and frantic vocalizations… this alpha male is clearly being challenged.

  57. Ad Hominid

    The Creationist onslaught is an example of asymmetrical propaganda warfare.

    Consider: Creationist charlatans like McLeroy have the benefit of a ready made network of powerful and exclusive outlets for their message, in the form of the fundamentalist churches that flourish in every neighborhood and hamlet in the state. Under cover of religious freedom, these institutions do not have to allow dissenting viewpoints.
    The institutions that might favor evolution; universities, science oriented corporations, public schools, are constrained by a set of rules that do not apply to churches and religious propaganda. Creationists can run for the school board or the legislature, and espouse their views in that forum. They can speak out in universities and public schools as well. The proponents of science have no such freedom to go into churches and demand to be heard.

    Creationists also have an advantage in the formulation of their message, they can make up anything at all that might appeal to the media audience and its notoriously short attention span. Scientists, on the other hand, cannot alter the facts to suit the needs of propaganda, they are constrained by facts and these are sometimes not amenable to the creation of pithy sound-bites.

    I am not saying that the churches should lose this freedom, the First Amendment is too important for that, or that scientists should betray their commitment to reality. We do need to understand that a massive PR effort is necessary to offset the opponents’ inherent advantages in the marketplace of ideas.

  58. Jefferson

    This may be a bit off topic, but since this is about Texas…

    Here’s an elected official from Texas that has something “creative” to say about (r)”evolution”.

    Texas may not be doomed after all!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOK31D2xuOA

  59. Ad Hominid said:

    I am not saying that the churches should lose this freedom, the First Amendment is too important for that

    While I agree about the importance of the First Amendment, as far as churches go it is stretched far beyond its original intent.

    How does taxation violate the free expression of one’s religious beliefs? Why do churches get a free ride, while ordinary enterprises do not?

    This sort of insanity is why the “church” of scientology can scam millions of dollars and not pay one dime in income tax. This is why the mega churches of Colorado, the evangelical TV ministries of all over, and the LDS in Utah can meddle in politics…including local politics in states they’re not even in, funding campaigns, paying for TV advertising, organizing their sheep to march in step to their idiocies.

    And I’m forced to subsidize this crap because unlike them, I have to pay taxes. Doesn’t that violate my rights? Isn’t my tax money helping to establish and maintain these lunatic asylums?

  60. TS

    @ kuhnigget :

    3) Throw a shoe at him :-)

  61. Clive

    I’m just browsing your blog, and one of the banner ads that’s cycling through is for the Templeton Foundation, doing their part to deny evolution.

    They’re probably wasting money going after this audience.

  62. Lars

    This guy sounds like my father trying to discuss politics after half a bottle of brandy. Except this guy isn’t being continually interrupted by my mother. He truly gives new meaning to the word “incoherent”.

  63. John Davis

    Wow, pretty scary dude! Only in Texas. Yeee Hawwww

    Riff
    http://www.whos-watching.se.tc

  64. Daffy

    People, please, Please, PLEASE stop saying these people are dumb. They (The leaders) are NOT dumb; they are smart, EVIL, and want nothing less than to establish a Christian dictatorship.

    I have worked with their type (a long time ago) and have heard many of them say EXACTLY that (in private, of course). The main thing preventing their success is that they argue amongst themselves so much…

  65. AceRimmer

    YEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAW, They din’t have none of that fancy schmancy eevolution back in eighteen sixty fow, oh wait….they didnt have internets back then, smoke me a kipper, i’ll be back for breakfast

  66. Chris

    Man I am a Christian and even I can’t believe this guy. The Christians I hang with are nothing like this, so please don’t stereotype us as all being like this guy.

    Someone should tell him about Georges Lemaitre. The guy who put forth the Big Bang Theory. He was a scientist AND a Catholic priest. He didn’t see a problem with that theory and Creationism. Scientist even tried to squash the Big Bang theory because he was a priest.

    Oh also tell him that the Hebrew word they translated into days (as in created the earth in 6 days) is literally translated as a “period of time”. Somehow they got it as a week long event when it went into English I guess.

    Way I see it. God gave us a mind. The biggest sin is not using it. God doesn’t want us to be children, he wants us to grow up.

  67. @ Daffy:

    I think you are correct with regards to the leaders of this movement.

    However, they rely on the ignorance of the masses to carry out their plans. The ignorant need to be educated. Their vile leaders need to be tarred and feathered.

    Personally, I think anyone who proposes the Bible, or any other book of ancient “wisdom” be taught in science class should be stripped of all the trappings of modern society – i.e. science-based technology – and forced to live with only the wisdom of their sacred texts as a guide.

    Hell, even the Amish use cell phones.

  68. I don’t understand why people REFUSE to read between the lines.

    Look, it isn’t about whether evolution or intelligent design, it never has been, it never will be.

    It about the fact that neither side will consider the option of respecting the other’s point of view. As far as I’m personally concerned, theory is theory and when I was in school, all theories were taken into consideration and the individual was left to determine what they favor because let’s be honest, neither side has firmly concluded beyond a shadow of a doubt that either theory is accurate. That’s why it’s called “theory”.

    I mean it’s inconclusive and I know everyone is emotional about it but if you want your voice heard, you have to allow others to be heard as well. That’s the way it goes. If you can’t respect but disagree with the others point of view then what progress is really being made for children?

    All people representing both sides of the arguement hinders the education of children by concluding theory as fact. You can’t teach scientific process properly if you say, “This is a theory but it is a fact.”

    If theory does not equal fact then all theories must be discussed. Heck when I was in school, we learned about spontaneous generation. It got just as much time as anything else. Consideration is just as much an educational tool as textbooks.

    I can’t believe all these smart people are acting so stupid.

  69. Daffy

    Well said, kuhnigget!

  70. Daffy

    Btw, TAX THE CHURCHES! If they want to have a say in how the country is run, let them pay the same charges the rest of us have to.

  71. Lu

    Yes, it is doomed.

    In Texas one cannot buy even the most basic chemical glassware (like Erlenmeyer flasks or filtering funnels) without special permit to do so.

    Some basic chemicals such as phosphorous acid are also restricted.

    See http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/PDF/1210.PDF

  72. @Daffy
    If they get taxed, can they have religious symbols at governmental offices? If they are taxed, they must be fully represented.

    It’s kinda why there is separation of church and state, our forefathers saw that as a bad thing and never once imagined that people would be so petty that they would refuse other people from being heard because of it.

  73. Mark Lehman

    Have any considered that nearly everything that one side is saying about the other could authentically be turned around and used against them.

    Debate is healthy. Slandering opponents leads to authoritarian situations, which is not conducive for the flow of scientific discovery.

  74. Shelly

    There’s a reason why I sacrifice vacations, et. al. to send my kid to private school here in Texas. McLeroy is one of them. You should hear the crap my sister’s teenager’s learn regarding sex ed.

    My state senator sits on the nominating committee and voted to allow McLeroy’s nomination to go forward.

    I called her office and the explanation is she voted to support him because she supports the nominees that the Governor puts forward. If a person is qualified to serve on the Board, they should not be discriminated against because of their religion.

    Yep. My senator voted to allow his nomination to stand because to vote against him would be to discriminate against his religion.

    Ugh.

    I have voted for my senator in the past, but will not support her ever again.

  75. Michael

    The argument for pure evolution is bogus because they cannot even come near to explaining origin. To say that science is flawless is to say that the original global warming theory, based on “scientific facts” on poorly collected “data” is 100 percent true. If that were the case, why is it now called “Climate Change”? They change the data and thus the science to hide what they do not know and their lies based on half truths.

    WOW sounds like religion. Get over yourselves and teach both.

    Just keep in mind, the most civil societies have been societies where free expression of religion and faith were protected. No one has a right to nor a right from science or religion, they both exist, both can be backed up with “facts” compiled by “data”. None of what we know is entirely true. To say that what we know now is entirely true is to say that we, as humans have stopped learning and has thus stopped evolving.

    This argument is pointless.

  76. @Shelly
    There’s a reason why I sacrifice vacations, et. al. to send my kid to private school here in Texas.

    That raises a question. Are there non-religious private schools in Texas or the US for that matter? I did a quick search for non-religious private schools in Australia and I could only find one or two that did not have any religious affiliation of some kind. Even schools that labelled themselves as “Non-denominational” were “Non-denominational Christian schools”. Apparently that means they’ll take christians of any flavour on board.

    Lucky for us in Oz the state system is pretty secular so there is no need to go private to avoid religion.

  77. Chris

    Daffy: I see the reasoning, but it isn’t the church haveing a say in how to run the country. It is the individuals who attend who are having a say in how to run the country. And they do pay taxes. They problem is with this extreme fundamentalism. They don’t want to grow up, and unfortunately that is their right. And since the individuals vote, they do have a say in how the country is run.
    If the Churches get taxed then that is less money for their feed the hungry, or shelter programs, and those tend to be more than what the government does. Definitely more than the government can do for the homeless and hungry in this economy.

  78. Si

    If only he could speak in Arabic then he would sound like a Taliban cleric from Afghanistan.

  79. Newfie

    Hey everyone, Let’s all take the Texas Board of Education pop quiz.
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/2008-10-01/feature5-1.php

  80. Paul Madryga

    Man, talk about an ill-informed, meaningless, and unorganized rant… sure doesn’t reflect well on the Texan electorate… What was his point exactly? That Evolutionary Science is somehow flawed because it has no definitive answers after 150 years…?

    Slept in through high school science, did we, Don? Dude, the very nature of a science it that the ideas themselves are always going to evolve. Inform yourself or shut your pie-hole.

  81. Leet

    68 comments and almost none provide any insights whatsoever. Slag those with an opposing view all day, because it does nothing to help people understand this stuff and it makes you all look like close minded morons. Anyone see the irony here? Men of science sitting around beating each other off in a web closet? You guys sound like self righteous pricks. If you’re so justified in your views why stoop to the same lame better than thou lard you see in the christian extreme camps? Step back and take a gander, for the good of everyone.

  82. allen

    Don’t be a shmuck Phil. The guy won the election which means that the issue isn’t, and never has been, the science. The issue is “who’s in charge of the public education system” and since this guy won the election, he is.

    Don’t like? Run against him but the public education system is a creature of the political system so you can have all the opinions you want but the only ones that count are the opinions of the elected representative.

  83. Dave

    Yet another shing example of how religion brain washes you and blinds to everything except what the church rams down your throat. The guys sounds like he’s grasping at straws the whole time he’s talking.

  84. julie

    @Shane

    Are there non-religious private schools in Texas or the US for that matter?

    Yes, there are many non-religious private schools in the US in general and I assume also within Texas. Within my small city there are 2 private secular schools (one where our daughter goes), a dozen or so Catholic schools, and many other religiously affiliated schools in addition to the public system.

    We’re Catholic but we just prefer the curriculum and diversity at this school. We can–and do–teach our religion at home, in our church, and in our daily lives. We also both have PhDs (math and science fields) and we’ll help them sort out religious belief and faith and biblical metaphor and scientific facts and all that goodness on our time.

    The goal is to raise critical thinkers with a well rounded understanding of many perspectives; not closed minded mini-me zombies on either side.

  85. @ Allen:

    He wasn’t elected. He was appointed. Granted, his position was confirmed by the state legislature, but as several commenters here have noted, their representatives in the legislature will no longer receive their support because of the way they gave this idiot the rubber stamp.

    And besides, since when does “the public education system” get to make stuff up? It’s not their job to do the science, but to evaluate it. And they’re doing a craptacular job at that.

    @ Shane:

    Yes, there are many secular private schools in the U.S., and people who can afford it send their kids to them.

  86. Excuse me if I ask another question on the US education system. What does the edumacation department do if these elected boards do things like choose text books? Seems like it is set up for failure – no continuity of standards etc.
    I know our system ain’t perfect. We have a creaky old state run public service edumacation department that does the bidding of the elected govmint for the whole state. Less chance that some jacked up little religious pip squeak can set a creationist “textbook” for a bunch of kids. There has got to be point where it becomes nonsensical to have an elected official for some jobs. Give me a career bureaucrat any day over an elected one issue agenda driven ideologue. Or doesn’t it work this way?

  87. Devin

    it looks like he’s pulling the speech out of his ass as he goes. he’s just rambling on and on about nothing.

  88. wikiBuddha

    I thank any who manages to read this buried post. What I find most confusing in these matters of religious/science relationships originates from my understanding of the Federal Constitution. As far as I read, religion is basically not recognized: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    So, basically a law that respects the establishment of religion as a tax-exempt entity is unconstitutional as far as I read into it. I tend to believe that any law mentioning the word “god” or “religion” should be revoked, with the exception of anti-discriminatory laws.

    For instance, many people are offended by the removal of “God” from the pledge of allegiance. Many also do not know that it wasn’t always there. I personally read it as “… one country, under the constitution, with liberty and justice for all.”

    To justify my point, how many people who think that the pledge should contain the word “god” would agree that “god” should be replaced with “buddha”? I don’t think many would go for it. That’s why the constitution is written the way it is (or the bill of rights). Neither religious term should be accepted in a national law…

    I have one more case in point that I recently experienced which further confused my respect for the general understanding of our constitution. I went to a clothing-optional spa and in order for me to be allowed nude in this public place, I was required to register as a member of this religion. See, this is where the thought of “separation of church and state” is erroneous. People have taken that as a loophole to mean “churches are exempt from most laws.”

    However, this doesn’t sit well. How is it that a religious place/belief system (nudity is ok) is being recognized (against federal constitutional laws). Why do I have more rights by legally agreeing to be a member of this religion?

    That’s the problem folks, that we need to get fixed. There is no separation of church and state and churches should not be expected from any laws any other group or individual must abide by. The constitution states that no religion shall be respected.

    Under this light, I would also say that the big uproar that was sparked a few years ago about the dispute over putting the ten commandments in a public government building should not have even gotten the light of day. I would consider that to be unconstitional, as it basically a law “respecting a religion” by allowing its tenants to be displayed (free PR) at a public gov’t building. However, one might argue that by disallowing the display of the commandments, a breach in their freedom to exercise religion is being infringed upon. However, I refer back to my argument about the pledge of allegiance. Should we then allow every religion to post plaques with their foundational rites or guidelines? Would there be enough space? Did you know that there are more than 20,000 religions in Japan alone? Could we fit 20,000 plaques on each government building? No, and we shouldn’t. I wouldn’t restrict anyone from preaching or discussing their religious convictions in said public buildings, as each personal also reserves their right to ignore them.

    Please, help turn this country around and follow the constitution like so many claim to follow the bible (the constitution is much easier to read for one) and let’s abolish the respect religions have unrightfully obtained.

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

    sgilibrary.org

  89. Jonah Johansen

    I have believed my whole life that the scientific method is the most trustworthy and beneficial tool for discerning the truth. I agree with many of you that virtually all of what passes as creationism is pseudo-science and false; while the evolutionary perspective is a critical irreplaceable tool in advancing our knowledge of biology.

    Yet at the same time I wonder-Why the jihad against anyone raising questions about its completeness and its status as the only possible explanation? Why this militant refusal to make room for even the simplest most basic questioning or doubt about any aspects of it.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that you run into the same level of vicious take no prisoners, silence all dissent demonize the disbeliever when it comes to the human produced carbon dioxide global warming theory.

    If a group of individuals with an obvious political agenda demands the closing of debate and forbids any discussion of alternative views and seeks to use government power to suppress alternative views, it should make you hesitate.

    I find it far more worry some the desire to fire any teacher who dares to express curiosity/skepticism about current explanations of how exactly the transition from non-living matter to something as sophisticated as the DNA/RNA coding and the mechanism of protein synthesis of the simplest single cell organism first occur.

    I find it worrisome that people are fired and compared to Holocaust denying Nazi sympathizers, if the dare to wonder out loud, given the fact that the amount of human produced carbon dioxide has greatly increased over the last decade, while the actual average temperature has remained constant or slightly decreased, that the two have a strong causal link.

  90. Jon

    *facepalm*
    Ahhhh… kilin’ me…

  91. So a moron with no science education is trying to rewrite science textbooks with his own pet supposition and opinions? That’s not science, that Taliban.

  92. Ernest Hua

    There are HUGE holes in the theory of gravity. Quick! Let’s get rid of all mention of 9.8m/s^2! Can’t trust anything from those “experts” on gravity!

    Ah … right … the theory of gravity does not mess with your literal interpretation of your holy book.

    There, lies the problem. You are a *@#!! religious nut. It has nothing to do with proper science, does it, now? It all has to do with YOUR religion.

  93. kjm

    I think the vast number of typos and grammatical errors in these responses speaks loudly for mismanagement in our schools.

  94. I don’t think that this man is an idiot or anything of the sort. However, I do think that he has committed the sin of choosing his conclusions first and then trying to find evidence to support those conclusions.

    He speaks a lot about the idea of “stasis”, which is when species don’t evolve. The problem is that evolution never said that species *must* evolve, only that species *do* evolve in response to external pressures.

    Crocodiles are a good example. They’ve been basically unchanged for a long, long time. Why? Because they’ve never had to change. They’re suited to their environment, their environment has not changed much (swamps tend to remain swamps for a while), and so they’re pretty much good. There’s no need for them to evolve. This sort of thing is all over the fossil record, of course, which he mentions.

    What he fails to see is that this SUPPORTS the theory of evolution. Species adapt. If there’s no adaptation needed, then no adaptation occurs.

    A common mistake made by disbelievers in evolution is to misunderstand the theory itself. He’s fallen for this trap, unfortunately. However, I’d bet a dollar that he just picked it off some anti-evolution website or similar and has not actually done any serious thinking about it himself. He doesn’t seem like a stupid man, just ignorant of the facts and not given to introspection.

  95. Adam

    Ah it’s so good to finally figure out who’s in charge of the nonsensical public school system in Texas. I will admit, I live in Texas and I was subjected to the horrible teaching standards we have here. Just as the story says, we were pumped full (although they are pretty sneaky, it’s quite subtle how teachers will sneak in these ideas) of theological ideology. Hopefully everyone can tell by my comment that not everyone in Texas is a right-winged fundamentalist!! It’s only a matter of time before our younger generation takes more power!

    Also, I see Texas in the future as being quite a progressive state when it comes to the issue of legalizing marijuana, but only time will tell…oh, that thing we call time.

  96. Alexandru

    Do keep in mind that there are scientists that have been studying the universe for their whole lives and have come down to the conclusion that it was created. Kind of makes you want to think how much your small claims/insults are worth! You also have to keep in mind that evolution still has HUGE holes in itself and now have to face not only the creationists but also the intelligent designers (atheists that have also come to the conclusion that this wasn’t all chance.)

  97. ATX

    A couple things…

    McLeroy’s profession is dentistry, so he took a lot of science in school. So he should know better, but found religion latter in life and is now convinced creationism is the only truth. It’s really sad honestly.

    He’s elected to the Board of Education for a region which is basically rural central Texas. So he doesn’t represent all of Texas, but 5 or 6 other board members side with him regularly.

    The chairman of the board is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Typically just a quick administrative task, but this year some Senators are actually standing up to the Governor, although it looks like he’ll still get reappointed.

    The only bill that has any promise to change the Texas Board of Education involves web casting all meetings (previously these were private).

    And for those who laugh at or fell sorry for Texas. It very likely will affect your state as the Texas standards weigh heavily in textbooks.

  98. mahoho

    i don’t see what’s the big deal about this. useless, moronic public servers who can barely make a point abound.
    let things stick to where they belong.
    evolution follows the scientific method, then teach it in science.
    creationism does not, then teach it somewhere else. or not.
    give students skills adequate to their environment.
    complex things are best judged by its results. giving in too much into details can get you lost.
    the US is a country based on christian belief: the bible, the 10 commandments, etc, because it’s founders believed in that. did it work? good. does it work now? excelent. It doesn’t? change it.
    gravity is a law because it works for us. if not, it would just be the story of an accident. laws, man made o natural, need to be useful or are discarded.
    religions and laws only matter to those who believe in them. to the rest, they’re just talk.

  99. James

    I’m tired of seeing people try to line Texas up with right-wing fundamentalism. Are there those type of people here? Yes. But essentially it is the same as calling California an ultra liberal left-wing nuts. True California tends to vote for more liberal agenda policies that does not necessarily mean the whole state is composed of left-wing nuts. The truth of the matter is both California and Texas are more purple states with fair support coming for both parties. However, California and Texas lean opposite ways, ie there is stronger support for a conservative or liberal thinking. But the articles this site runs regarding Texas’ impending doom for not conforming to solely teaching the theory of evolution is off base. There are many percieved holes in the theory, just as there are many percieved holes in creationism. At this point in time neither debate has proved to be absolutely true despite the radicals and reactionaries that so vehemently defend their side. So in a state with Texas’ situation where you have a strong religous community in many places, coupled with almost as many scientific thinkers and groups, How do you manage to please both sides? While the chairman is clearly a pro-Creationist he is not trying to remove the theory of evolution from any textbook. He is merely trying to make different ideas and beliefs accessible to many people. It is simply a different approach to the establishment clause. Where instead of restricting religion altogether from our teaching, we are acknowledging that people holds those beliefs. It is not up for the schools or anyone else to decide what those children believe, which by forcing evolution only you are coercing children to believe a set of principles held to be true but have not neccessarily proven so (sounds like a religion). I say let the textbooks address the pros and cons of all evolution thought and intelligent design thought and let the children decide. They are taught as theories anyways and it is just that a THEORY. There is no fact until proven true. And in addressing Adam’s comment, I live in Texas too and let me tell you generally the state is moderate, especially the younger generation, with some loud right wings but some almost equally loud left wings. One group addresses people oboxniously and targets them as supposed “bad people” while the other groups is entirely arrogant and treats everyone around them as inferior and stupid. Just my experience but I will let you decide which group is which.

  100. Hungarian-American, Not Hungarian

    Praise Jesus me has brain!

  101. I Am

    Nothing existed here before me and nothing will after I leave either.

  102. Jay

    @James:

    Dude, I live in Texas. Face it, this guy’s an idiot about evolution. You obviously have no idea what a theory is. As per Webster:

    1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another.
    (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory)

    So yes, there are facts involved. Deal with it.

    Texas isn’t right-wing? WTF? There’s a church on almost every street corner here in Amarillo, and at least half are Baptist of some sort.

  103. Michael Moore

    Why don’t people realize that darwin’s theories about common ancestry and evolution were set to have occurred over MILLIONS of years? Why would he expect the fossil record of humans to have changed significantly in the last 150 years? I am a high school student in Texas.

    This man worries me.

  104. Darth Robo

    If I hear “It’s ONLY a theory!” one more time, I swear to the FSM I will kill a kitten.

    Tahko Tetsujin, in science, “theory” is the best it gets. Theories explain facts. If creationists want their “point of view respected”, then they shouldn’t be pushing it where it doesn’t belong. Creationism is NOT scientific and should not be put forward in science classes. If they want it in science classes, then let them do scientific work and come up with scientific facts that support it. Until they do this, they do not get to teach it in science classes when they’ve got no science to present.

    Creationism is religious apologetics, and the courts have deemed religion in public schools to be a violation of separation of church and state. That’s ANOTHER reason not to teach creationism.

    And before you start harping on about “fair play”, remember that these guys have done NO scientific work and yet are demanding it’s taught as science. Is that fair to the scientific community who actually have to do research and get their work published before it becomes accepted as science? Also kids in school should LEARN what science IS, they should NOT get to “decide for themselves” what is and what isn’t science. If they choose to study maths and decide that 2+2 does not equal 4, then that is their choice. But that doesn’t mean that we should teach their ideas in maths class.

  105. Darth Robo

    James, the “principles” that are taught with evolution are scientific ones, and can be backed up with testing, successful predictions and masses of scientific evidence.

    Creationism on the other hand doesn’t have anything to compare. If creationism should be taught then ALL religions should be taught. And they should NOT be taught in science classes.

    Please don’t make it sound like a Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative issue. Water boils at a hundred degrees no matter which way you vote.

  106. retard

    He has a shiny head. Maybe it’s divine light reflecting of his dome piece.

  107. Stephen

    Well- he’s had 150 years to read the book, but I don’t think he has done so.

  108. Al

    As Darth Robbo said, and Phil and lots of others have said:
    In science, a Theory is not a guess, it is not a hypothesis, it is an explanation which fits the facts.
    The only reason why Evolution is a Theory and not a Law is that we don’t have a time machine so even if we observe Evolution for millions of years from 150 years ago, no one (except the Supreme Creator?) was around to observe and record it for all of the creatures we know now.

  109. @Darth Robo

    Dude, if you knew the difference between scientific theory and scientific fact then the school you went to is no better than a Texas Public Schools. Dude, I went to a public school in Mississippi and I know the difference between theory and fact. Fact has been proven, theory has not. A theory cannot be a fact because it lacks enough concrete evidence to support fact.

    Please don’t talk about who should teach what in school if you aren’t even educated. Why don’t you stop crying to your mom about how things aren’t fair and pick up a book.

  110. Darth Robo

    For Tahko’s benefit, from dictionary(dot)com:

    Theory:

    –noun, plural -ries.
    1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
    3. Mathematics. a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
    4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
    5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.
    6. contemplation or speculation.
    7. guess or conjecture.
    Origin:
    1590–1600; < LL theōria < Gk theōría a viewing, contemplating, equiv. to theōr(eîn) to view + -ia -y 3

    Synonyms:
    1. Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.

    I hope this explains things for you.

    Oh, and uh, remember it is the creationists who are crying that evolution is taught in schools and that their religion is not. Now, if you have a scientific alternative to evolution to offer that does a better job, then by all means, present it.

  111. Darth Robo

    @Alexandru

    The Intelligent Design proponents ARE Creationists. Um, I mean the CDesign Proponentsists.

    There are a number of flaws in your posts. Yes, many scientists believe the universe was created by (a) God. However, none have been able to show this scientifically. But then, most scientists who are aware of the scientific method and the concept of falsifiability would not claim to.

    What “holes” in the scientific theory of evolution are there? Are they valid criticisms or the same old baseless creationist claims which have been debunked over and over for more than 40 years?

    Also, you seem to be pitting evolution against the possibility of (a) God. Evolution (like every single other scientific field) makes ABSOLUTELY NO CLAIMS AT ALL WHATSOEVER (not even a ickle tiny bit) about the existence of a god. IF said entity exists, there is no good reason that it could not have used evolution if it so desired. In fact the ONLY reason that evolution would be at odds would be if one rejects evolution by holding to a literal interpretation of ancient superstitious texts. Are you one of those? If so, why do you insist on placing limits on the Almighty universe-creating all-powerful Lord God? And how did you assertain these limits scientifically?

  112. Patrik

    I really feel sorry for US

  113. KT

    The scary thing about this is that this guy is determining what gets taught in YOUR SCHOOL in YOUR STATE.

    EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN TEXAS!!!!!!

    Why? Because Texas (unlike most other states) purchases the textbooks to be used in all their schools at the same time. That means that every ninth grader in Dallas is using the same textbook as every ninth grader in Austin. From the perspective of textbook publishers this means that getting Texas’s board of education to use your textbook is a huge financial score. Therefore ALL major textbook publishers will make sure that no matter what the content of their textbooks will meet the approval of the dumbass in this video, because they don’t want to risk losing the possibility of Texas using their books. That means even if you live in Wisconsin, the Texas board of education is affecting what is in your school district’s books.

    And that is what really sucks for the rest of us.

  114. Considering that life on this planet is nearly 4 billion years old, that the first multicellular lifeforms only appeared 500 million years ago following the second snowball earth event, and that evolution through mutation and response through environmental stimulus takes multiple generations, the idea that you could expect to see evolution in multicellular organisms over merely 150 years is laughable … I can only assume that this particular error in judgment is due to his wide underestimation of the age of the earth …

  115. Ozzie Girl

    A. Darwin believed in God. His own theory never rattled his theological beliefs the way it seems to rattle so many American fundamentalists.

    B. The USA is so weird; why does everything there have to be PRO this or ANTI that? Strikes me that the first principle of logical thinking, which should be at the heart of the scientific method, is the Socratic Method: a method that allows and advocates questioning from ALL angles before conclusions are reached. Evolution is a THEORY, therefore it hasn’t been conclusively proven. Likewise Christianity is a BELIEF system. It behooves neither side to get on their high-horse about this stuff.

    What’s so painful to watch in this clip is how this guy is clearly so defensive and rattled; perhaps he wouldn’t be so passionately desperate to try to defend his beliefs if the Evolutionists weren’t equally as zealous as the Creationists in the USA.

    C. Funny how we look back at science of a hundred years ago and laugh at their idiocy. Funny how we always think we are now at the pinnacle of knowledge and that our science is ‘more advanced.’ I can bet you a hundred years from now, we’ll all look as moronic as this guy looks in this clip. Major flaws likely exist in evolutionary theory as it currently stands, and it would be good to explore them. Major flaws probably exist in theories of nuclear mechanics, too, and it would also be good to explore them. One of my fave thinkers is Foucault: he warned about what happens when we install priests as gatekeepers of disciplinary knowledge… scientific or otherwise.

    I think it’s kind of brave of of this guy to put his wacky ideas out there and be willing to defend them. Mind you, brave in that complete idiot way that George Bush was brave.

  116. peterinda

    Several years ago the Kansas Board of Education past a ruling that only creationism would be taught in their school system. There was an uproar from their state university which of course had no power to change the ruling. Fortunately this happened just prior to the next elections and every single member was voted off of the board. Sometimes sanity actually prevails.

  117. Noah

    From his babbling I managed to drag the following two statements out of it:
    1. If evolution is true, why are they trying to teach evolution?
    2. Origin of the Species is old, therefore evolution is false.

  118. James

    @Darth Robo
    “James, the “principles” that are taught with evolution are scientific ones, and can be backed up with testing, successful predictions and masses of scientific evidence.”

    That is what I am trying to address. I do believe there is some scientific evidence for evolution. However, there is nothing concrete that has resulted in this theory become accepted as entirely fact. Rather, it is the accepted standard. You could compare the history of Galileo’s Heliocentric Model. Which at the time was shot down by the Catholic Church as heresy. However, with current techniques it has been proven true based on satillite imaging, physics (Galileo was before Newton), etc. At the time Galileo only had a theory, perhaps a better word would be hypothesis, which was not grounded in enough data to be accepted en masse. But today nobody questions the sun’s center in our solar system. Likewise, evolution does have some scientific support and may be true in some areas. But as a whole it has yet to proven as factual, if it had been proven fact I doubt this debate would even be an issue because most people typically don’t argue against facts. The Theory of Evolution is not yet at a stage to be considered fact in its entirety and as a result it only makes since to address the current holes in the theory rather than just teaching it to be wholly true. I believe many get on to creationists for teaching their version of how the universe unfolded as true for the same reason of lacking enough data to prove it to be fact, which as much as you may personally be against they do have some evidence for their side as well. Maybe both sides are right, maybe one or the other, or maybe neither, the truth is both have problems in being taught as essentially true and I don’t think its right to teach children something as true when we know it might be false. It is better to address the problems of each argument on an objective basis in the textbook and let the kid’s decide from there.

    “Creationism on the other hand doesn’t have anything to compare. If creationism should be taught then ALL religions should be taught. And they should NOT be taught in science classes.”

    Creationism is typically refered to as intelligent design and while there some differences, intelligent design is held to be a more wide and nondenominational model. It is not a point for trying to introduce the tenets of faith of Islam or the Ten Commandments of Judaism and Christianity. It is a wide spreading idea that trys to address a belief held by religous groups from every corner of the globe as well as some nonreligious thinkers (the God is a scientist and we are a lab experiment folk) and it does not reference the features of God whether omnipotent or omniscient but solely the idea, which is held by many, that universe may have been created by an intelligent source. That source could be another person, God, an alien, whatever. But that the universe was not created by natural means and is in of itself an unnatural development. You are correct that solely teaching the creationist method from one religious text is unconstitutional in a public school and intelligent design theory addresses that issue. Science is an unsteady course as it is always changing. This is a good thing as we often find many concepts that build on one another and some conepts that were thought as true become altogether false. It is a living field if you will. I believed there is plenty of room in a science class to open up the kid’s to ideas such as intelligent design and evolution. The idea is not to limit there education to one frame mindset but to enlighten them to a whole world of oppurtunities and ideas out there. It is not an attempt to sway them toward religion or indoctrinate them, merely to let them know that there is a widely held belief out there as well. A wellrounded person often finds themselves more openminded to all issues and more likely to fairly and objectively hear out all comments and arguments. I believe it is important for children to have a well rounded education.

    “Please don’t make it sound like a Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative issue. Water boils at a hundred degrees no matter which way you vote.”

    You are right, I apologize for bringing up the conservative/liberal issue again (it had already been brought up quite bit above my post lol). I was merely trying to explain that you will find most people are not crazy or unreasonable in Texas as some feel keen to believe. You are likely to find kind, easy going folk and a moderate base with conservative leanings. We all just want to get along with everyone else ITS TO DANG HOT TO GET INTO FIGHT LOL :)
    .
    .
    .
    .
    And water doesn’t boil at 100 degrees in fahrenheit :P

  119. Rick

    It’s hard to follow what he’s saying. He want’s to see proof of evolution because there are no living witnesses? That’s exactly my objection against religion! We’re not all that different after all :o)

  120. MT

    Tell you what, I’ll agree to permit you to babble on about the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution if you let me come in to your church every week and explain the massive holes represented by believing in a supernatural father figure who creates matter by wiggling his little finger. mmmkay?

  121. @James
    Galileo proved the heliocentric model with his observations. We didn’t need satellite imaging to prove heliocentric model.

    It doesn’t matter how often you bleat that evolution is “just a theory”. Evolution is fact. There is no scientific controversy. Religious fundamentalists are the only people who have a problem with the theory of evolution.

    You are correct that solely teaching the creationist method from one religious text is unconstitutional in a public school and intelligent design theory addresses that issue.
    Not according to the Dover judgement. ID is glammed up creationism.

  122. José

    @Ozzie Girl
    The USA is so weird; why does everything there have to be PRO this or ANTI that?

    Yeah. It’s so weird that we would want science taught in science class.

    Funny how we always think we are now at the pinnacle of knowledge and that our science is ‘more advanced.’

    That’s dumb. Nobody thinks we’re at the pinnacle of knowledge. And our science is more advanced than it was in the past.

    Major flaws likely exist in evolutionary theory as it currently stands

    Like what? There are still some questions about how evolution works, and they’re already being explored. Do you think evolutionary biologists just sit around spouting what’s already known?

  123. DarwintheFAITH

    Albert Einstein proved that the universe is expanding. Hubble confirmed it with redshift light distance calculations of supernovas. The big bang theory is accepted by 99.9% of credentialed scientists. Big bang suggests a beginning to the universe. A beginning suggests a “beginner”. Science doesn’t lie. Evolutionists have major holes in their theory. Darwin used to think that the universe had infinite space and infinite time. Now we know differently. There is no fossil proof that we evolved. Neanderthal man? DNA proves no dna link with humans. When will we realize that EVOLUTIONISTS = FAITH. It is their faith that guides them, not science. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation. Look up “cambrian explosion” for proof of sudden complex life that evolutionists cannot explain — http://www.reasons.org/evolution/cambrian-explosion

  124. DarwintheFAITH

    In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views.
    ~~Albert Einstein, Princeton University Press

    I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?
    ~~Albert Einstein, Princeton University Press

    There are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can’t hear the music of the spheres.
    ~~ Albert Einstein, Princeton University Press

  125. justin

    this could be the single dumbest thing i have ever seen.
    Evolution is fact

    proof of evolution
    1-moths in england-evolved to have different colors in the past 200 years
    2-the human appendix- The appendix was used by our ancestors to help digest leaves and vegetables and extract proteins from these sources.
    3-lucy-human like creature that lived 4 million years ago.
    4-When all humans are in the womb we actually have gills but they end up filling out before birth. Some mutation actually cause people to be born with gills(this is very rare though)

    At the end of the day EVOLUTION is as factual as the idea of gravity and friction.

    evolution is simply the ability to adapt. Those who don’t adapt usually die and those who do adapt live and spread there genes.

    “life is the survival of the fittest” Charles Darwin

  126. Cool, duelling Einstein quotes (at least mine are accurate):

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

    “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”

    “Deep religiosity… found an abrupt ending at the age of twelve, through the reading of popular scientific books. “

  127. Darth Robo

    James, it still doesn’t seem to be sinking in. Whether you believe there is evidence for evolution is irrelevant. The “holes” you imagine evolution has are the same Creationist canards which have been around for 40 years which amount to nothing more than pseudo-science. Evolution on the other hand has had150 years of evidence, testing and successful predictions to back it up. Intelligent Design Creationism has nothing. At all. Whatsoever. Not one ickle bit. This is why evolution is taught in schools, and ID/Creationism can’t. Plus there’s the whole part where creationism is religious apologetics, which is not only NOT science, but not allowed to be taught in schools unless ALL religions are taught. And that shouldn’t be in science classes.

    And once more, I’ll remind you that kids should NOT get to decide what is and what isn’t science. Once they’ve learned what science is, become qualified and start doing their own scientific research, THEN they will have that right. Until they are qualified, it’s their job to learn science in science classes. Unless they don’t want to, in which case they can go to a private school, get taught at home, not take science class, or fail the class. Or they can maybe go to science class and learn something. That way they can choose to accept or reject as little or as much scientific reality as they like.

  128. Darth Robo

    @ DarwintheFAITH

    Using Einstein quotes is rather disingenuous of you, since while it is true that Einstein didn’t particularly agree with the atheist position, he certainly did not agree with yours either. He did not believe in the God of the Bible, and if you knew as much about him as you thought, you wouldn’t be appealing to Einstein’s authority. You’d also know that Einstein rejected the idea of the expanding universe, which is why the credit went to Hubble and not Einstein. Also if we take a look at your link, we can also find this:

    http://www.reasons.org/about-us/our-beliefs

    which shows that these guys start with their conclusion, which is the opposite of what science does. This was pointed out to you in post 3. In the meantime, this will address your problems with the Cambrian Explosion:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html

    In the meantime, I will repeat some questions I asked another poster before – you seem to be pitting evolution against the possibility of (a) God. Evolution (like every single other scientific field) makes ABSOLUTELY NO CLAIMS AT ALL WHATSOEVER (not even a ickle tiny bit) about the existence of a god. IF said entity exists, there is no good reason that it could not have used evolution if it so desired. In fact the ONLY reason that evolution would be at odds would be if one rejects evolution by holding to a literal interpretation of ancient superstitious texts. Are you one of those? If so, why do you insist on placing limits on the Almighty universe-creating all-powerful Lord God? And how did you assertain these limits scientifically?

    Also, if you ain’t down with evolution, then what “scientific alternative” do you propose, and could you present it here for us? Or is it simply “Goddidit!” ?

  129. Daffy

    Actually, there HAVE been changes in human physical structure over the last 2,000 years. Look at your own feet (especially you creationists): you will note that your small toe is bent inward toward your other toes. Roman skeletons do not have this…presumably because of the last few centuries of enclosed footware. Not to mention we have all got taller on average.

    And that’s in only 2,000 years or so!

  130. @ José:

    Do you think evolutionary biologists just sit around spouting what’s already known?

    Of course they don’t, silly! They’re too busy bowing down before their Charles Darwin idols! Sheesh!

    BTW, I saw Darwin in a piece of burnt toast this morning. I’m sure some evilutionist will pay me a mint for it when I put it on eBay!

  131. Experts have been wrong many times. It was the experts who said the world was flat and that the sun and planets revolved around the earth, and anyone who disagreed with them was nuts. It was experts who said that peanuts and tomatoes were poisonous, and anyone who ate them would die, until George Washington Carver proved them wrong. Experts said that humans traveling at 100 mph would have their organs exploding. We have a generation of non-thinking zombies who do not dare do some thinking of their own, because we are supposed to leave it to the experts, and if you dare to do some thinking on your own you won’t get your degree, and you will be scoffed at and people will call for your removal from being the Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. You want science? Here is a scientific fact they should teach in school: There is no way to prove what the earth was like 10,000 years ago. Teaching anything else is not science, but anti-religion, and religion should not be in science education. Encourage students to question experts. Maybe we came from another planet 7000 years ago. Think about it, unless you can’t.

  132. @ Phil Staudt:

    You want science? Here is a scientific fact they should teach in school: There is no way to prove what the earth was like 10,000 years ago. Teaching anything else is not science, but anti-religion, and religion should not be in science education

    You are an idiot.

    It’s that simple, amigo. Why are you an idiot? Here’s why:

    1) There is literally tons of evidence what the earth was like 10,000 years ago. Visit a natural history museum some time. Chances are you’ll see a few hundred pounds of it on display. Hint: check the fossil cabinets. Want more? Dig up an ice core from a glacier in Greenland. Melt it down, take a deep breath. You’re breathing air that hasn’t been breathed in thousands of years, amigo. No inference or theories required. Better yet, visit the Lascaux caves in France. You’ll find lovely hand-drawn images of wildlife the artists observed with their own eyes….15,000 years ago!

    And while you’re visiting places you’ve obviously never been, why not try the library? Crack open a geology book or an encyclopedia and read up on all the myriad ways we have of determining the age of very old objects.

    2) Teaching about valid, evidence-based and supported theories that happen to contradict your mythology is very much science and should definitely be taught in science classes. Science that contradicts religion is not anti-religion, it is just pro-rationality.

    Here’s a question for you, and maybe you can blog about it on your stupid creationist website: If you’re so worried about anyone being anti-religion, why are you espousing views that are contrary to so many religions? Your bible contradicts the majority of the world’s other religions. Why are you a religious bigot bent on offending so many others? Why don’t you respect their views?

    I’m willing to bet that you do not “have faith” in Shiva, or Zeus, or Ahura Mazda, or a host of other gods. In other words, you don’t “believe” in them. Yet they have holy texts! They have traditions! Same as you! Yet you dismiss their religious beliefs! How disrespectful of you!

    Think about that, unless you can’t.

  133. @Phil Staudt

    1. Flat earth: what experts? The Greeks figured out the earth was spherical in the 4thC BCE.
    2. Peanuts & Tomatoes and GW Carver: He popularised some peanut products. Peanut butter had already been around for 20 years before Carver started researching peanut products. Tomatoes had been eaten for decades in the US and for centuries elsewhere before GW Carver came along.
    3. Experts saying at 100mph your organs explode: sounds like an urban legend. I can’t find anything about this.

    Sounds like you’re just propagating myths and urban legends my friend.

  134. Mark Hansen

    @ Phil Staudt,
    “… It was experts who said that peanuts and tomatoes were poisonous, and anyone who ate them would die, until George Washington Carver proved them wrong…”

    Clearly these aforementioned peanut experts were the prehistoric Peruvians and it was indeed fortunate that G. W. Carver had a time machine handy to set them straight. After which, he helpfully travelled a bit further forward in time to let the Spaniards of the early 1600’s know what to do with the tomato. A pity he didn’t clear things up for other Europeans until the 1700’s but he was probably busy setting other food myths right.

    Think about that, unless you can’t.

    P.S.: @Shane. The exploding organs sounds like a misquote or mangled remembrance of a Dr. Forbes; “When these motor cars reach a speed of 80 miles per hour, they must drive themselves, for no human brain is capable of dealing with all the emergencies that may rise should that speed be maintained for any period worth thinking of. The human animal is not designed to travel at 80 miles per hour. Neither the brain nor the human eye can keep pace with it.

  135. Two other thoughts about Mr. Staudt’s commentary:

    His own examples (tho he gets his dates incorrect) are perfect examples of people changing their position when presented with evidence contrary to their pet beliefs. Perhaps he could learn something from this…but, like other creationist idiots, of course he won’t.

    I also suspect Mr. Staudt will disappear back into the aether, back to his stupid creationist bible-thumping blog, there to further pontificate on his brilliant observations. He won’t, of course, come back to present evidence that actually backs up his statements. That’s one of the benefits of already having The Truth™ in hand.

  136. Darth Robo

    Phil Staudt – You could have simply said “How do YOU know? Where you THERE?!?”

    Which is one of the creationists most favourite (and most dumbest) arguments. But, let’s pretend I never mentioned creationism. Let’s pretend that this whole thing is about science education. And the job of public school science classes (of course) is to teach science the best it can based on our current understanding of it.

    So I’d just like to ask: How on Earth is that anti-religious? Are you saying that teaching our current understanding of science to students in public schools may cause upset to those who have THEOLOGICAL objections to science? (gasp, shock, horror)

    You are right about one thing: religion should not be in science education. Which is why theological objections to science should not be in science education. The fundies will just have to deal with it. Just like they had to when they were told the Earth was not flat, and the sun and the planets do not revolve around the Earth. This is just another case (in the 21st century no less) of people rejecting reality (again) based on their warped religious beliefs. It seems they never learn (nor want to learn) from history. So yes, it appears the experts do think that people were not “created” from a pile of dirt and a spare rib around 6,000 years ago. But hey, they COULD be wrong…

  137. IVAN3MAN

    I’ve been checking out Phil Staudt’s blog and I came across this:

    I Had A Stroke and God Is Mean*

    […]

    While I was in the hospital all I could do is think. I could not talk to anyone. […] While I was hospitalized, I thought about how it does not pay to work hard and save money so I can do things that I want. I wondered why God was so mean and cruel to me. I know I deserve it, but I think we all would like a break now and then. That is when I came to the realization that God is mean and cruel. Not just to me, but to most people, if not to everyone.

    God is mean and cruel. The things that were the easiest for me to do my whole life were writing and talking. The jobs and businesses I had where I made decent money were a result of my being able to write and speak well. Now I have aphasia and the only things I was good at are bad. Whether it is God’s punishment or His refining process or whatever, the truth is that God is mean. If you believe in God and have read the Bible, then you know from the lives of Jesus and Job and Joseph that God is mean and cruel. Was God punishing them? That is not what The Bible says. Maybe I am supposed to call it love, but that would not make it any less mean or cruel. I am not bitter or angry about it, because misery likes company and I have lots of company. But I have found that having bad luck and difficulties is very annoying. I do not subscribe to the “it is good even though it is bad” philosophy. I believe in being honest with myself. My life is bad enough without being struck by lightning, too. Things could be a lot worse for me, but they could also be much better. But I am not a quitter. I just get up and dust myself off and try again.

    […]

    Having a stroke and dealing with aphasia is just one more experience that I may or may not be able to use for good. I will see. If God wants me to be a doormat for everyone to wipe their shoes on, what can I do? God is God. Most of my life I have been very rebellious, and I am not a shining example of what God wants people to do, but during the times when I rebelled against God, I enjoyed life and things went well for me. During the times when I sought God and searched for truth from Him, everything has been rotten, and I have had nothing but bad luck, and there is no joy. I don’t know what that means, it is just the way it has been for me. I do not know what it is like to live another person’s life. I only have this one.

    […]

    *Extract from: blog.philstaudt.org/2009/03/27/i-had-a-stroke-and-god-is-mean.aspx


    That is why I am an atheist. If there is a god (I choose not to capitalize that noun, thank you very much!), then he is a bloody sadist!

  138. So he’s an idiot and he picked the wrong god?

  139. I just came back to check the replies to my previous comment. So, when have I ever been an advocate of teaching creationism in schools? NEVER. Where is my Bible thumping? I am inquisitive and interested in thinking instead of just taking everybody’s word for it just because they are supposedly an expert? Is that bad? Does everybody think that we should all not use our brains at all and leave all the thinking to “experts”? It sounds like it. I made no assertions about anything except for one statement: “Here is a scientific fact they should teach in school: There is no way to prove what the earth was like 10,000 years ago.” I stand by that. That does not mean to say that there is no scientific evidence pointing to it, but why do you all jump to the rescue to safeguard theories or assumptions, no matter how good they are, in order to label scientific theories based on scientific evidence as scientific facts? Is it because knowing whatever is real and true is not your motive? I DO NOT believe that creationism, or ANY religion should be taught in public schools. Calling people idiots shows immaturity. Thank you for your responses and I read all of them with careful consideration.

  140. Derek B.

    Did you notice that he says “Yes, the fossil record supports it.” and then immediately after, he claims, “no, it doesn’t.”

    Which way is it?

  141. Fritz

    Texan checking in here … Not all Texans are like this guy or think this way. It is embarrassing to me to be lumped in.

    I’m going to go home and make sure my kids understand The Law of Evolution when I get home.

  142. Darth Robo

    Phil Staudt, you feel it is okay to dismiss the consensus of literally thousands of experts and comment from ignorance, and you think that this is using your brain? And your main point is (I’ll repeat it again) “How do YOU know? Where you THERE?!?”

    Perhaps you could take a look at this:

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

    To quote: “is the study of climate change taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses records from ice sheets, tree rings, sediment, and rocks to determine the past state of the climate system on Earth.”

    Now keep in mind that different dating methods give consistent results, meaning that often we can actually get a fairly good idea of what the Earth was like many years ago. The fossil record can tell us what life was like many years ago. But wait a minute! We weren’t THERE! (Judges love hearing that line by the way) So I guess in science class we shouldn’t teach evolution, we shouldn’t mention geology, and we certainly shouldn’t talk about astronomy as all these fields deal with events that happened before we were born. So what would we teach? This is like taking half of science out of science class, and anything which deals with things that take longer than a human lifetime, we throw it out.

    Can we date a tree to 200 years? Don’t be ridiculous! A tree should be 100 years old, 120 tops – anything older we must say that we can’t know how old it is for sure because we weren’t THERE! And don’t say otherwise, because (for some reason) to do so is “anti-religious”. Not sure why though, but hey, if you say so because you’re smart enough to question the experts, right? I mean like you said, we may have all come from another planet 7,000 years ago.

    I haven’t called you an idiot. I don’t care if you believe in creationism, nor what your religion is. I’ll just spell it out. You are promoting ignorance in public school science classes in the face of scientific consensus, and to ignore your ‘suggestion’ is (apparently) anti-religious. Oh and uh, what does religion have to do with a scientific discussion again?

  143. Tom

    “Here is a scientific fact they should teach in school: There is no way to prove what the earth was like 10,000 years ago.”

    Um, ok, I’ll give you that. And if you go to a decent school they do teach you that. They teach you that there are ways to make educated guesses about conditions we can’t observe directly, based on evidence that is available now. Large amounts of evidence. And there is a difference between a valid theory that stands up to serious intellectual criticism, and one that doesn’t.

    So it sounds like what you are saying is you think schools need to teach better science. Which I would agree with wholeheartedly.

    The history of scientific inquiry is filled with cases where those guesses were amazingly correct, or just plain wrong, or cases such as quantum mechanics where we still don’t know if they are *right* but they let us do amazing things so we keep working with them.

    Being wrong sometimes doesn’t invalidate science or experts on the whole. Any more than some priests being liars or pedophiles means that all priests are the same. Generalizing to all cases based on a few is a mark of prejudice, not intelligence. The whole point with scientific theories is that there are means to prove or disprove what you are theorizing. It’s not just guessing.

    Science at least provides tools to make statements about what the *likely* conditions were 10,000 years ago. And scientific theories change over time as new evidence comes to light. Which is the whole reason we have the concept of evolution, and a constantly *changing* set of understandings about the fine details of what evolution means and how it happens. We’re not all still sitting around with Darwin’s original theory.

    Christianity and creationism do not provide the tools to make cogent arguments or to prove or disprove theories because the underlying requirement for Christianity is the belief in a supernatural force whose existence BY DEFINITION cannot and should not be proven. That’s the problem with trying to mix religion and science – the moment you try to prove the existence of God or God’s works, you are no longer a believer. You’ve lost your way.

    Christianity is about faith, not proof. That’s why it doesn’t belong in the same realm as science.

    Well, that and the US Constitution which creates an explicit legal separation between church and state.

  144. science isn't meant to hurt feelings

    Science is all about fact gathering and we aren’t even close to done with the whole evolution theory. How can religious people be so afraid of science and yet take it for granted in aspirins, clean water, hospital devices, electricity, air conditioning, gas powered engines, and air travel. Uh, hello? we evolved to those stages incrementally.

  145. Philip J

    We have the technology to clone animals. We are their creator. Do you really believe matter just formed in thin air? Do you really believe the big bang just happened with out something lighting the match? I’m sure you’d rather believe that aliens created us then believe a supernatural being did. How sad it is that you’d limit your spirituality for your brains pleasure. No worries. Your scientists also believed the world was flat. But there was more, and more, and more, and more, and more.

    AI will hopefully be created within 5-10 years
    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/08/20/artificiallife_tec.html

    *Would you rather have the AI we created believe that you created him/her or would you rather have them argue over your existence?

    I am a life form that believes in a creator =]

  146. John Keohane

    If you are anywhere near Austin, Texas, you should come to the forum which I am chairing next Saturday, October 3, here in Austin. Detail on that forum, which is free, is given below.

    First, however, I need to provide some corrections to what has been said:

    In fairness to Don McLeroy, the former chairperson our our State Board of Education, he did not run the Texas Board of Education. Likewise, Gail Lowe, the current chairperson, does not run that board.

    There are 15 members of that board. I know each one of them, have spoken with most of them on the phone, and have emailed with 6.

    On educational issues, seven are “social conservatives”, or “right-wingers” perhaps in the terminology of those on this list. Two are swing voters, and six are moderates, including a Republican Southern Baptist.
    All were elected under party labels. All seven of the social conservatives, one of the two swings, and two of the moderates are Republicans, including a Republican moderate from west of Fort Worth.

    Four of the seven “social conservatives” had no Democrats running against them last time, including both Cynthia Dunbar and Ken Mercer, who are the two representing districts which include parts of liberal Austin.

    I think elections should be about choices, and in my opinion, that means having both Republicans and Democrats candidates. I think everyone should be involved. So that the no contest situation doesn’t happen in 2010, I started discussions in 2008, leading to filings in 2009. It looks like there will be two Democrats competing to run against Cynthia Dunbar in the 2010 election. Mrs. Dunbar, and both Democrats, have sent me their biographies, and these are included on this announcement.–John Keohane

    State Board of Education Forums at Yarborough
    For Saturday October 3, 11:45-1:15 pm
    —Probable Candidates in SBOE-10
    (This includes 59% of Travis County, which is that part north of the Colorado River, plus all of Williamson, Bastrop, Austin, Burleson, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Lavaca, Lee, Milam, Waller and Washington, counties, plus 87% of Fort Bend County and 19% of Brazoria County.)

    Cynthia Dunbar (R) is the elected member to the Texas State Board of Education, for SBOE-10. She writes that “District 10 is a very interesting district. Although it contains part of Austin, the overwhelming majority of the district is staunchly conservative.” Her undergraduate training was in biology and psychology and, as such, she has taught anatomy and physiology to high school juniors and seniors. She has been a licensed, practicing attorney for over 18 years and dedicated much of her practice to the area of appellate law. She has researched and studied the law on numerous Constitutional and Common Law issues that framed our nation. She regularly defends and promotes Constitutional purity, pro-life, and conservative public policy, and preventing the erosion of our nation’s identity. [Invited but not yet committed]

    Judy Jennings (D) is a wife, mother and grandmother—and an expert in education policy. Her daughter is a public-school teacher in Williamson County, and her son is teaching English in Korea. Judy had not finished college when she met and married her husband, Hal, but as her children grew, Judy returned to school and earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology. She then earned her Ph.D. in education.
    From her years as a teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin through her work on accountability at the Texas Education Agency to her current position as Director of Assessment at Resources for Learning, Judy has spent years working on the very issues for which the State Board of Education is responsible.

    Rebecca Osborne (R) [Running. Has declined this event. May send a representative.]

    Lorenzo Sadun (D) is a scientist and educator, who is a professor of mathematics. Since 1991, he has taught math at the University of Texas, where he sees what our brightest students know, and also what they need to know but were never taught. He knows that our kids need a 21st century education to meet 21st century challenges. He knows they need better science skills, better math skills, better critical thinking skills, and better English skills. Dr. Sadun is married with three children, who all attend public schools. His wife Anita served on the Bryker Woods Elementary PTA board. He has been an adult literacy teacher, a child reading coach, a math tutor in East Harlem, and a middle school teacher, all as a volunteer.

    Forums are at Yarborough Public Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX 78756 This forum will be the seventh of eight. The last forum will be on Saturday, November. 7.

    If you received this sheet in printed form, and want it electronically, or if you want additional information contact John Keohane keohane@prodigy.net (512) 371-3853

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