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Creationism in Texas

Texas has been a battleground for the conflict between science and creationism. It is one of the few states that drives the textbook industry, which makes it a prime target for those with an agenda to influence public education.

Today I received the following e-mail from the Texas Citizens for Science – a fine group of skeptics on the front lines.

Dr. Novella,

Hope you are doing well. I wanted to update you on the battle over evolution heating up here in Texas and ask for your assistance. The SGU has a wide audience we believe would bbe very interested to know what is going on in Texas.

Tomorrow, several of us are going to testify at the State Board of Education hearings over the revising of the science standards. This happens once every ten years, and since Texas is an adoption state for textbooks, it effects more than just the schools in Texas. They are attempting to keep language in the standards that allows teachers to teach the  alleged “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories. As you know, this is a bogus concept, and they are only interested in teaching the alleged “weaknesses” of just a single theory of science.

As you may not know, 7 of the 15 members of the board are avowed young earth creationists, and there is one swing vote being heavily courted by both sides. It’s a little dicey, and so any publicity we can shine on them would be helpful.

Other stories of interest:

-There is also going to be an academic freedom bill introduced in the legislature next session in January which will be almost identical to the Louisiana billed that passed earlier this year.

-One other story of interest: Chris Comer (who was fired over forwarding an email about Barbara Forrest) has filed a lawsuit in federal court over the loss of her job as Director of Science at the Texas Education Agency.

The guy who can fill you in on all this and more is Dr. Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science. We here in Texas would deeply appreciate it if you could arrange some time in the near future to interview Steven and let him fill you in on the craziness. He is cc’ed on the email so you can contact him directly.

Thanks for your time,
Paul Murray
Vice-President, Texas Citizens for Science

You bet. Keep an eye out for this intereview soon. (I will add an update when it is done.)

4 comments to Creationism in Texas

  • Jim Shaver

    Bless you, Texas Citizens for Science! And I mean that in a secular way, of course. We defeated the same type of “academic freedom” bill in Oklahoma, but doing so required a veto by the Governor.

    This fight is happening under the average citizen’s radar, and that’s exactly where the creationists (cdesign proponentsists) want it. We in the science, skepticism, and teaching communities need more brave and dedicated people who care about science education in America to stand up against these coordinated and deliberate attacks on science.

  • John Powell

    I think Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC would be interested in this story

  • TXPaul

    Thanks for posting this Steve. We’ll be updating you soon!

  • Who is this “swing vote”? It seems that is who we should be emailing. While I am in the military and stationed in Cambodia I am still a Texas resident and will be returning there just as my son is going into high school. I have a MAJOR interest in this and would like to help in whatever way I can, even if I am all the way over here in Phnom Penh.

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