Search Results for "don mcleroy"

Jul 26 2007

Texas Now Has a Creationist Heading the State Board of Education

Published by under Creationism/ID

Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed outspoken creationist, Don McLeroy, to head the Texas State board of Education. Yikes!

One of the recurring themes of this blog is that science should never be subverted by ideology. Science needs to be open, honest, transparent, and driven by an uncompromising dedication to method. Science education should reflect this. Ideology places a preferred belief ahead of methodology, and therefore must pervert the scientific method, strain logic, and compromise honesty. Creationism is the poster-child of ideology perverting science.

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Apr 12 2010

The Anti-Vaccine Environmentalist

The anti-vaccine movement, as is probably typical for ideological movements, has natural enemies and allies. Once the notion that mercury in the form of thimerosal in vaccines might be responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders (it’s not) became popular in the anti-vaccine crowd, this made them natural allies with the “mercury-militia” – those who blame environmental mercury for a host of ills. The fact that some anti-vaccinationists seek to provide their children on the autism spectrum with unconventional biological treatments, based on their disproved “toxin” hypothesis, made them natural allies with the alternative medicine community. Both seek freedom from pesky regulation, and rail against the perceived deficiencies of science-based medicine.

Another ideological alliance is brewing – that between the anti-vaccine movement and extreme environmentalists. This post is not a commentary on environmentalism, and please do not take it as such – the purposes and claims of the two movements are quite distinct. But they share a common thread: distrust of scientific experts and government regulators who reassure the public that environmental exposures are safe.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been the most prominent environmentalist to take up the anti-vaccine cause, in several articles and speeches. While he appears to be only a part-time anti-vaccinationist, his celebrity and street cred among environmentalists lend a great deal of weight to his paranoid musings about scientific fraud and government cover ups. It seems he wants to recapitulate the moral clarity that his uncles displayed in the 1960s, defending the little guy against abuses by the powerful and privileged. He is ready to see a conspiracy, and he wants to be the crusader for environmental justice – and if kids are the alleged victims, all the better. His article in the Huffington Post – “Attack on Mothers,” says it all.

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Jul 15 2009

Texas Update

Published by under Evolution

We have been following the saga is Texas for a few years now – Texas is one of the major battlegrounds between science and ideology in education. The Texas board of education has been roughly evenly split between those dedicated to science and those dedicated to promoting their religious views through public education, specifically by attacking the teaching of evolution and cosmology and trying to sneak in creationist arguments.

Recently we heard the good news that the Chairman of the Texas BOE, Don (“someone has to stand up to those experts”) McLeroy, was removed as Chairman.  This was nice, but I did not get too excited – governor Rick Perry, who appointed McLeroy in the first place, is still in office.

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