Friday, January 23, 2009

Creationism pops up In Texas

Hi everyone,

This matters because the same nonsense happened in West Bend back in the 80's and is still percolating up in Grantsburg, WI.

In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate:
Even as federal courts have banned the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in biology courses, social conservatives have gained 7 of 15 seats on the Texas board in recent years, and they enjoy the strong support of Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican.

What kind of sense does it make for a Governor to back a curriculum change that 25 years of unambiguous federal court decisions (the last in Dover PA by a conservative Bush appointee) have categorized as unconstitutional and illegal?

Apparently it makes political sense.



Other Side said...

Really? I moved out of West Bend in '78, but return on occasion to visit friends. I never heard of conflict with the teaching of evolution though it would not surprise me at all.

Can you give me more specifics? I'm trying to imagine attending Silverbrook, McLain and West (as I did back then) and having to endure mindless revelations about creationism. *Shudder*

Mpeterson said...

A school board meeting in 1985 considered including creationism in the curriculum. One of our local attorneys, (and I even know the guy, but his name has fallen completely out of my head this morning... Bob... ack.) got up before the vote and, after explaining that it was unconstitutional, swore an oath that he would use his own time and money to fight them all the way to the Supreme Court. That stopped it.

In 1995 there were murmurings from Kewaskum that made the same kind of noise... plus the "Phonics Based Education" proponents -- a well known red-herring used by creationist stealth candidates to get quietly elected to school boards nationwide during the 80's and early 90's -- started showing up around West Bend. I gave a public address that year with the title "Darwin and the threat to public education" in which I laid down the arguments against creationism as science. I'd like to think I helped quiet things down, but whether I had any effect, the creationists crawled back into the darkness to wait for another day.

Dover has taken the starch out of them lately... but they'll be back. :^)

For regular updates, you can't do worse than check the National Center for Science Education website.