Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Observing Texas

The Dallas Observer has a mostly good article, "Battle Against Teaching Evolution in Texas Begins," on the coming school board wars over the revision of the state's science standards. Although there a couple of jarringly wrong items in the article, it is mostly a sober consideration of the history of how the state board wound up where it is and the issues at stake. It will be helpful in keeping the players straight.

Maybe the take home lesson in the piece was this from Chris Comer, the former director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, who was forced to resign over an email she sent informing other educational professionals of an upcoming lecture by Barbara Forrest. Comer said:

I really think this whole thing about not understanding climate change and global warming and the attack on science in general that we've seen from this administration is another clear example of how radical groups that have little or no understanding of the nature of science are dictating to scientists what they can and cannot research, what they can and cannot say about subjects that are vital to our health and future.
It is recommended reading.

What a surprise. And today I read yet another item in Science about the Bush Administration overriding scientists and insisting the EPA set a higher limit on another air pollutant than the best science recommendations.
I could live with it if they simply made a decision on policy reasons, such as economic cost, but they usually try to distort the science or deny it exists.
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How to Support Science Education