Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Small in the Saddle
More than 800 scientists from Texas universities have formed the 21st Century Science Coalition to fight either the teaching of creationism in public schools or the watering down of evolutionary instruction.
"Texas public schools should be preparing our kids to succeed in the 21st century, not promoting political and ideological agendas that are hostile to a sound science education," said David Hillis, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin.State Board of Education chairman and creationist Don McLeroy denies he is trying to force religion and the supernatural into Texas schools:
"I'm getting sick and tired or people saying we're interjecting religion," he said. "We're certainly not interjecting religion. Not at all."I suppose having one's disingenuous strategy constantly exposed can get annoying.
McLeroy says he supports restoring the "strengths and weaknesses" language and said working groups left some form of that language in the proposed standards for chemistry and astronomy. He also said he supports the "testable explanations" approach advocated by the National Academy of Sciences.But then he goes and spoils the intended effect:
"Texas students need to understand what science is and what its limitation are ...
"I look at evolution as still a hypothesis with weaknesses."Only a person with a religious or ideological agenda would think that a dentist with no appreciable biological training would be in a better position than experts in the field to pronounce evolution to be merely a "hypothesis" ... and with weaknesses to boot.
But wait a minute ... if he succeeds, that will be true!