Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sabotaging Science

As PZ and Wes have already noted, Texas screws its own children:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller today sharply criticized the inclusion of three strident evolution opponents, including two authors of an anti-evolution textbook, on a panel that will review proposed new science curriculum standards for Texas public schools. ...

The two authors are Stephen Meyer, who is vice president of the Discovery Institute, and Ralph Seelke, a professor of the department of biology and earth sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. A third panel member, Charles Garner, is a professor of chemistry at Baylor University in Waco.

All three are supporters of the anti-evolution concept "intelligent design"/creationism and have signed the Discovery Institute's "Dissent from Darwinism" statement. In addition to their textbook, Meyer and Seelke testified in 2005 against evolution in hearings called by religious conservatives who controlled the Kansas State Board of Education.

Stephen Meyer is, of course, along with Bruce Chapman and George Gilder, a founder of the Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture and serves as the Center's Program Director.

As for Seelke, the following is from the biographical note supplied by the supporters of the Kansas anti-evolution standards that he testified in favor of in 2005:

He has an ongoing interest in Christian apologetics, and is convinced that Christianity is not only true, but that it is perhaps the only way of viewing the world that allows both meaning and rationality in life.

So, how else can he advance the rationality of science except by injecting Christianity into it, right?

Some ways to help:

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Texas Citizens for Science (Join)

I would think that having the authors of a text book on the panel would be a conflict of interest.
Uh, is this board supposed to review all sciences standards, or just Biology standards?

Isn't it strange to pack the board with biologists, or worse, pseudo-biologists ? Setting aside their dodgy input in biology proper, are they expect to contribute something for Physics or Chemistry standards ?
Not only is it a conflict of interest and an unwarranted focus on biology but even granting for the sake of argument that there is some sort of "controversy" within biology, why would the minority position get equal representation on this panel? Even one out of six would be great over-representation of IDers compared to their number within the scientific community. This panel is clearly "stacked" in favor of ID even under the most generous standards.
Yes, John, but my main point is that, by short-changing every other sciences, the board is unfit for its stated purpose, on top of being unfit to better the standards wrt Biology.

Oh, and if this board runs true to form, they'll also meddle with Ecology, prohibiting mention of Global Warming.
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