Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Testing ... Testing ...
Bud Kennedy has a good Op-Ed piece in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, tying the push to foist creationism on Texas public schools to state politics:
[Gov. Rick] Perry has said bluntly that he wants so-called intelligent design — creation theology — taught in science classes.
Look, the way Perry runs our schools, teachers barely have enough time to teach science.
Can't somebody else teach religion? ...
By all indications, Perry will go up against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, with the winner facing Houston Mayor Bill White in a state that is now about 45 percent Democratic.
"There is a risk here for Republicans," said Texas Christian University political science professor Jim Riddlesperger. "The party needs to define itself as conservative but not narrow. If they let the social conservatives dominate, they risk losing votes."
The low-profile State Board of Education has been run for years by home-schoolers, pastors and zealots like Houston-area lawyer Cynthia Dunbar.
Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson sees short-term success and long-term failure if Perry forces creationism into schools.
"Short term, it rallies some Republicans around Perry in the primary," Jillson said. "Long term, the problem is that the Republican Party's voter base is already narrowing. The party can't afford to be identified as anti-science."
Tarrant County Republican Party Chairwoman Stephanie Klick said she's not worried.
"It's healthy to have a discussion," she said, adding that the big-bang theory should also be open to challenge.
"We should look at any theory and ask, 'Does this make sense?' " she said.
Does that include the theory that Perry and the board know what they're doing?