Friday, February 26, 2010


Fishy Story

The Dallas Observerer has more on George M. Clayton, the Republican primary opponent of Geraldine "Tincy" Miller, one of the more moderate Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education. Asked why he was running, Clayton replied:

"I think the state board needs an educator," replied Clayton, 60, an academic coordinator and English administrator at North Dallas High School.

Fair enough. But then:

Unfair Park tried to pin Clayton down on where he stood on the GOP conservative spectrum -- using a form of reportorial shorthand. We asked him how old the Earth is, figuring anything in the 10,000-year range would peg him as a religious conservative.

"I'm not going to cut it half and count the rings," Clayton replied cannily.

That's not an "educator's" response, that's a politician's ... a cute answer to evade a question, that has nothing to do with why science knows the Earth is old.

Then there is the elephant in the room (and the author of the post, to his credit, takes it on directly):

Clayton said evolution is and should remain in science classrooms, but he thinks the alternative theories supported by the religious right -- intelligent design and creationism -- can "find a real nice home" in humanities, philosophy or world history classes.

"It's seems to me you can't be taught the one [evolution] without the other [creationism]," Clayton said. "It's an impossibility to talk about evolution without mentioning creationism."

Right. Of course. You can't have physics without metaphysics. Can't teach marine biology without mentioning mermaids.

George Clayton ... the mermaid candidate for the TSBE.

You can't have physics without metaphysics.

I don't want to spoil the party but the author of the article has run away with himself and his own cleverness. You can't have physics without metaphysics in fact you can't have any science at all without metaphysics.
Sure. But that doesn't mean you should be teaching metaphysics before physics. In short, you can teach physics without metaphysics and, given the abilities of most K-12 teachers, you probably should.
What's truly sad is that this schmo is probably sunk in rel-con circles because he had the awful librul gall to suggest creationism should be banished to history class instead of science class. Even a smidgen of sanity is anathema to such folks.

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