Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don McLeroy gets grilled

As I've said before, education standards in Texas are important to the entire nation because of that state's influence on textbook manufacturers. The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is led by Don McLeroy, a career dentist and young Earth creationist (read: evolution denier and religious extremist). He has fought hard to have intelligent design and creationist teachings forced into science text books. To have this man weild so much power over this nation is very frightening.

It looks like the Texas senate may have had enough, however. At McLeroy's confirmation hearing, he was grilled by both Democrats and Republicans. There must be a 2/3 approval rate for him to be reinstated, and that is now a questionable outcome. Check out the Texas Freedom Network's live blog of the hearing!

EDIT: Some quotes from the blog to give you an idea of what McLeroy would like your kid to learn in public school:
5:36 - Sen. Shapleigh asks about McLeroy’s beliefs about evolution. McLeroy acknowledges that is is his personal belief that Earth is only 6,000 years old.

5:37 -McLeroy says almost everyone in his church rejects evolution and supports creationism. He describes himself as a young Earth creationist. He says he tells reporters that he wants to be up front and honest about his beliefs. “I think it’s a pretty rational view.”

5:54 - McLeroy: “I don’t see any way I’m imposing my religious views in anything I’ve done on the State Board of Education.”

5:57 - McLeroy: He rejects the suggestion that evolution is the foundation for studying all the biological sciences. “Genetics is the foundation. . . for studying biology. . . . Genetics is good solid science.” [Note: this is patently absurd. I suggest readers watch any Ken Miller talk about how genetics soundly supports our understanding of evolution and common ancestry.]

6:37 - Questions for McLeroy have ended. Now the committee is hearing testimony from others. First up is Dr. Ron Wetherington, a professor of anthropology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Wetherington served on the state board’s panel of “expert reviewers” for the science standards revision. He objects to McLeroy’s attempts to promote challenges to mainstream science because his religious beliefs are in opposition to evolution: “It is an embarrassment to have such a partisan religious bias, fundamentally anti-scientific, promoted by an appointed chair of the SBOE, and I urge you not to confirm this appointment.” [emphasis mine]

No comments:

Post a Comment