Thursday, September 12, 2013

Religious Fundamentalists on Texas textbook review panels attempt to challenge Evolution and insert Creationism.

Courtesy of Dallas News:  

Religious conservatives serving on state textbook review panels have criticized several proposed high school biology textbooks for not including arguments against Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. 

The review panels include several creationists. They urge the State Board of Education to reject the books unless publishers include more disclaimers on key concepts of evolution. 

One reviewer even suggested a rule requiring that each biology book cover “creation science.” That would run counter to a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The decision banned the teaching of creationism in public school science classes. 

The evaluations will be presented at a board meeting next week. Publishers must consider them, along with testimony. They can make changes before the board votes on the texts in November. 

“I understand the National Academy of Science’s strong support of the theory of evolution,” said Texas A&M University nutritionist Karen Beathard, one of the biology textbook reviewers. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent and grandparent, I feel very firmly that creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”  (Once again, and for the five hundredth time, when scientists use the term "theory" they mean a process that is still being modified and improved, NOT that it is simply an idea with no evidence to back it up. The word in science that matches the definition of "theory" these idiots believe is being used is "hypothesis.")

Other reviewers objected to the books’ acceptance of key evolutionary principles. Among them is the fossil evidence for the evolution of humans and other life species. 

Former State Board of Education Chairwoman Gail Lowe nominated nearly a third of the 28 reviewers for biology books. A social conservative and creationist, Lowe was defeated in her re-election bid last year.

You may think that this is not such a big deal unless you live in Texas, but that is not quite accurate. As one of the largest textbook purchasers in the nation, Texas wields strong influence on books marketed in other states.

That's right. Some superstitious anti-science moron in Texas can absolutely affect the ability of other children in the country to receive an adequate education in science.

Yep, when you are a religious conservative the LAST thing you want to do is teach critical thinking skills or anything with actual facts in it which might undermine your ability to brainwash children.


  1. ...“creation science.” REALLY, SERIOUSLY?

    1. Anonymous10:28 AM

      "...based on biblical principal."

      So, science based on faith, and they dare to argue that some of the evidence for evolution is shaky.

    2. Anonymous8:24 PM

      There is no such thing as creation science. try this - exactly what experiments could be performed? And what result would make someone say - oops that theory (that a god created the universe) is wrong? Falsifiability is a requisite of scientific experimentation. If nothing will count as a negative result - than it ain't science.

  2. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Districts can also have material added or deleted from textbooks before purchasing them from a publisher.

  3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Gryphen, here are three news items that make you go WTF?

    1. Anonymous11:12 AM

      Texas cop pulls over a speeder, then beats up entire family, cuz in Texass, they has ta show what rill 'muricans do to them commie vegetarian librul speedin' folks

    2. Anonymous1:06 PM

      10:29 & 11:12---

      They used to sing about things like this and do their Do-si-do. Now they're too fat and lazy to get off their goddam couch, and too stupid to learn to play a fiddle.

  4. Anonymous10:59 AM

    We know see the core of the fundamentalist thinking, wholesale ignorance. Good luck for any children brought up in this environment having any idea of the working of natural order. This extreme thinking of Texas Luddites are condemning their children to second rate educations and perpetuating wholesale wandering around in worlds that appear confusing and their inability to cope with reality.

  5. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Warning: Rant ahead which degenerates into more ranting.
    I apologize in advance for likely *misremembering* my Torah metaphors amidst all of the allegory and parables, but anyway... Proceeding... that must be Moses on the left page and the "Burning Bush" that "spoke" to him on the right side.

    Help me remember, so I can get my facts of "History" correct... Wasn't it the burning bush that gave him the "10 Commandments", (which are actually several hundred in the text of the Bible---613, if I recall, but that would be a shitload of stone tablets to carry down the mountain. Plus, you know how the Repugs are crafty about inserting pork and self-serving provisions into larger bills, so 10 growing to 613 is about par for the course). And again, I don't recall whether that was the first edition of the "10 Commandments Tablets" that Moses smashed when he was mad at the *faithful* for worshipping the golden calf, damn you A-A-Ron... Or the replacement edition that he retrieved immediately because of the 100% Guaranteed Replacement or Refund Policy. He must've coughed up a few extra shekels for the extended warranty, or more likely, just negotiated it--- you know how those Jews are (jk, of course. But it's really okay since I'm an atheistic Hebe myself, anyway. Haha).

    Incidentally, Jesus Christ, the founder of *Christianity*, whom his *followers* purport to be the center of their lives, gave them one primary commandments: To love one another.

    John 13:34
    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    Those red-letter editions of the Bible (Not for Jews but okay for some Arabs, er, sorry, Muslims) which highlight Jesus' own words in red ink must not be popular anymore, since they make it harder to make up things that are "christian".

    I don't recall Jesus claiming to be an archaeologist, paleontologist, geologist, botanist, biologist, physicist, molecular chemist, oceanographer, and all of the other "ists" (or a Christianist, for that matter) that today's Fundie Leaders claim to be smarter over and above those PhDs actually educated in those fields. But Jesus didn't have the opportunity to attend the "university" founded by that famous *faith-healer* Oral Roberts nor Bob Jones University. Plus, he never would've been accepted had he applied at Regent University, because of his "Democratic-leaning" philosophies.

    But "Thank God" that all of the Texas Southern Baptists and the Evangelical Assembly of God-types know all that shit about science so they can put it in the textbooks for EVERYBODY to have to learn. There's room without printing more pages--- just take out all that crap about Indians and Famous N*ggers and Jew Commies like FDR and the boozed-up fightin' irish (JFK, RFK, etc). Then we can start some real learnin' in them public skools.

    End Rant.

  6. Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688) pretty much put a big set of nails into the coffin of teaching creationism or intelligent design in public schools (at least as science), back in 2005. Textbook companies are aware of this case, as should be the Texas State Board of Education.

    1. Anonymous1:18 PM

      Yes, Philip, but the textbook companies don't give a damn what those fools want printed in their books. Once they get a PO#, it's no skin off their back if the State of TX has to reorder a revised edition because of their stupidity. The State of TX eats that order, or sells them to private schools. But there's probably not enough religiosity in the state textbooks.

      Oh well, everbody's trailer may be leanin' from the tornaders, but their coffee tables and end tables will be "Settin' up straight", thanks to them there Religilous textbooks. See, they ain't real big on readin' no how.

  7. Anonymous11:24 AM

    yeah, well the 'children' may be alot smarter than you think! this is a LONG but very astute article on exactly how young people see things:

    The Rise of the New New Left

    Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.

    ...Still, Hillary is vulnerable to a candidate who can inspire passion and embody fundamental change, especially on the subject of economic inequality and corporate power, a subject with deep resonance among Millennial Democrats. And the candidate who best fits that description is Elizabeth Warren.

    First, as a woman, Warren would drain the deepest reservoir of pro-Hillary passion: the prospect of a female president. While Hillary would raise vast sums, Dean and Obama have both shown that in the digital age, an insurgent can compete financially by inspiring huge numbers of small donations. Elizabeth Warren can do that. She’s already shown a knack for going viral. A video of her first Senate banking committee hearing, where she scolded regulators that “too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial,” garnered 1 million hits on YouTube. In her 2012 Senate race, despite never before having sought elected office, she raised $42 million, more than twice as much as the second-highest-raising Democrat. After Bill Clinton and the Obamas, no other speaker at last summer’s Democratic convention so electrified the crowd.

    Warren has done it by challenging corporate power with an intensity Clinton Democrats rarely muster. At the convention, she attacked the “Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—[who] still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.”

    And in one of the biggest applause lines of the entire convention, taken straight from Occupy, she thundered that “we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”

    Don’t be fooled by Warren’s advanced age. If she runs, Millennials will be her base. No candidate is as well positioned to appeal to the young and economically insecure. Warren won her Senate race by eight points overall, but by 30 points among the young. The first bill she introduced in the Senate was a proposal to charge college students the same interest rates for their loans that the Federal Reserve offers big banks. It soon garnered 100,000 hits on YouTube.


  8. Anonymous11:40 AM

    "I understand the National Academy of Science’s strong support of the theory of evolution,” said Texas A&M University nutritionist Karen Beathard, one of the biology textbook reviewers. “At the same time, this is a theory."

    This idiot doesn't even understand what a theory is (gravity and electromagnetism are theories too). Why is a dolt like that making decisions about science texts?

    1. Anonymous1:21 PM

      She's proving my theory about Bagger Fundies being stupid. But I'm not 'being ugly', cuz I mean that in a nice, christian way.

  9. fromthediagonal11:51 AM

    anon@11:12... keep on ranting!

    1. Anonymous1:24 PM

      Thanks fromthediagonal. I admit I do feel a little better having spewed out a few of my semi-facts.

  10. Anonymous12:23 PM

    The Texas GOP has in its platform a stand against the including critical thinking skills in public school currcula. Gee, imagine that. They don't want their kids to learn how to think - just accept what they are told. Idiots.

    We have a teacher in our high school who lived and taught in Texas for a few years. Her family moved back north as soon as they could. Their two daughters, both high school age, had to take two summers of remedial classes because they did not have the academic foundation needed to survive and pass high school. Their mother was grateful they got the kids back north in time to save their chances to get into good colleges and universities. She said she was appalled at the way schools demanded teachers to teach in Texas. Texas schools rank at the bottom of the nation. This fundamentalist approach is one reason why.

  11. Anonymous12:46 PM

    How in the world Texas can out influence, say, a state the size of California in this matter boggles my mind.
    M from MD

    1. Anonymous1:30 PM

      Purchasing power is with Texas because of the number of students they order textbooks for. In fact, in the textbook publishing business, it's said, "As Texas goes, so goes the rest of the nation."

      The unit cost is so much higher for smaller runs of different books that it is cost-prohibitive to have different texts for each state, depending on their preference.

      Therefore, the biggest states usually drive the herd most of the time to get the best pricing.

    2. Textbooks are a state EXPENSE, so getting them at the lowest cost often means playing follow the leader who can help drive costs down bc of their volume of purchases. Texas buys a shitload of textbooks, so they're going to be one of the major leaders in determining which books with particilar content are printed.

    3. Anonymous8:30 PM

      Not so much anymore, folks. Custom textbooks are where the money is at - in the digital age - along with digital content. TexASS influence is waning.

  12. Anonymous2:29 PM

    Let's hope that the Anchorage School District gets their text books in the New York or California versions.


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