Friday, January 17, 2014

Despite the best efforts of educators Creationism is STILL being taught in some Texas schools.

Courtesy of Slate:  

When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth. These are all lies. 

The more than 17,000 students in the Responsive Education Solutions charter system will learn in their history classes that some residents of the Philippines were “pagans in various levels of civilization.” They’ll read in a history textbook that feminism forced women to turn to the government as a “surrogate husband.” 

Responsive Ed has a secular veneer and is funded by public money, but it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state. 

Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda—and it is succeeding. Operating more than 65 campuses in Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana, Responsive Ed receives more than $82 million in taxpayer money annually, and it is expanding, with 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014. 

Charter schools may be run independently, but they are still public schools, and through an open records request, I was able to obtain a set of Responsive Ed’s biology “Knowledge Units,” workbooks that Responsive Ed students must complete to pass biology. These workbooks both overtly and underhandedly discredit evidence-based science and allow creationism into public-school classrooms. 

I asked Ken Miller, a co-author of the Miller-Levine Biology textbook published by Pearson and one of the most widely used science textbooks on the market today, to respond to claims about the fossil record and other inaccuracies in the Responsive Ed curriculum. (It’s worth noting that creationists on the Texas State Board of Education recently tried, and failed, to block the approval of Miller’s textbook because it teaches evolution.) 

The curriculum tells students that a “lack of transitional fossils” is a “problem for evolutionists who hold a view of uninterrupted evolution over long periods of time.” 

“The assertion that there are no ‘transitional fossils’ is false,” Miller responded. “We have excellent examples of transitional forms documenting the evolution of amphibians, mammals, and birds, to name some major groups. We also have well-studied transitional forms documenting the evolution of whales, elephants, horses, and humans.” 

Evolution is not a scientific controversy, and there are no competing scientific theories. All of the evidence supports evolution, and the overwhelming majority of scientists accept the evidence for it. 

So despite the fact that the new Texas textbooks approved the teaching of Evolution and rejected Creationism out of hand, these charter schools are finding away around that hurdle, and teaching this garbage anyhow.

Which, in my opinion, is the driving force behind creating charter schools and pushing parents to home school their children in the first place.

Remember keeping a population ignorant, and reliant on faith instead of critical thinking, only benefits those who seek to manipulate public opinion through fear and misinformation.

And exactly which political party does that sound like?


  1. Sally in MI3:18 AM

    Which party? Why the one that thinks Fox lies are fact. The one that demeans women, hates immigrants except the ones that maintain their lawns, raise this kids, and clean their homes, that thinks children should 'work' for their lunches, that will protect a zygote but kill adults freely in war or prison, pretends they follow Jesus while advocating war with any and every country they see as not Christian (well, except Israel, whom they need to make their Seven Mountains fantasies happen.) The one who encourages their men to lie and cheat while in public office, because the other party is evil, and 'God forgives.' The one who has never accepted our black President, and will never accept a woman as President, because Founders and freedom and 2nd amendment all mean only while males are allowed power. Yeah, that one.

  2. Anonymous4:35 AM

    God is a theory that is unprovable, this is what I told a religious relative when they started in on me about science. He tried quoted scriptures as his score of proof and I told him you just proved my point!

    Charter schools are a joke for the most part, just another way to promote religious control in our society. I just wish they wouldn't use public monies, it does seem unnecessary since most of those kids hear the same stuff at home and church....

    1. "Your god doesn't exist".
      "Yes he does".
      "Prove it".

  3. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Texas makes no sense! Every kid over the age of five in this state knows about oil drilling. There are oil rigs in plain sight. Drilling for fossil fuel. There is a Texas State Park where I hike once in a while. There are pamphlets in the guest center saying the rock formations in the park are millions of years old. The pamphlets are printed by the State Of Texas. School kids visit this park all the time. They are going to figure out they are being told conflicting information.


    1. Anonymous6:24 AM

      exactly - i was going to post the same thing. oil and gas exploration relies upon the geologic record and that my friends is all about millions of years of depositional environment and upheaval due to tectonics.

    2. Anonymous1:01 PM

      But God put that oil and gas there Hisownself so that we could drill, baby drill.

      The He helped those GOP political folks get control of the gubmint offices so they wouldn't mess with those pesky laws, taxes or librul environmental regulations.
      (Notice that GOP is only ONE letter different from God!!!)

      And the fossils were put there just to test our faith since they only SEEM like they were buried for millions of years but that's just silly because everyone knows that the li'l baby Jeebus played with the dinosaurs when he was a little tyke.

      And the reason there's so much oil in Texas is because there are so many God-fearin', churchifyin' type folks there, so God put lots of extra crude there as a special little present for them.

      Have you NOT been paying attention??? Do I need to send you a new textbook???

  4. If they are receiving federal funds, the ACLU should be asked to step in and sue.

  5. Anonymous5:13 AM

    No wonder their students and world record achievements are so 'Exceptional.' Like, Sarah Palin exceptional. Can they all go to hair school?

  6. Leland5:51 AM

    Time and time again, I have read these postings and I am curious about one thing.

    Why is it that there is never a listing of the government agency to which we - in large numbers - may complain?

    While I realize it is easy info to obtain through a little research, many people are the type that looking for that info and then using it is beyond their desire to do anything about it.

    1. Anonymous7:46 AM

      Do it your own goddamn self. Gryphen brings stories like this to our attention and provides his inimitable commentary about them. YOU do he fucking rest, if you want to complain to anyone about, yes -- you know how to Google as well as Gryphen does.

    2. Anonymous8:35 AM

      Relax, 7:46. You've overreacted.

    3. Leland11:35 AM

      Thank you 8:35.

      Apparently, 7:46 is unaware of the studies that have proven that statistically (and in actuality) FAR more people will actually DO something if it is easier for them. Thus, having a source right at their fingertips would mean more people would act on their dislike, giving us a a whole a greater chance of forcing a correction of a problem.

      And also, some people just like to spit and refuse to recognize the meaning of my final paragraph!

    4. Anonymous1:11 PM

      Sometimes time is a factor, 7:46, and there's really no need to get so defensive.

      If a link is included, someone might have time to shoot off a quick email. However, they may NOT be able to do so if it also requires time spent researching the proper government offices and obtaining the correct contact information.

      I know that I certainly have been more inclined to take that extra step and share my opinion with a legislator if a link to that person's email or website is included in the post or comment on any blog. Leland has a very valid point and it's something for us all to remember when we post information or comment.

  7. Anonymous6:25 AM

    houston, we have a problem.......

  8. Maybe it is schools like these that are to blame for America's declining test scores in math and science.

  9. Anonymous7:47 AM

    Whoa. Makes me less bitter about the religious crap I was taught in Catholic school. At least I was taught that evolution existed.

  10. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Hey G-Man, did you see what your presdient did?

    Obama gives a nod to atheists and agnostics in ‘Religious Freedom Day’ proclamation

    For the fourth year in a row, President Barack Obama has recognized the rights of atheists and agnostics in his Religious Freedom Day proclamation.

    “Today, America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics,” he said in a proclamation issued on Thursday.

    “Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what binds us as one is not the tenets of our faiths, the colors of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals — freedom, equality, justice, and our right as a people to set our own course.”

    Religious Freedom Day has been celebrated on January 16 every year since 1993 to commemorate the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.

    “The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, penned by Thomas Jefferson, declared religious liberty a natural right and any attempt to subvert it ‘a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either,’” Obama explained in his proclamation. “The Statute inspired religious liberty protections in the First Amendment, which has stood for almost two and a quarter centuries.”

    Last year, Obama said in his proclamation: “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers.”

    In 2012, the President remarked that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom had “preserved religious freedom for both believers and non-believers for over 220 years.”

    In 2011, Obama said the Founding Fathers upheld “the right to believe in no religion at all.”

    Faithless Americans received no mention in the 2010 proclamation.

  11. Anonymous2:44 PM

    This ‘Straight Pride’ Texas School Board Candidate Fears The Devil Worshipper Vote

    This fall, The New Civil Rights Movement followed the campaign in Texas to keep creationism and other religious beliefs out of the state’s science textbooks.

    The Texas public school system is one of the country’s largest purchasers of textbooks. In the past, publishers have bowed to the board’s content decisions hoping to to receive a top rating from the panel they can use as an endorsement to sell books in other states. Conversely, rejection by the panel can hurt sales elsewhere, so textbook publishers have frequently opted to “give them what they want” rather than insist on publishing only factual information. And because publishers don’t generally put out more than one version of their books, whatever Texas chooses will end up in classrooms all over America.

    Bill Nye acted as spokesman for the science-only view. The Texas Freedom Network held daily rallies outside the board meetings where the books were being discussed. Make no mistake, it was a pitched battle. But in the end, the religious advocates lost. The board narrowly opted to purchase books that include evolution and climate change without any counter argument.

    theresa thombsRight Wing Watch has alerted the pro-reality advocates that an extreme religious candidate, not happy about the board’s decision, has decided to run for the Texas Board of Education herself. Theresa Thombs, called “Lady” Theresa Thombs, on her campaign literature, says she considers herself an “international evangelist” who is “running to fight adgendas and ideoligies.” (sic)

    (Unfortunate spelling coming from someone who wants to be put in charge of our children’s education.)

    Ms. Thombs is firm believer in evolution, telling a Tea Party group:

    “We know we didn’t come from monkeys!”

    But her creative imaginings don’t stop there. She is afraid of devil worshippers voting, has accused the board of education of “using your tax dollars to brainwash our children into socialist issues and ideas”, and this week, she topped herself. She tweeted her support of “Straight Pride“.

    Thombs posted this graphic on her Facebook Page:


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