SocraticGadfly: Science is alive in Texas!

January 22, 2009

Science is alive in Texas!

It may not quite be WELL, yet, but it’s breathing better, now that the State Board of Education has dropped a requirement that the “weaknesses” (right) of evolution be taught. It was actually an amendment to restore this, and it died on a 7-7 tie, with one Democratic member not present.
“We’re not talking about faith. We’re not talking about religion”said board member Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, who opposed the amendment. “We’re talking about science. We need to stay with our experts and respect what they have requested us to do.”

Meanwhile, at least one GOP board member apparently got her talking points straight from the Discovery Institute

Barbara Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, said there have been “significant challenges” to evolution, claiming a European scientist had challenged Darwin’s “tree of life.”

BUT… she couldn’t even name a name. Sounds like just throwing something to the wall and hoping it sticks.

It’s pretty clear Cargill was talking about Graham Lawton, writing in New Scientist, whose hype is refuted, and whose already-accepted reality, is explained here.

And, yes, she is clueless that a Net of Life, rather than a tree, has been common as an explanatory device for years if not decades.

Other GOP members of the SBOE claimed “academic freedom” was the cause.

BUT … academics involves teaching facts; there’s no “academic freedom” of creationism or intelligent design.

Ken Mercer called “fraud” against evolution by citing Piltdown Man. Buddy, if you don’t live in a glass house …

Pat Hardy and Geraldine Miller were the two GOP board members with brains.

Read the full story for more details.

But, per Pharyngula, several battles were lost.

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