Thursday, 9 January 2014

Defeat for Texas Creationist Loons

Texas repels creationist threat to biology textbooks - life - 31 December 2013 - New Scientist

Great news from Texas that yet another attempt by creationist loons to inflict their anti-science agenda and primitive superstition on the children of normal Texans has been defeated.

Creationists who had got themselves elected onto the Texas School Board of Education have been trying since 2009 to to insert creationism into a proposed textbook, the Pearson Biology textbook, and to insert text which undermined the scientific consensus on evolution and cast doubt where there is none.

The importance of this victory is that Texas is the second largest purchaser of school textbooks next to California so, if the publishers had been forced to include the creationists text in their book it is highly unlikely that they would have refused to publish at all, or that they would have produced different versions for different states. In effect, other states with smaller school populations would very probably have used these books in their classrooms, complete with the creationist propaganda and factual inaccuracies.

An anonymous reviewer had complained that there were '18 errors of fact' in the text which should be corrected. The 'errors' of course were scientific facts which creationists wish were not true, and which they don't want children to know, because they cast doubt on the Bible, particularly the Bronze-Age creation myths in Genesis, and so undermine their own political ambitions. The creationist definition of a scientific 'fact' is anything they wish were true so it looks like the Bible isn't full or errors.

As a compromised, the Texas School board appointed a panel of three expert biologists to investigate these reported errors. They have concluded that there are no factual errors and have recommended that the text be published unchanged.

The extent to which Christian fundamentalism and creationism has become entwined with politics in America is revealed in a recent poll. This found that 33 percent of those polled reject the idea of evolution whilst 60 percent support it. Two-thirds of those voting Democrat are evolutionists whilst the proportion of Republican voters supporting evolution has fallen from 54 percent to 43 percent in just four years.

The Republican Party is becoming more and more the party of the Christian fundamentalist and anti-science, creationist loon.


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1 comment :

  1. the proportion of Republican voters supporting evolution has fallen from 54 percent to 43 percent in just four years.

    That revelation got a lot of attention over here. I think what's happening is not that Republicans who accept evolution are rejecting it, but rather that Republicans who accept evolution are abandoning the party and no longer being counted as Republicans in these surveys. The Republicans are becoming an anti-science party (besides evolution, many Republican politicians also reject anthropogenic global warming, Keynesian economics, etc.), and people who understand science are reacting accordingly. For example, 55% of US scientists are Democrats and only 6% are Republicans.

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