Last month we noted the oddly creative creationism views being put forth by Don McLeroy, Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. Now it looks like McLeroy will be getting some company on the Board:
Social conservatives on the State Board of Education have appointed three evolution critics to a six-member committee that will review proposed curriculum standards for science courses in Texas schools.
Two of the appointees are authors of a book that questions many of the tenets of Charles Darwin’s theory of how humans and other life forms evolved. One of them, Stephen Meyer, is also vice president of the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based group that promotes an explanation of the origin of life similar to creationism. The other author is Ralph Seelke, a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Also on the panel is Baylor University chemistry professor Charles Garner, who, like the other two, signed the Discovery Institute’s “Dissent from Darwinism” statement that sharply questions key aspects of the theory of evolution.
The Texas Freedom Network’s President Kathy Miller notes that the Texas Board of Education is now staffed with out-of-state ideologues, but the right-wing Free Market Foundation notes that it is necessary to keep the Board “balanced”
Jonathan Saenz of the conservative Free Market Foundation said the panel is “balanced” because two of the other three members, UT-Austin biology Professor David Hillis and Texas Tech Professor Gerald Skoog, have joined a group of science educators wanting to eliminate a current requirement that weaknesses of the theory of evolution be taught.
“If the theory of evolution is so strong and without weaknesses, why are the evolutionists so afraid to let students have a discussion about it?” he asked.
“Close-minded efforts to ban students from [hearing both sides] is dangerous and a clear detriment to students.”
The Free Market Foundation is sister organization to the Liberty Legal Institute, the organization that was recently active up in Alaska trying to quash the “Troopergate” probe. Both are run by Kelly Shackelford whom was recently on James Dobson’s radio program crowing about how Sarah Palin was the answer to the right-wing movements prayers and explaining his efforts as part of the GOP’s platform committee in drafting “the strongest pro-life platform ever in the history of the [Republican] party.”