Teach the controversy, except in Texas?

| 21 Comments

The New York Times has an article on the firing of Comer

Why is it that ID is all in favor of teaching the controversy except when the controversy involves showing the history of ID, its demise at Dover, by one of the expert witnesses of the trial?

Will Ben Stein feature Comer in his upcoming movie “Expelled”?

21 Comments

I love the fact that these people who only are capable of doing PR do it so very badly.

Expelled‘s release date is still two months away, and the yahoos in Texas are busily poisoning the well for the message of that “documentary.” They’re (or at least the follow-up to what looks to be a very dishonest film) going to have to try to spin the intricacies of tenure review and of peer review involved with Gonzalez and Sternberg to a whole lot of poorly educated and often deliberately miseducated people, all the while that Chris Comer’s far more straightforward loss of her job (neither Gonzalez nor Sternberg actually lost his job) due to political nonsense (“neutrality” between evidence based and non-evidence based methods) will be hanging over that tendentious whine.

Sure, the choir will sing Expelled‘s song as prompted. But these dolts seem to be doing as much as they can to undermine the misleading message that they wish to present. Perhaps in accordance with Voltaire’s prayer (please make my enemies ridiculous), God has produced one of the ultimate ironies, an “intelligent design movement” that seems to be nearly devoid of intelligence.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Maybe this is actually divine wrath that’s being brought against the hubris of Intelligent Design proponents?

Even if Expelled Flunked weren’t mostly in the can, I doubt that they would add this. The problem is that Comer represents the “Oppressors” and by using public e-mail she has revealed the abusive lengths to which darwinist authoritarian establishment will go in order to deny the Intelligent Designers a fair hearing.

C’mon - Comer was promoting a philosopher of science who showed how vacuous ID really is when she (Forrest) was in Harrisburg; and to endorse such a person indicates poor moral character. No, Comer wasn’t “expelled;” she got what she deserved.

Bloody heathen.

Why is it that ID is all in favor of teaching the controversy except when the controversy involves showing the history of ID, its demise at Dover, by one of the expert witnesses of the trial?

For the same reason that ID activists demand that evolution and only evolution be “critically analyzed” (code word for “misrepresented to promote unreasonable doubt”), while the testable, long-falsified claims of the mutually contradictory classic creationist accounts remain exempt, even though they all can be stated in “naturalistic” terms.

As far as the firing of Comer.…. I don’t believe it is motivated by ID vs. Evo at all…

She apparently had a problem with the fact that she was not allowed to represent the TEA. I read the memo explaining why they wanted to fire her, and honestly it was her own fault. It seems she wasn’t fired for the contents of the memo, but rather the principle of the thing. It doesn’t help that she was oft critical of her boss, and at public events no less.

I am a Texan, I support the teaching of evolution, and I think the firing of Comer was politically motivated.

NYT:

Ms. Comer said that Tom Shindell, director for organizational development, had told her to resign or be terminated for a series of unauthorized presentations at professional meetings and other reported transgressions.

“Tom,” Ms. Comer said she asked, “am I getting fired over evolution?”

Of course the firing was politically motivated. It is so blatantly obvious that no one is pretending it wasn’t. Or at least that anyone will believe the cover story.

The Director of Health Care in SA was fired for attending a worldwide AIDS meeting. Just her job. Of course her boss was a HIV denialist.

Bureaucrats and politicians just make up excuses. The fact that they are flimsy and make no sense is irrelevant.

The head of the Texas State Board of Education, comrade McLeroy, is a religious bigot, a theocrat, and a creationist. Comer was in the way as Director of Science Curriculum. They would have got her for something. Breathing, turning on her computer, feeding stray cats, doesn’t matter.

Since this was clearly a case of religious discrimination, it is also blatantly illegal. They know it but could care less. So is teaching ID in public schools which is what they are trying to force through.

Comer is simply another in a line of martyrs stretching back to Galileo and Bruno. A victim of religious persecution of scientists and their supporters by religious fanatics who don’t like it when their mythology turns out to be mythology.

Prepare for a court case. It is inevitable. McLeroy was appointed chair by the governor, another creationist theocrat. So who is going to stop them if not the courts?

It seems she wasn’t fired for the contents of the memo, but rather the principle of the thing.

Yeah. Her bosses wanted a yes-person.

She wanted to do the job that she was hired to do.

I guess there’s a principle in there someplace.

Hey, I’m not a lawyer, but is this one of those cases where the ACLU could step in and sue the guilty parties*, so Ms Comer would not need to find the required flipping great wodges of cash?

* Yes, I am implying it is an open-and-shut case. So?

Hey, I’m not a lawyer, but is this one of those cases where the ACLU could step in and sue the guilty parties*, so Ms Comer would not need to find the required flipping great wodges of cash?

* Yes, I am implying it is an open-and-shut case. So?

I can’t speak for the ACLU. But a court case would probably be very interesting. A full document, email, and computer file search would probably make this case look a lot like another great Texas story, ENRON. No smoking gun, just a lot of smoking mortar rounds.

Comrade McLeroy clearly has ties of some sort to the Propaganda Discovery Institute. I bet there has been and is frequent communications between the two.

The fact is the Texas government has been taken over by theocratic fundie thugs from the governor on down. Ms Comers religious persecution most likely starts high up, probably McLeroy, chairman of the Texas State Board of religious instruction education.

Neutrality in McLeroyspeak means creationism period. Since when is it legal for a state government governing body to advocate Xian fundie religious beliefs that are not science? Violates separation of church and state already.

To make matters worse, the probability that her replacement is a creo is about 100%.

We are about to see what a theocracy can do to a state. And what the courts can do to stop them.

Hmmmmm.….anyone want to bet that PuckSR is the same person as “PG” on the earlier thread and “Larry” on the American Statesman thread, the person pushing what appeared to be DI talking points.…..the person who really couldn’t get the facts straight. Of course it wasn’t motivated by evolution, just some fools that thought people couldn’t see through their ploys of wanting to get a creationist into the position.

Ah, well, nobody on that side ever wanted to stop with “teaching the controversy”, as we know from the Wedge Document:

Twenty Year Goals

To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.

To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Forgetting the second one, which they clearly don’t take seriously in any way but culturally, it’s obvious that they have always meant to replace science with their nonsense, relegating real biology to the scrapheap of history where ID now resides.

“Controversy,” however fake, is just a means to getting rid of competitors once and for all.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

It seems she wasn’t fired for the contents of the memo, but rather the principle of the thing.

Yes, it does seem she was fired for having principles.

gsb:

Yes, it does seem she was fired for having principles.

“Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”
Groucho Marx

Raven

You are correct in wondering how many teachers have lost their job because they taught evolution or were pressured to teach creationism. Quite a few have come forward with stories of that nature.

Starting to show too. I keep hearing about how US kids don’t do well in math and science and how there is a shortage of science teachers. If they are going to be persecuted for doing their jobs, why should they bother?

US teens lag behind in science and math By NANCY ZUCKERBROD, AP Education Writer Tue Dec 4, 11:29 AM ET

WASHINGTON - U.S. students are lagging behind their peers in other countries in science and math, test results out Tuesday show.

The test, the Program for International Student Assessment, was given to 15-year-olds in 30 industrialized countries last year. It focused on science but also included a math portion.

The 30 countries, including the United States, make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which runs the international test.

The average scores for U.S. students were lower than the average scores for the group as a whole.

U.S. students also had an average science score that was lower than the average score in 16 other OECD countries. In math, U.S. students did even worse — posting an average score that was lower than the average in 23 of the other leading industrialized countries.

The test also was administered to students in about two dozen countries or jurisdictions that are not part of the industrialized group.

When compared with the broader group, the U.S. students fell in the middle of the pack in science and did somewhat worse in math.

There was no change in U.S. math scores since 2003, the last time the test was given. The science scores aren’t comparable between 2003 to 2006, because the tests aren’t the same.

U.S. girls and boys did about the same on the science and math portions of the test.

Finland’s 15-year-olds did the best on the science test, followed by students in Hong Kong and Canada. Students in Finland, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong were the top performers in math.

JJ said: Raven

You are correct in wondering how many teachers have lost their job because they taught evolution or were pressured to teach creationism. Quite a few have come forward with stories of that nature.

I would suspect the actual number is high but unknown. Most teachers probably get harrassed, see which way the wind is blowing, or can’t talk about coconut eating T. rexes without laughing and just quit. Most people want to work at a job, not turn it into an opportunity for martyrdom.

I’ve heard that teaching science in the cult strongholds can be a scary and unnerving experience.

My tally of what comes across the net is 4, listed above in this thread. But I’m not a specialist in this field and wouldn’t have any idea what happens in secondary schools or bible colleges.

It would be nice if someone with better sources keeps a running total for posterity. If the DI is going to come up with a bogus movie called Expelled, we could come up with a higher body count and call it “Persecuted and Martyred for Science.” Unlike the DI’s propaganda effort, the story of modern day Galileos losing their jobs would be true.

Gag rules on public officials and employees are common — for example, court employees are prohibited from giving legal advice to litigants. The purpose of the TEA gag rule is to prevent the politicization of the TEA. The TEA gag rule applies equally to Darwinists and anti-Darwinists.

Also, Barbara Forrest’s lecture was not about the scientific issues — it was about a theory that intelligent design is part of a fundy conspiracy to take over the USA. Forrest is trying to shut down discussion of the scientific issues. Comer showed extreme bias by forwarding the announcement of Forrest’s lecture. It was like a government AIDS agency announcing a Fred Phelps demonstration.

Still, though, Comer sent out a retraction asking recipients of the email to disregard it, and IMO that should have been the end of it. IMO she should be reinstated if she publicly promises not to do it again.

Also, the charge that Texas Board of Education chairman Don McLeroy had a hand in Comer’s ouster is false. An Austin American-Stateman news article reported, “As far as I’m concerned, (agency employees) can say what they want,” McLeroy said. “They’ve got freedom of speech.”

See http://www.statesman.com/news/conte[…]science.html

IMO she should be reinstated if she publicly promises not to do it again.

So what you’re saying is that she should be given back her job if she promises to never do her job? I don’t get it.

Henry

JHM: I don’t read PT comments enough to know whether you’re a newcomer or a regular, but you blew your cover (and credibility) with the phrases: Darwinists and anti-Darwinists and Forrest is trying to shut down discussion of the scientific issues [about ID].

You can crawl back under your rock now.

Intelligent Design is part of a fundy conspiracy to take over the USA, they friggin said so in the Wedge Document, and have informally said so numerous times. It repeatedly amazes me that those who carp loudest about the need to avoid relativity in the moral sphere are most likely to invoke it in the factual one, when the facts don’t favor them, that is. OK, so the only thing that amazes me about it is how anyone with a shred of personal integrity could promote such reality-defying bollocks. Oh, right, never mind…

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 3, 2007 11:13 AM.

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