TX Senate Fails to Confirm McLeroy as Chair of BOE

| 23 Comments

Don McLeroy was nominated to be the chair of the Texas State Board of Education.

Today, that nomination failed.

Eleven senators opposed the shenanigans the board got up to under his leadership, and his nomination failed.

Texas Freedom Network has a live blog of the proceedings.

23 Comments

Well, splendid. Religious freedom would not be well served by the state underwriting a Dominionist agenda.

So the vote was wholly along party lines by the looks of it. 19 for, 11 against. Just be very thankful it requires a 2/3 majority for confirmation then!

That 19 senators voted for him, and all those who spoke in favour of McLeroy vomitted the standard nonsensical anti-science diatribe from their mouths, should be of no comfort to anyone living in Texas.

How come it took 2 years to get him out of the chair?

geologiser said:

How come it took 2 years to get him out of the chair?

Check the comment above you. Lots of people in TX agree with him. Remember this is the state where someone publicly confronted Bill Nye the Science Guy for pointing out that the moon doesn’t really produce its own light as assumed by a literal interpretation of Genesis (1:16).

the moon doesn’t really produce its own light

That is why our astronauts and the Apollo Lander and the Lunar Rover made shadows on the Lunar surface. Now the Creationists will have to include the Moon Landing Hoaxsters with the Evilutionist Conspiracy.

Yes, I heard about this. McLeroy required 21 votes from the Texas senate and only got 19. Nothing really to celebrate, but we should feel relieved. Using a two thirds plus one is good because it requires the confidence of the Texas senate. A senator expressed that under McLeroy leadership the Texas State board of Education has become “laughingstock of the nation.” Hopefully, this will send a clear message to the other members of the TSBE.

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

McLeroy was not the most extreme person on the board, and now they have to replace him. As the Curmudgeon pointed out a few days ago, replacing him with Cynthia Dunbar would actually be worse.

See: http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress[…]ecision-day/

Anthony said: How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

Ummm, infinity more times. Unfortunately I can’t conceive a real number large enough.

Anthony Wrote:

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

Depends on whom you mean by “they.” I estimate that ~25% of adult Americans will not admit evolution under any circumstances, so there’s no point in wasting our time with them - except for the small minority of them that are anti-evolution activists. And the only reason to bother with them is to show the general public how they mislead.

But there is another ~25% that is just confused. They do tend to come around when evolution is carefully explained to them (though what little they learn in school is apparently not much help). There is yet another ~25% that we can’t afford to overlook. They accept evolution (or what they think is evolution) but have fallen for some of the anti-evolution activists’ “fairness” demands.

Anthony said:

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

70x7

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

Depends on whether you lend more credence to Bob Dylan or Benjy Mouse.

Robin said:

Anthony said:

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

70x7

We have a bible scholar among us. (And I did not mean that as a snark.) Robin is perceptively quoting Jesus’s answer to one of his followers asking “how many times must I forgive my brother?”. The expression appears to be metaphorical, meaning “forever”. I think that’s a reasonable answer to both questions. The core creationists will never concede that evolution is a fact.

No, but they’ll die out in time. The question is, will they leave intellectual progeny, or will the species C. ignoramus go extinct? Any biologist knows that depends on whether the environment favours their traits. It’s our job to see that it doesn’t.

Remember this is the state where someone publicly confronted Bill Nye the Science Guy for pointing out that the moon doesn’t really produce its own light as assumed by a literal interpretation of Genesis

All the more frustrating because The Johnson Space Center, in Houston, is pretty much the home of the American spaceflight program.

Texas is one of the few places on earth you can find people who have actually been tot he moon and ask them if the thing really glows.

I’m relieved that there’s some semblance of rationality present in the Texas state senate. But we still have to be wary of Texas since next spring, textbook authors have to show the Texas State Board of Education how their books conform with the new science standards (I was reminded of this when I heard Ken Miller mention it last week during his private talk to our fellow college alumni here in New York City.).

The reason it took 2 years to get McLeroy out was that the Texas legislature only meets every two years. If Perry appoints his replacement this summer, then it will not be until spring 2011 that the Senate would confirm or deny the apptmnt. In the meantime —–. It would not surprise me to see Perry consult McLeroy now for his recommendation for his replacemnt. In other words, losing McLeroy as chairman of the SBOE likely won’t change one blamed thing - for a dose of healthy cynicism. I don’t know where the effective political pressure on Perry would come from for him not to appoint Dunbar, Cargill, Leo, Mercer, Lowe, or Bradly (creationists all) as the new chair.

Dave Luckett said:

Robin said:

Anthony said:

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

70x7

We have a bible scholar among us.

Not a bible scholar personally, but there is one in my family and I was steeped in the bible and it’s messages, meanings, and cultural references growing up. My mother had the license plate 70x7 for years in fact, just to give you an idea. Interestingly she was also a degreed chemist and worked at NIH (among other places) for years until she went into teaching. She gave me a very good grounding in the sciences, particularly evolutionary biology. :)

Audio of the hour-long debate on McLeroy (without the rest of the session’s 6 hours +) is now posted at http://curricublog.wordpress.com/20[…]ls-in-texas/

There’s also a short clip with just this bit from Sen. Ogden:

He does have a better scientific background than most of us — he’s got a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering!

He has a better science background than most of us — he’s a Doctor of Dental Science [sic] — Hell, he IS a scientist!

(note: Ogden was not the only McLeroy supporter to gloss “DDS” as “Doctor of Dental Science”.)

I thinks the comments now in the record are as important as the vote

geologiser said:

How come it took 2 years to get him out of the chair?

The Texans had to dump some conservatives first.

Robin said:

Anthony said:

How many more times must creationist lose until they realize that evolution has been accepted as scientific fact.

70x7

You mean 70^7? {i.o.w pow(70,7)}

Frank J said:

I estimate that ~25% of adult Americans will not admit evolution under any circumstances, so there’s no point in wasting our time with them - except for the small minority of them that are anti-evolution activists. And the only reason to bother with them is to show the general public how they mislead.

But few of these deny science outright - and the one I can think of is a scientist and only overrule science when it contradicts his beliefs. (Can’t remember his name, but it’s probably one of those AIG fundies.) That it invalidates science overall doesn’t seem to bother him, so that is the limit of his cognitive dissonance.

These are the most insidious, as the other just out-define sciences wholesale without bothering about pesky things like evidence, and still admits that science itself is a valid method. I would concentrate on the out-and-out science deniers, as long as they hide within and pervert science.

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Tincy Miller to two back-to-back terms (2003-2007) before appointing McLeroy. Tincy counts herself as a conservative Reagan Republican. However, this doesn’t put her in the religious radical camp, nor has she been one to undermine science education with religious dogma. Due to the rules, Tincy cannot be reappointed until 2011. With the storm raised over McLeroy, the Gov. may go back to one of the rational Republicans over one of those in McLeroy’s camp. He also has to look forward to the challange in the Republican primary from the more moderate Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The rational board members have an 8 to 7 majority. The defeat of McLeroy may give them the confidence to stand up to the block-voting anti-science mob, and figure out that they shouldn’t compromise on quality education no matter whom Perry may appoint.

Evolution as fact?

The faith of the evolutionist…is a splendid faith indeed, a faith not dependent on anything so mundane as evidence or logic, but rather a faith strong in its childlike trust, relying wholly on omniscient Chance and omnipotent Matter to produce the complex systems and mighty energies of the universe. The evolutionist’s faith is not dependent on evidence, but is pure faith–absolute credulity.9 1. Morris, H. 2006. Some Call It Science, revised ed. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 7.

That Their Words May Be Used Against Them

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on May 28, 2009 5:22 PM.

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