A WTF Moment in Texas: Yup. It was a quote mine.

OK, what I quoted below from Homeroom: an education blog **is** a quote mine. It takes two sentences, well separated in Saenz’s testimony, and pastes them together to make it look like they were part of the same stream of testimony. They weren’t.

The first sentence of the purported quotation is from the MP3 that 386sx linked at 07:25. It is “And by the way, all this talk about status and people not being from Texas, Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany.” That was an out of context comment made in passing. I.e. it had no specific motivation in what preceded, but was thrown in at the end of comments he was making in response to a question from Ms. Dunbar about lawsuits on the basis of the policy and how they get paid for.

The second sentence of the purported quotation comes from four minutes later, around 11:30, and had reference to some derogatory comments apparently made about people testifying on the creationist side, when he said “The eliticism and arrogance that has been going on is really not what Texas is about.”

So that was in fact a quote mine, and I withdraw my remarks that assumed it was a representative quotation from Saenz. Saenz says a good deal that I disagree with, but he was not that stupid.

I’ve just started reading Kenneth Miller’s Only A Theory in which he is attempting to make the case that the current assault on science, orchestrated by organizations like the Disco ‘Tute, is a “threat to our ‘scientific soul’ – the healthy skepticism and rational respect for truth that has fueled our remarkable scientific advances” (from the dust cover copy).

One might imagine that Miller is being alarmist, but then one encounters this. At the current hearings of the Texas State Board of Education on its new science standards, Jonathan Saenz, a functionary in an affiliate of Family in Focus, made this extraordinary remark:

Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany. The elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.

That’s the kind of abject stupidity that could convince me that Miller is right. How many Pastor Ray “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture” Mummerts are there?

From Homeroom: An education blog, via John Pieret.