Creationism reappears in Texas

Of course, it never really disappeared, as Michael Zimmerman notes in an article in the Huffington Post this past week.

I will not go into detail, but according to Professor Zimmerman, a committee of the Texas State Board of Education had voted 6-2 to remove four standards that had been added in 2009, more or less at the last minute. Suffice it to say that the standards had been supported by Don McLeroy when he was chairman of the SBOE, and the two dissenting votes were by the creationists who, Professor Zimmerman says, were “added” to the current committee.

Now, things get nasty. The committee is not scheduled to present its recommendations to the full Board until November. Nevertheless, Ray Bohlin, one of the two dissenting committee members and vice-president of something known as Probe Ministries, attacked the committee’s recommendation at a recent Board meeting. No one else from the committee had attended the Board meeting, so the Board received an unscheduled and “one-sided perspective on the four anti-science, politically driven standards.”

Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, wrote to the SBOE (as quoted by Professor Zimmerman), complaining that “a number of state board members seemed willing to call into question [the committee’s] objectivity and professionalism based on hearsay from one individual…. Some board members even suggested that the panelists somehow want to prevent students from asking questions.”

It is distressing, then, that Mr. Bohlin in effect went over the head of the committee and directly to the board, and, perhaps more importantly, that some of the Board were sympathetic to his position. Though Don McLeroy lost his position as chairman of the SBOE, I am afraid Texas and we are by no means done with creationist attacks on the schools.