08 March 2009

What a dentist believes, part 2

The Austin-American Statesman has another profile (see also here) of the dentist at the center of the Texas K-12 science standards controversy, Don McLeroy. As usual, he says he just wants to teach science:

“If you want to tell (students) there are not weaknesses to evolution and it’s as sure as the Earth going around the sun, it’s not,” he said.

And there’s your problem right there: Evolution is on a par with the Earth going around the sun. It really is.

It’s ironic that McLeroy would choose an example that was so famously disputed by Christian churches at the time, and that some fundamentalist Christians still dispute. Because the biblical view of the universe is something like this:

Universe according to the ancient Hebrews
Like the earlier profile, the article is quite nuanced and gives an account of some of McLeroy’s strengths as an administrator:

“There are certainly people who disagree with him, but he’s well-respected,” said Bradley, R-Beaumont.

You're not fooling anyoneThe article ends with McLeroy making another common creationist claim:

“What I see is they’re rejecting the data for ideological reasons; they’re the ideologues in this debate, not us,” he said.

C’mon, Mr. McLeroy. What data are you talking about? And why won’t you listen to the veritable army of expert after expert telling you the data – mountains of it – support evolution? And if you’re so concerned about science, why don’t you let the professional scientists work it out? Follow the regular pattern of science: We do the research. We present it and publish it. If it’s important and solid, then it goes into the textbooks because the textbook authors understand the science. It’s not added in from state education agencies.

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