31 March 2009

Yes, even more Texas science standards voting aftermath

Christopher Hitchens writes about the new Texas K-12 science standards in Newsweek here. Hitchens has a talent for finding devastating turns of phrase and unusual angles of attack, and this isn't an exception.

The Texas anti-Darwin stalwarts also might want to beware of what they wish for. The last times that evangelical Protestantism won cultural/ political victories – by banning the sale of alcohol, prohibiting the teaching of evolution and restricting immigration from Catholic countries – the triumphs all turned out to be Pyrrhic. There are some successes that are simply not survivable. ... There are days when I almost wish the fundamentalists could get their own way, just so that they would find out what would happen to them.

Also, an editorial from last week in the Dallas News that I missed.

There's also this comment from the Minneapolis Church and State Examiner.

Something there is about the Texas mentality that discounts the life of the mind.

Here’s a snippet of some quite good analysis in
  • Ars Technica:

    (T)his focus on multiple theories makes frequent appearances when elected bodies, like school boards and state legislatures, attempt to modify science education. It suggests that, when faced with the fact that science has adopted a theory that the officials dislike, they assume there must be another, competing theory that is more amenable to their beliefs.

  • Popular Science (?!) and USA Today, the latter saying:

    The issue is so complicated and controversial, however, that we thought we’d give you a flavor of the issue by showing you how various news organizations reported the final vote: [snip]

    Newswise provides a quote one-liner to summarize:

    NCSE’s Josh Rosenau summed up the frustration of scientists and educators alike: “This is a hell of a way to make education policy.”
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