06 April 2009

Still more aftermath and anlysis of Texas science standards

Staking a vampireOne of the best post-vote analyses I have yet seen on the Texas K-12 science standards is over in the York Daily Record. It has an article comparing Texas to Dover, Pennsylvania. It interviews some of the participants in the Dover trial where the school board went to court, and lost the decision and lots of dollars, over the teaching of intelligent design. Here’s what Dover plaintiff Steve Stough said:

"Oh ----," he said. "That's intelligent design without using the nomenclature. It really, truly is."


Science magazine has a news story this week about the recent Texas K-12 standards vote.
The creationists were “dogged,” says Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California. “It was like you put the stake in the heart of the vampire and it comes back.“ Moderates on the board may have failed to recognize the final amendments as intelligent design talking points, she added, because they were focused on the “strengths and weaknesses” clause.

The Scientific American podcast also has an interview with NCSE director Eugenie Scott about “lunacy in the Lone Star state” (starts about 15:40 in).

Chris Mooney talks about biology textbooks here. Mooney finds the whole affair depressing, but reminds us that progress has been made in the legal sides
(I)n the space of thirty years, we’ve moved from the stupendous absurdities of “creation science” – the attempt to teach students about a biblical flood having laid down the fossil record, about humans and dinosaurs living together (on the ark, among other places), and so on—to Texas’s vague, poorly written agnotology. That’s progress, if it’s to be measured merely by the substantive positions that anti-evolutionists are now forced to advocate.

The Associated Baptist Press has coverage here.

An opinion piece from a Texas writer in a Canadian paper also talks about the clout of Texas is determining textbooks in other states.

One hope for containing the poor science standards that the Board of Education created is that in two years, the business model of textbooks will have changed so much that either textbooks will no longer be needed, they will be entirely electronic, or readily customizable from state to state. I deal with textbook publishers all the time who are willing to do custom print jobs for just our campus, and we’re a lot smaller than an entire state.

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