23 April 2009

Will McLeroy continue as Texas State Board of Education chair?

The Austin American-Statesmen and Evo.Sphere blog report that Texas legislators are giving State Board of Education Chair Don McLeroy a right grilling.

“You’ve created a hornet’s nest like I’ve never seen,” (Democratic senator Eliot) Shapleigh said, noting that 15 bills – “the most I’ve ever seen” – have been filed during this legislative session to strip various powers from the State Board of Education.

McLeory’s borderline contempt for expertise continues to be on display:

We want our children to learn, McLeroy said, and “if that means having to stand up to the establishment viewpoint… I don’t mind having a hornet’s nest.”

The Texas Freedom Network also has a liveblogged record of the hearing.

5:43 - Sen. Shapleigh: Why did you reject the opinions and advice from the country’s science organizations — which collectively included Nobel laureates.

5:44 - McLeroy: I looked at the scientific evidence. He says evidence in the fossil record argues against the concept of common ancestry. “I quoted from scientists!”

Weird. McLeroy invokes the credibility of science on the one hand, but then rejects it all with statements like his now infamous, “Someone’s got to stand up to these experts.”

Plus, it seems McLeroy thinks that his interpretation of selected quotes of what scientists write is better than what scientists themselves actually say when asked.

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