21 January 2011

“The war on science is officially back on in Texas”

Pandas? Love. Lookaddatface!

Of Pandas and People? Not so much.

The Texas Freedom Network is reporting that Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publishers of the intelligent design textbook Of Pandas and People, plan to submit materials for possible use in Texas K-12 schools.

The press release notes that reviewers are being appointed to check all submitted materials for meeting the Texas standards, and for accuracy.

It may be a moot point, however, given that there are recurring questions about whether Texas will purchase any school textbooks in the next while due to budget shortfalls.

In a sense, this is good news. The Kitzmiller v. Dover trial showed that this company had hastily revised the draft Of Pandas and People when it was ruled in court that teaching creationism was illegal. Drafts of the book showed that the word “creation” and all variations of it were prominent in early drafts (click to enlarge graph at right). After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against “creation science” (Edwards v. Aguillard), the word almost entirely vanished.

The court was also shown the transition point were someone had some had searched and replaced “creationist” with “intelligent design proponent,” but didn’t do it quite right, leaving “Cdesign proponentsists.”

It made it almost impossible for those attacking evolution to claim that intelligent design was anything other than creationism renamed.

In related news, Orlando Wood is looking for help. He is making a documentary about the adoption of the Texas State Board of Education and their adoption of K-12 teaching standards. He is attempting to raise $10,000 to hire an editor for the film. He’s more than halfway towards that goal.

And before you ask: Yes, I donated. I donated for the same reason I have been blogging about this story continually for the last few years: documentation is good. Indeed, one good thing about this process is that it has generally been transparent.

Panda photo by ucumari on Flickr; used under a Creative Commons license.

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