20 October 2008

All politics is local: Case in point

Mary Helen BerlangaThe McAllen Monitor, our own local newspaper, does a fine job of summarizing the upcoming elections for the State Board of Education. Yes, the people who are playing hardball on science standards and making many highly dubious decisions, are elected officials.

Seven of the fifteen seats are up for grabs, including our local representative. The local candidates are incumbent Mary Helen Berlanga (right) and Peter H. Johnston (below). And here's a quote from Johnston (emphasis added):

Johnston, 55, a former school teacher and interim principal of Living Water Christian School in Rosenberg, said he believes schools should teach the strengths and weaknesses of all theories.

"By law (schools) have to teach the strengths and weaknesses of (all) scientific theories," he said. "A movement to take out the weaknesses, I think, would be a tremendous mistake and detrimental to students to compromise facts. Intelligent design is a bona fide scientific theory."

If you're reading, Mr. Johnston, may I make a quick comment?

Mr. Johnston, you are wrong.

Sorry to be blunt, but as a scientific professional, as someone who interacts with other scientific professionals, I can tell you with certainty that intelligent design is not science. My colleagues do not consider it science. Courts ruled that that intelligent design is not science (Kitzmiller v. Dover, in case you're interested).

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