15 October 2008

Irreconcilable differences

GridlockTexas Freedom Network reports that the Texas State Board of Education has appointed a review panel to look at the new science standards.

At a glance, it's a recipe for disastrous gridlock.

The Texas Freedom Network press release writes:

The two authors are Stephen Meyer, who is vice president of the Discovery Institute, and Ralph Seelke, a professor of the department of biology and earth sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. A third panel member, Charles Garner, is a professor of chemistry at Baylor University in Waco.

All three are supporters of the anti-evolution concept “intelligent design”/creationism and have signed the Discovery Institute’s “Dissent from Darwinism” statement. In addition to their textbook, Meyer and Seelke testified in 2005 against evolution in hearings called by religious conservatives who controlled the Kansas State Board of Education.

Texas state board members nominated all six panelists. The three other members of the review panel are Texas scientists with long, distinguished resumes:

  • David Hillis, professor of integrative biology and director of the Center of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Ronald K. Wetherington, professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Gerald Skoog, professor and dean emeritus of the College of Education at Texas Tech and co-director of the Center for Integration of Science Education and Research

So they've got real scientists on a panel with adminstrators from the Discovery Institute?

I try to be somewhat measured on this blog, but this is madness. Throw three people with views 180 degrees apart from each other and ask them to reach a consensus.

That's not going to be a review, that's going to be a bloodsport.

PZ Myers notes on Pharyngula:
Note that Meyer and Seelke are co-authors of that ghastly new ID textbook, Explore Evolution, and would no doubt love to tweak the curriculum to make their book marketable in Texas. Conflict of interest? Nah.

No comments: