18 February 2010

The age of the earth and Texas State Board of Education

This article in the Dallas Observer looks at the races for the Texas State Board of Education. As readers of this blog may know, several of the current members who watered down the Texas science standards are up for re-election.

(T)wo of the hard-line gang of seven religious-right conservatives on the 15-member panel -- Ken Mercer of San Antonio and Don McLeroy of Bryan -- face stiff opposition in the March 2 GOP primary. Tim Tuggey, a lawyer from Austin, is facing Mercer in District 5; Legislative consultant Thomas Ratliff from Mount Pleasant will square off against McLeroy in District 9.

And the question for these candidates on science?

Mr. Ratliff, just how old do you think planet Earth is anyway?

Again, he laughs. "Millions and millions if not billions of years," he says. "I'm not an expert on carbon dating." But he does think the planet is significantly older than, say, 10,000 years, unlike his opponent.

The candidates for another seat are also illuminating:

In Dallas, where most friends of Unfair Park will be voting, the District 12 race is between GOP incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller and educator George M. Clayton, who appears to be something of a mystery man according to several GOP folks we spoke with.

We’ve played phone tag with Clayton, but you can get some idea of where he stands here and by looking at the comments section of this Morning News item. (Sample quote from a comment posted by Clayton: “I have absolutely no objection to Creationism, Intelligent Design, and evolution being covered in public schools so long as they are covered simultaneously – in a parallel lesson. All must be discussed objectively, without bias or prejudice. Evolution is yet still a ‘theory.’” We're thinking that maybe that knocks him out of the moderate camp on science issues.)

As for Geraldine Miller, read this article for the treatment she received at the hands of fellow Republicans.

1 comment:

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