Bibliography bluffing again -- this time in Texas
"You thump your bible and I'll thump mine" (not an actual quote)
Dan Bolnick, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas, spoke Tuesday on behalf of the 21st Century Science Coalition and the scientific theory of evolution. Picture courtesy of Larry Kolvoord, Austin American-Statesman
A news article in the Austin American-Statesman said,
By Laura Heinauer
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Armed with stacks of scientific journals, a group that says it represents more than 800 Texas scientists is challenging the idea that discussion of the weaknesses of evolutionary theory belongs in science classrooms.
The group of professors held a news conference Tuesday in the lobby of the Texas Education Agency in Austin and said that they would be watching while a state board rewrites the state public school science curriculum next year.
"Not a single one (of the articles in these journals) gives us reason to believe evolution did not occur," said Dan Bolnick, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas, pointing to stacks of the scientific journal Evolution. "So where are the weaknesses? Simple: They don't exist. They are not based on scientific research or data and have been refuted countless times."
Last week, the state released an early committee recommendation for the new science curriculum that would excise ideas "based upon purported forces outside of nature" from what Texas students are taught in biology classes. . . . .
. . . .Organizers of the 21st Century Science Coalition said the group formed about two weeks ago and blossomed in membership in response to comments by State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, who opposes a committee proposal to remove the requirement that the "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories be taught in biology classes.
This presentation of a stack of documents is just bibliography bluffing -- like what they pulled on Michael Behe at the Dover trial.
Scientists' lack of candor about weaknesses of Darwinism will ultimately do more harm to the reputation of science than scientists' admission of those weaknesses possibly could.
The "strengths and weaknesses" language that has been in the Texas science standards for 20 years or more is missing from the proposed biology standards but fortunately was included in the proposed astronomy and chemistry standards. . Also, 7 of the 15 members of the Texas board of education -- including chairman Don McLeroy -- have indicated support for the "strengths and weaknesses" language, 6 are opposed to the language, and 2 are considered to be swing votes. .
This is shaping up to be even bigger than the recent battle over the new Florida standards, which was a dilly.
Unfortunately, four members of the board have been pushing a bible study course which some people consider to be unconstitutional. I don't know if all four of these members belong to the group of seven known supporters of the "strengths and weaknesses" language, but they probably are. It is likely that the Darwinists will use this promotion of a bible studies course to try to discredit these four members. Also, the terms of 3 of these 4 members expire Jan. 1, 2009, before the decision on the new science standards, and may lose their seats because of this promotion of a bible studies course. Very stupid.
The Evolution News & Views website   and the National Center for Science Education website   have more information and links about the situation in Texas.