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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Texas GOP asks GOP members of school board to restore "weaknesses" language

On March 7, the Republican party of Texas adopted a resolution supporting the "strengths and weaknesses" language that was in the Texas science standards for about 20 years and is asking GOP members of the state board of education to restore the language to the new Texas science standards prior to final adoption of the standards at the March 25-27 meeting. According to the Texas Freedom Network, three GOP members of the board voted against the "strengths and weaknesses" language at the January meeting, with the result that the language was rejected by a vote of 8-7. [1]

Also, the 2008 Texas GOP platform, passed at the GOP state convention in June 2008, includes the following plank:

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Intelligent Design.(page 17, under "Theories of Origin")

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I have followed the controversy over the new Texas science standards very closely for a long time (this blog has about sixty articles on the subject, including 15 articles about ousted former Texas Education Agency science director Chris Comer — the articles are in three “Texas controversy” post-label groups and one “Chris Comer” post-label group -- the post-label groups are listed in the sidebar of the homepage) and I am astonished that I am just now learning that the 2008 Texas GOP platform included support for the “strengths and weaknesses” language! Moreover, that GOP platform also included support for teaching Intelligent Design in the public schools! Also, I am surprised that so many GOP members of the Texas board of education — three — broke ranks by voting against retaining the “strengths and weaknesses” language. I thought that the fight over the “strengths and weaknesses” language was over, but apparently not. The date on the resolution, March 7, was several days ago — how come this resolution has not been reported in the general media? Has the Texas GOP issued a press release announcing the resolution? The Texas Freedom Network has an article about the resolution [2]. Of five other websites that I checked — Texas Citizens for Science, Texans for Better Science Education, The Freemarket Foundation, the 21st Century Science Coalition, and the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere blog -- only the Texans for Better Science Education website mentioned the resolution (there was just a link to the resolution but no discussion of the resolution’s contents or significance).

I was amused that the resolution uses the term “Darwinist,” a term that many Darwinists consider to be derogatory. LOL

Also, as I said before, IMO the importance of the Texas science standards has been exaggerated, because no local school district in Texas or public school system outside of Texas is required to use Texas-approved textbooks.

I was not going to submit any more comments to the Texas Education Agency about the proposed Texas science standards, but because this Texas GOP resolution may result in reconsideration of the “strengths and weaknesses” language, I will send in a comment repeating my proposal of replacing “strengths and weaknesses” with “strengths and criticisms.” “Criticisms” is a general term that covers real weaknesses, invalid criticisms, criticisms of whole theories, and criticisms of imperfections in theories.
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