Science Wins In Evolution Denier's Campaign To Scrub Evolution From Texas Textbooks

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In July we told you about Dr. David Shorrman, author of The Exchange of Truth: Liberating the World From the Lie of Evolution and a member of the state biology panel making recommendations to the Texas Board of Education.

Turns out, Shorrman (pictured to the left) was riding in the vanguard of the Board of Ed's frontal assault on science. Hewing suspiciously close (read: verbatim) to a separate review he authored, the panel made a number of evolution-related challenges to publisher Holt McDougal's biology supplement. To resolve the issues, the board ordered Holt to work directly with the state education commish.

We thought it strange that an avowed evolution denier had such outsize influence on the shaping of biology texts and our kids' impressionable minds.

Fear not. For once, it appears reason has prevailed in the Lone Star State.

The nuttier suggestions are on the cutting-room floor, along with Adam and Eve and their hadrosaurus mounts, according to the Texas Freedom Network.

For example, Shorrman challenged a lab activity where students compare the hominid skulls of chimpanzees and humans. Genetically speaking, there's a 30-percent difference between humans and chimps, he argued, citing a study in the journal Nature. But he grossly misinterpreted the article, which found a 30-percent difference in the makeup of the "male-specific region of the Y-chromosome." Otherwise, the difference is less than one percent.

The activity stays, the commissioner ruled.

Next, Shorrman took aim at a section on the evolving morphology of whales from land mammals to cetaceans. Since there isn't a complete skeleton of the long-extinct "Walking Whale," how could we possibly make any such hypothesis, he argued. But, as Holt pointed out, a complete fossil record is a rarity, but through knowledge of whale morphology and the fossils we have, we can make damn good informed guesses. Been doing it for years!

Another miss. In fact, the text will expound upon the chronic incompleteness of the fossil record. This is progress, right?

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Bucky
Bucky

Hey Dallas!  This is off  the subject but aren't you ashamed of the Texas State Fair?  It's a clip joint.  Nothing innocent or idealistic about that mess.  Family values indeed!

dt&ot
dt&ot

I do agree that there is a lot of room for discussion about the origins of the cosmos but I am not sure those discussion belong in the science class.  Maybe philosophy or some other class.  Or maybe as a special aside to science class. 

I had an anthropolgy prof at UTA who happened to chair the department. On the first day of class drew to large non-intersecting circles on the blackboard.  In one he wrote science and in the other he wrote religion.  As I remember it, he then turned around and said very respectfully that these two circles should not intersect.  Both are valuable and have merit but in this class we are going to have our discussions in the science circle.

Mike
Mike

So the story here is the board set up a process for this guy to make his points with the education commissioner, getting this inflammatory issue out of the headlines, he makes his case and loses.   What's the problem?  People that are not fans of evolution are very numerous in TX.  As long as the people fund textbooks, then the people get to make their opinions heard.   Personally, I don't see the importance of the issue.  You can probably count on two hands the number of people educated in TX, outside of educators, whose job depends on the validity of evolution.  You could be working on the extreme edges of genetic manipulation to solve cancer and the true story of evolution means nothing to your work.  Evolution is looking back, not forward, and the time frames are too long.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I do think this could be used to teach the scientific method.  As I've stated before, it's hard to reproduce the creation of the universe and cosmos.  Not that science is useless, but it's not it's best application.  But, getting into the nitty gritty here would be a teachable moment, so, I suppose I disagree with you.  The question of evolution intrigues many, and thus is an ideal teachable lesson.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I agree.  Too much time and effort wasted trying to figure out where we came from and not what we are doing now or to where we are headed.

justabil
justabil

I'm afraid this still does not bode well. Previously the nutters were just dictating what must be included in the textbook, and they would omit things like evolution, but textbook writers include it anyway because it's a science textbook for more than one state. However, if they are claiming editorial power over the books, and saying what must not be included, I take issue with the very idea.

Ozonedude
Ozonedude

I would say this maneuvering has a lot more to do with Rick Perry running for President than it represents a defeat for the Creationists. Soon as Rick is done with whatever he ends up doing, they'll be back. Expect to see Climate Skepticism also pushed to the back of the line for the next couple of years.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

This doesn't have anything to do with Perry. Evangelicalism is defined by proselytizing for almighty jebus, God calls on them to "witness" (and dumb your kids down in the process).

Montemalone
Montemalone

I wanna see the proof that this maroon's male parent poked his female parent. If there's no photo, he doesn't exist, right?

Phelps
Phelps

Careful, the last guy who claimed immaculate conception set you nerds' heads to spinning for over 2000 years. Do you really want another?

justabil
justabil

Learn your BS properly. Virgin birth and immaculate conception are two different things. The latter has to do with original sin, not sex, and applies to Mary, not Jesus.

scottindallas
scottindallas

incidentally, Muslims affirm the immaculate conception of Christ, arguably the most fantastic, miraculous tenet in their doctrine. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

Cesar?  The use of immaculate conception was as a common literary/rhetorical device in the day.  MANY people have this claim attached to them.  Of course we say Adam had neither father nor mother, so that should make Adam twice as powerful as Jesus.  I used to be able to rattle off a dozen or so men so sired according to legend--that's down the memory hole, and Google ain't much help--the Catholics have it inundated.

found a web site that should affirm my point, though I haven't checked it out yet. http://www.infidels.org/librar...

"The mother of Apollonius of Cappadocia, who was contemporary with Jesus Christ (according to his history by Philostratus -- and his (Apollonius') disciple Damis testifies to the same effect (gave birth to this God and rival Savior of Jesus Christ, by having been previously "overshadowed" by the supreme God Proteus. For the corporeal existence and earthly career of Augustus Caesar, the world has ostensibly to acknowledge itself indebted to the "overshadowing" influence and generating power of Jove, by whose divine influence he was immacuously conceived in the temple of Apollo, according to the statement of Nimrod, his biographer. The virgin mother Shing-Mon of China furnishes another case of immaculate conception. Possessing a sensibility too lofty and too refined to descend to the ordinary routine of the world, she gave birth to the God Yu from previous conception by a water lily. This case, with respect to the degree of procreative delicacy and refinement evinced, may be classed with that of Juno of Greece. Here it may be noted as a curious circumstance, that several of the virgin mothers of Gods and great men are specifically represented as going ten months between conception and delivery. The mothers of Hercules, Sakia, Guatama, Scipio, Arion, Solomon and Jesus Christ may be mentioned as samples of this character. This tradition probably grew out of the established belief in the ten sacred cycles which constitute the great prospective and portentous millennial epoch, as described in Chapter XXX. Arion, mentioned above, is represented as being both miraculously and immaculously conceived by the Gods in the citadel of Byrsa."

scottindallas
scottindallas

Recent genetic studies have found that fully 8% of humans have Neanderthal DNA, I think we've found one likely half-breed.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I must have dated several of them.... seriously.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

They can tell us all they want and not put it in the books, but evolution will be taught. Count on it. I like to tell people, the ones who don't believein evolution, "Well, maybe your family did not evolve, which explains your sister, but mine did...."

Montemalone
Montemalone

But according to their theory, we're all related.I'm still not sure how we ended up with a world full of people when A&E popped out 2 boys.

Ron
Ron

After Cain, the homicidal vegetarian, killed Abel, they had a third son Shemp (or am I thinking of the Three Stooges?)

ELH
ELH

Shem was the son of Noah, Shemp was the replacement Stooge.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

So, then who were the daughters their sons married--their sisters??? They never explained that one well to me at Catholic school, which is why they told us NOT to take every single thing in the Bible as literal. They told us, "How would you explain televsion to Moses?" Then how would he explain it to the Hebrews? See? Time and context, people.

dt&ot
dt&ot

We should point out deficiencies in current scientific theories.  That is how we validate or strike down our scientific theories.  Thankfully, it looks like we will not be replacing them with the magical bible-babble that Shroman proposes. 

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