Fire Don McLeroy

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Don McLeroy is the deranged creationist dentist who was appointed to the chairmanship of the Texas State Board of Education, and who is responsible for the recent purge and intimidation of people who support good biology — he's trouble all the way through. Take a look at his latest stunt.

The State Board of Education's debate on new English and reading standards took another rowdy turn Friday as members approved a never-before-seen version of the lengthy document which materialized less than an hour before the board was to take a final vote.

After a wacky and terse debate on the new curriculum, the board voted 9-6 in favor of the new version, which will remain in place for the next decade and sets standards for state tests and textbooks, as well as classroom teaching.

Experts and teachers have been working on the new curriculum standards for two and a half years.

"I find it's really wild that we can work for three years on a project and then the board is so qualified they can pull it out of their hat overnight," said board member Pat Hardy, a Fort Worth Republican who, like other board members, received the substituted document when it was slipped under her hotel door less than an hour before their meeting was set to convene Friday morning.

Some social conservatives on the board prepared the latest version overnight.

This is similar to what our former education commissioner for Minnesota, Cheri Yecke, tried to pull — she tried to swap in a 'minority report' for the state science standards that was composed behind the back of the official committee … only McLeroy has outdone her by an order of magnitude or so. Why even bring in qualified educators and scientists to do the hard work of a standards committee if you're just going to throw their work away and replace it with some hack job done by ideologues overnight? And to give it to them for review an hour before the meeting is just plain insulting.

This is for the English standards. What kind of circus are we going to see in response to the upcoming science standards?

At least one board of education member is calling for McLeroy's ejection, although it sounds like she doesn't expect anything to come of it. This is what we can expect of creationist conservatives: a dictatorship of the incompetent.

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46 Comments

What about the others who voted for something they hadn’t even read? The certainly don’t get a pass for being so indifferent to the quality of education standards.

The comment by “mjones” is from a notorious and prolific troll named Dennis Markuze, who most commonly posts as “drmabus” or “David Mabus.” He’s a completely bipolar psychotic, whose major bug-up-the-ass obsession is that he thinks he’s proved that Nostradamus prophecies are correct and that James Randi shut down the Million Dollar Challenge just to avoid paying him. He’s quite mad and I recommend deleting all of his comments and banning his IP, if possible. He’s simply after attention and he only gets more abusive and hysterical the more he goes on.

First, why isn’t this obvious, ill-mannered, and purposefully off-topic troll mjones allowed to post here?

Can he be automatically sent to BW?

As for the topic itself: the SOP of Xians and their political allies is exactly the same as that of power-seeking bullies everywhere - I’ll hint at two famous historical examples of these same tactics w/o naming the “parties” involved. The evolutionary value of this sort of thing is undeniable, but still morally repugnant to homo sapiens who have other selling points for potential mates.

tiredofthesos said:

First, why isn’t this obvious, ill-mannered, and purposefully off-topic troll mjones allowed to post here?

Can he be automatically sent to BW?

He’s too crazy even for the bathroom wall. Is there a lower level of purgatory?

Looks like a preview of the Texas State Board of Education’s model future product has decided to post here.

Sure enough, shortly after I explained who Markuze was (just prior to his first comment getting deleted), he came back over to my blog (where he’s been before) and tried posting his ravings there. He’s too stupid to understand the concept of comment moderation, though, which makes his visits an exercise in desperation and futility. Looks as if moderation would be really useful here on PT.

Martin, you *little shit*.….

Like Larry F, I dare to guess that this person is actually mentally ill, in the unfunny sense. Despite this assessment, “dmjones” manages to a present his illness in such a repulsive form that it vaporizes all but my driest, most all-inclusive sense of pity (the kind I keep for VL Cheney, Hitler, Ted Bundy, etc.) He clearly deserves the rare complete bannation from this site.

Okay, but just this ONE time! [puts on barn boots; fills troll-slop pail; gingerly but vigorously heaves it toward the squat, slimy, centipede-like writhing humanoid form of “dmjones”] Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your kind make me puke! You’re nothing but a mallow-headed, toffee-nosed heap of parrot-droppings…

Etc.

Not that I would try to inject something vaguely related to the topic, or such, but…

The “number of days not embarrassed to be a Texas Resident : number of days REALLY embarrassed to be a Texas Resident” ratio has exhibited a steady and reliable decline.

The one thing to remember about McLeroy is that he is not the usual clueless Biblical literalist on school boards who haven’t gotten the DI’s “memo.” Rather, he is 100% in on the scam, though not very good at keeping his mouth shut about it. Note how he admits that one should not argue over the “side issues.” Never mind that they are the only issues that could conceivably make one of the mutually contradictory creationist positions qualify as science. Nope, let’s not dare critically analyze alternate proposed ages of life or the possibility that “kinds” originated independently. Only the “Darwinism” strawman.

Jesus neither spoke nor wrote English, therefore no one should. He also didn’t know an armadillo from a tuatara, therefore neither exists. I vote we give Texas back to Mexico, by force if necessary.

“David Mabus” attempted to enlighten we denizens of Skeptic Friends to Randi’s perfidy and got verbally & hilariously, and yet politely, roughed up for it. He vanished. Then he returned for an Amazin’ Redux, to our unbridled joy (we rather like our trolls at SFN and only rarely ban them), and got worked over again by some very studious and articulate people. I for one, hope for a third try; that one’s the charm, the Gambler’s Fallacy not withstanding.

doov

So when are we going to see a copy of this document that they wrote up in one night and got a majority of the board to sign off on? Can it be modified after the vote? Three years of study on the subject ignored. It is worse than the Kansas fiasco. Not only that, but it is English and reading standards. If you can’t trust the board to be honest and have integrity about a subject like that what will happen in subjects that they really don’t like.

How many of the board members read the document carefully enough to be able to vote on it? It sounds bad, and probably is worse than it sounds. To have that much of a majority of the board as incompetent yes men is pretty pathetic. How much would a delay have cost them to make the ploy look less bogus?

Just the Texas Taliban theocrats in action. Routine.

We already know the biology standards will be replaced at the last minute with some dreck from (no)AnswersinGenesis or some such. It would not be too early to start preparing the court cases.

McLeroy et al. are typical fanatics. They know what they are doing and could care less what anyone thinks. And the difference between the Texas crowd and the Afghani Taliban or the Ayatollohs of Iraq, Sudan, or Saudi Arabia is,.…not much.

They haven’t beheaded anyone in Texas. Yet. The first one will be either a biology teacher or a lawyer from the ACLU.

Ron O.:

How much would a delay have cost them to make the ploy look less bogus?

I’m sure the 1 hour undoing of someone else’s 3 years of work was deliberate. Something vaguely like terrorism.

The message is, “we have the majority votes and will ram whatever we like through and no one can do anything about it.” So, die heretics, die.

For some personalities, being a totalitarian dictator must be fun. Stalin and Mussolini had a great time.

Texas pays a high price for their wingnut voluntary ignorance. Their teen age pregnancy stats are higher than the national average and starting to climb rather than go down. The lowest ironically are the New England states. I don’t know about secondary school stats but Texas doesn’t do well in any quality of life stats such as children living in poverty either.

Look on the bright side. This smells more like Dover than anything else. The fact that McLeroy is so outspoken and unapologetic will make the inevitable lawsuit a slam-dunk.

mplavcan said:

Look on the bright side. This smells more like Dover than anything else. The fact that McLeroy is so outspoken and unapologetic will make the inevitable lawsuit a slam-dunk.

Not too comforting for this Texas taxpayer, since it is my money they are going to waste defending their stupid actions.

raven said:

Ron O.:

How much would a delay have cost them to make the ploy look less bogus?

I’m sure the 1 hour undoing of someone else’s 3 years of work was deliberate. Something vaguely like terrorism.

The message is, “we have the majority votes and will ram whatever we like through and no one can do anything about it.” So, die heretics, die.

For some personalities, being a totalitarian dictator must be fun. Stalin and Mussolini had a great time.

Texas pays a high price for their wingnut voluntary ignorance. Their teen age pregnancy stats are higher than the national average and starting to climb rather than go down. The lowest ironically are the New England states. I don’t know about secondary school stats but Texas doesn’t do well in any quality of life stats such as children living in poverty either.

That is why it doesn’t make much sense. They had a definite majority. You had 9 guys that were willing to vote for something where they probably didn’t even know what they were voting for. Instead of looking like they had no regard for reason they could have delayed several days and looked more like they understood what an important job they were supposed to be doing. They obviously had the votes to pass anything that they wanted to pass whenever they wanted to.

My take is that it is like the Dover fiasco where only Buckingham and Bonsell testified that they had some idea of what intelligent design was. I believe that all the other board members that voted for the resolution admitted under oath that they didn’t understand what they were voting for, but that they trusted the two guys that ended up perjuring themselves under oath.

How many of the nine that voted for this actually knew what they were voting for?

How many of the nine that voted for this actually knew what they were voting for?

How many of those 9 even cared?

Got to get the priorities right here.

It is more important to appear powerful, ruthless, and psychotic in the religious sense than to make sure the kids of Texas get a decent public school education.

Kids, who cares. They are just collateral damage and most fundies with any money probably send their kids to private Xian academies anyway.

OT, but relevant for skepticism against crackpots; I had no idea Randi’s challenge was going out. I don’t understand why anyone would rave about it now though, it will still be valid another 2 years.

For ten years, skeptic magician James Randi has offered a million dollars to “anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.” He’s just announced that the James Randi Educational Foundation is discontinuing the Million-Dollar Challenge two years from now. The money will be freed, he says, “to generally add to our flexibility” and enable the group “to do many more projects.”

As he lays out the the tedious work they have done when pouring over crackpots “poorly-constructed applications” and discussing with such people how to proceed, I will offer in advance my deeply felt thanks to him and his coworkers. Ten years seems long enough for any challenge.

Heh! I can accept the #1 reason - Texas, or at least Dallas, beer regulation was a major pain in the a… limentary tract when I lived there.

[Never could figure out why you had to drive far to get your beer in places, and then the laws encouraged returning drivers to be less than sober.]

None of us in Texas actually think the document was written the night before. Those nine had seen the document well in advance. Hopefully there is something that can be done legally. The open meeting law won’t work, as two of the board members claimed they produced the document. It takes three board members or more being together before they must follow open meeting rules.

Stacy - give Texas back !!! There are a few of us who are still sane in Texas:)

Fortunately, on that list, Barney Maddox is not a board member, he ran for the board but was defeated.

Raven - I still need to get you the names and circumstances of the other two state science supervisors fired because they stood up for evolution. Texas is not the only state in which this has occurred.

JJ said:

None of us in Texas actually think the document was written the night before. Those nine had seen the document well in advance. Hopefully there is something that can be done legally. The open meeting law won’t work, as two of the board members claimed they produced the document. It takes three board members or more being together before they must follow open meeting rules.

Stacy - give Texas back !!! There are a few of us who are still sane in Texas:)

Fortunately, on that list, Barney Maddox is not a board member, he ran for the board but was defeated.

LoL1 I know! I just think that the more embarrassment that we can drum up the better. I think it helped here in Fl.

JJ:

Raven - I still need to get you the names and circumstances of the other two state science supervisors fired because they stood up for evolution. Texas is not the only state in which this has occurred.

The real story is the persecution of scientists by Fundie Xian Death cultists, who have fired, harassed, beaten up, and killed evolutionary biologists and their supporters whenever they can.

This is, of course, exactly the behavior of zealots who long ago forgot what the Christ in Christian stood for. These days, fundie is synonymous with liar, ignorant, stupid, and sometimes killer.

http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626 [link goes to Blake Stacey’s blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.] As usual the truth is the exact opposite. The creos have been firing, beating up, attempting to fire, and killing scientists and science supporters for a while now. They are way ahead on body counts.

Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

I’ve discovered that this list really bothers fundies. Truth to them is like a cross to a vampire.

There is a serious reign of terror by Xian fundie terrorists directed against the reality based academic community, specifically acceptors of evolution. I’m keeping a running informal tally, listed below. They include death threats, firings, attempted firings, assaults, and general persecution directed against at least 12 people. The Expelled Liars have totally ignored the ugly truth of just who is persecuting who.

If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while

Up to 12 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

Hi JJ, yes someone is keeping a log.

1. Blake Stacey has a blog entry with the documentation, which is exhaustive. The link is above and it is a good if sobering read. You could easily contact him and ask him to update his list.

2. We don’t need much documentation but without it, it has to be reported as “rumors”. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to be a public martyr. Many people will just pick themselves up and go on with their lives.

3. We know there are more than 12 people who have been persecuted or threatened. Many secondary school teachers have been intimidated, fired, or run out of teaching. Death threats are common enough that most don’t get reported. The list of 12 is 12 people who had their story documented on the internet.

Expelled only had 6, none of which held up to scrutiny. Egnor said people were mean to him on the internet. Some freelance reporter made vague claims that no one wanted to buy her creationist articles. Well duh, no one wants to buy my story about riding in flying saucers either.

The weeny evos are pouting…LOL!

This guy is presented as a dentist, how terrible and he’s also a Texas A&M Electrical Engineer grad. Oh No not another one of those people whose math extends beyond college algebra and has a spectrum of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and thermodynamics from other than the biology comic book versions.

And appointed by the governor as a complete incompetent and deranged dentist to the board.…darn those politicians.

I understand he spent two hours studying biology and then passed the advanced standing test for a PhD. in Biology from S.W. Louisiana Tech (you know Barby’s Alma Mater).

keith said:

The weeny evos are pouting…LOL!

This guy is presented as a dentist, how terrible and he’s also a Texas A&M Electrical Engineer grad. Oh No not another one of those people whose math extends beyond college algebra and has a spectrum of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and thermodynamics from other than the biology comic book versions.

And appointed by the governor as a complete incompetent and deranged dentist to the board.…darn those politicians.

I understand he spent two hours studying biology and then passed the advanced standing test for a PhD. in Biology from S.W. Louisiana Tech (you know Barby’s Alma Mater).

Your exaggerate his accomplishments. But unlike you, he can spell.

The weeny evos are pouting…LOL!

This guy is presented as a dentist,

He is a dentist. Personally, I don’t have a thing against dentists; in fact I respect their applied science training. For a high education position like his in a state the size of Texas, I’d rather see someone with a graduate degree in a basic science discipline. The fact that he’s a dentist isn’t the problem, though.

how terrible and he’s also a Texas A&M Electrical Engineer grad.

Who chose to go to dental school and practice dentistry. Electrical engineering provides no expertise whatsoever in evolutionary biology. Evolution does come up in dentistry, quite a bit, but dentistry is an applied field.

Oh No not another one of those people whose math extends beyond college algebra and has a spectrum of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and thermodynamics from other than the biology comic book versions.

I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but where I went to college, a biology degree required calculus, general physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and statistics at a minimum. There was no “college algebra”; algebra was assumed. Remedial courses were not for credit. Nothing prevented students from cross training more deeply into math or the physical sciences as well as biology, and many did.

And appointed by the governor as a complete incompetent and deranged dentist to the board.…darn those politicians.

Yes, he is incompetent and deranged. Very much so.

I understand he spent two hours studying biology and then passed the advanced standing test for a PhD. in Biology from S.W. Louisiana Tech (you know Barby’s Alma Mater).

Although this remark is informative in terms of revealing the depth or your insecurity, fear, defensiveness, and possible descent into madness or dementia, it is too incoherent to evaluate at a factual level. Are you referring to the GME test for entry into a PhD program (which is the same for all US institutions)? “Advanced standing” usually refers to a test for undergraduates, enabling them to avoid the freshman courses in a subject. Almost anyone who had been to dental school would be expected to pass such a test for biology.

My understanding is that Barbara Forrest has a PhD in Philosophy.

keith said:

This guy is presented as a dentist, how terrible and he’s also a Texas A&M Electrical Engineer grad. Oh No not another one of those people whose math extends beyond college algebra and has a spectrum of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and thermodynamics from other than the biology comic book versions.

Actually, when you read McElroy’s comments on science, it sounds like he did learn it all from comic books. The man is barely literate, spouting Quaylisms like:

“What can stop science is an irrefutable preconception.”

“Science education has to have an open mind”

He apparently wants Texas students to remain as ignorant as he is.

Thanks Raven - I will get the info to Blake. One person “retired” after being fired, the other moved to a different position in their state dept. of education.

Must be a slow night in Oklahoma, our troll Keith is back, presenting his opinion and hoping others will accept that as fact. That’s okay, everyone needs a good laugh on a holiday weekend. Forest’s Alma mater is Tulane. Start the clock, let’s see how long it takes for those anger management issues to surface tonight.

raven said:

Just the Texas Taliban theocrats in action. Routine. … McLeroy et al. are typical fanatics. They know what they are doing and could care less what anyone thinks. And the difference between the Texas crowd and the Afghani Taliban or the Ayatollohs of Iraq, Sudan, or Saudi Arabia is,.…not much. … They haven’t beheaded anyone in Texas. Yet. The first one will be either a biology teacher or a lawyer from the ACLU.

raven said: I’m sure the 1 hour undoing of someone else’s 3 years of work was deliberate. Something vaguely like terrorism.

The message is, “we have the majority votes and will ram whatever we like through and no one can do anything about it.” So, die heretics, die.

For some personalities, being a totalitarian dictator must be fun. Stalin and Mussolini had a great time.

raven said:How many of those 9 even cared? … It is more important to appear powerful, ruthless, and psychotic in the religious sense than to make sure the kids of Texas get a decent public school education.

Yes, let cooler heads prevail. It’s such a good thing you’re not getting carried away, here.

Wheeler the Death Cultist troll:

Yes, let cooler heads prevail. It’s such a good thing you’re not getting carried away, here.

I was being polite. The Xian Doms of Texas and elsewhere want to destroy the USA, set up a theocracy, and head on back to the Dark Ages. They say so often. Read Falwell, Robertson, Rushdooney, Kennedy, or The Wedge document.

A large subset of them fervently hope and try to help god destroy the earth and kill 6.7 billion people during the Rapture end time. How much more murderously vicious can you get?

I suppose hoping that god destroys the entire universe might do it. But the cultists aren’t real clear about science and everything further away than the orbit of the sun around the earth is hazy.

So wheeler who is on your To Kill list. Rushdooney wanted to kill 99% of the US population. He was surpassed by Rod Parsley, McCains buddy who wants to kill 1.4 billion Moslems. The Rapture Monkeys just want everyone to die. In the event you are too stupid to even remember your minister’s list, just borrow someone elses.

I didn’t say these are evil people. It is blatantly obvious.

Keith = Keith Eaton = Pathologically Insane?

Anywho… you would think that a half-intelligent person would’ve tried to make it at least *seem* like they weren’t completely dishonest hacks. How hard is it, really, to tow an ignorant line for two weeks and *then* ignore the three years of work put into the standards? I think Texans have a right to demand competent liars and charlatans as heads and members of the standards board.

Why is this kind of thing even feasible?

raven said:

It is more important to appear powerful, ruthless, and psychotic in the religious sense than to make sure the kids of Texas get a decent public school education.

Kids, who cares.

And people wonder why we homeschooled. It was always assumed by those who didn’t know us that we did it for religious reasons. Yeah, true, but not the way they thought. I wasn’t all that interested in my kids’ education being held hostage to the whims of a small town fundamentalist school board. What the kids lacked in being unable to name more than three teen pop stars, they made up for in ability to explain more than three mechanisms of evolution.

keith said:

The weeny evos are pouting…LOL!

The only pouting I’ve heard on this comment string is …

keith said:

This guy is presented as a dentist, how terrible

It seems to me these bozos are trying to provoke a court case now instead of later. I think they did the same thing with declining to accept a math textbook for no good reason. And I believe they won that one. In Texas the fix could be in. The goal is to go to court over English standards no one cares about. If they win then they have precedence for their authority to act without justification and for any reason. I don’t know that we can trust judges in these parts to do the right thing. Plus, by voting these clowns in (Perry), it’s like we’ve asked for it. My wife’s an English teacher here in Texas, and many are hopping mad. I just don’t know of anything that can be done. I assure you our letters just reinforce these people’s confidence that they’re right. They absolutely know they’re being deceptive.

Don McLeroy and his compatriots rammed the revised English and reading standards through the Texas State Board of Education for the purpose of conditioning us to expect and accept such behavior. Having been thus conditioned, fewer people will take notice the next time it happens. When they ram revised (pseudo)science standards through the Board, they will be able to assert that they followed “standard procedures” in the adoption of those standards, and most people will accept their “standard procedures” explanation.

Mr. McLeroy is obviously a student of B. F. Skinner’s behavioral conditioning techniques.

harold said:

There was no “college algebra”; algebra was assumed. Remedial courses were not for credit. Nothing prevented students from cross training more deeply into math or the physical sciences as well as biology, and many did.

Actually, there was such a thing as college algebra back in the day, but it was the study of structures like fields, groups, and rings. Sadly, our education system has declined so far that what was then high school algebra has been misnamed “college algebra”.

I suppose if McElroy and his crew get their way, future students will take “college arithmetic”.

raven said: I was being polite.

No you weren’t. Don’t even pretend to have practiced any sort of restraint with that, unless you’d have us believe you’re actually even more hateful. And you also can’t seem to resist assaulting my character for no apparent reason. Rein it in a bit, please.

Now, in a calm and level-headed manner, please read this comment in its entirety. Then, please tell me how insinuating that these anti-evolutionists (while perfectly willing and demonstrably able to bypass standard operating procedure and attempt to sneak their sectarian bullshit into mainstream public schools) are just about ready to start up their own Inquisition, complete with beheadings, is in any way constructive and NOT an unreasonable overreaction. I’ve read it somewhere (sorry, can’t exactly place the author or the text) that we should leave the accusations and comparisons to Nazis for the REAL Nazis and not just those with whom we have a strong disagreement. I’d posit that the same should be extended to the use of “terrorists.” Declaring that this act by the board, distasteful and unethical though they may act, is in any way comparable to true terrorism is a shameful insult to the people who have actually been victims of terrorist actions. You know, in real life… and death.

For extra credit, please explain why you think it’s appropriate to call me a “death cultist troll.” Be sure to show your work by quoting me from previous comments on this blog. I may be an infrequent poster, but I’m not new. I would really love to see what you come up with to support that accusation. You remind me a bit of Karl Popper’s Ghost, too quick to jump to (generally negative) conclusions, and slather on the insults. Unlike KPG, though, you seem less able to support your assaults with his intellectual rigor. It hasn’t been pleasant watching your behavior on the site decline recently.

The Xian Doms of Texas and elsewhere want to destroy the USA, set up a theocracy, and head on back to the Dark Ages. They say so often. Read Falwell, Robertson, Rushdooney, Kennedy, or The Wedge document.

I’m well aware of those groups/individuals, their aims and their rhetoric. However, what of their acts has lead you to paint so many with a broad brush, lump them all together in the same bin, and slap the lable “terrorists” onto it? Of course they’re ideologues with patently absurd notions about morality, historical revisionism, scientific validity, etc. etc. Yes, there are a number of mentally unbalanced thugs out there who post anonymous death threats, and there have even been a very small number of instances of physical violence. That doesn’t justify the kind of large-scale mischaracterizations or venom that I’ve pointed out. How you could have reasonably gotten from “we abused our majority to pass English curriculum standards that otherwise wouldn’t have” to “die heretics die” is beyond me.

A large subset of them fervently hope and try to help god destroy the earth and kill 6.7 billion people during the Rapture end time. How much more murderously vicious can you get?

Well, you could actually murder somebody. So far there isn’t any evidence that any of the people mentioned (especially the small number of people pertinent to this thread) have done so, but from all you’re saying they’re just a single step away from institutionalized mass murder against people they don’t agree with. And no, the murder of Boa in Australia doesn’t count towards your characterizations here, unless you can provide concrete connections between the two events beyond “they both involved religious disagreements.”

So wheeler who is on your To Kill list. … In the event you are too stupid to even remember your minister’s list, just borrow someone elses.

That’s exactly the sort of hysterical knee-jerk bull I’m talking about. Cut it out. Even if any of it were true (none of it is), it still wouldn’t even be a witty put-down. It’s just a puerile spooge. I hope you haven’t been chuckling and Dembski’s infantile flash videos and misplaced arrogance, because you’re not doing any better with this.It’s not only completely mistaken and wrong on the facts, it’s also childish and transparently spiteful.

It just serves to demonstrate my issue with your comments. I’d like an apology.

TL;DR version I think the comments I took issue with have been irresponsible, hateful, and disgraceful. I think everybody should avoid making those same mistakes, otherwise it really is just playing into the stereotype the bigots and FUD-mongers want to promote. I sincerely understand your anger and frustration, but there is no call for this sort of libel. It is, at the least, counterproductive.

I apologize for the amount of off-topicness.

Science Avenger -

I seem to have created some confusion. I certainly didn’t mean to deny that every university math department offers courses with the word “algebra” in the name, like Linear Algebra and so on. All of the stuff you refer to is offered at every college and university I’ve ever heard of.

I was just assuming that when used in isolation, the word “algebra” usually refers to high school level algebra.

This exchange does lead me to wonder if Keith Eaton is aware of the broader meaning of the word “algebra”, though, and if he isn’t, if that might not constitute further evidence that he lies when claiming to be an “engineer”.

I served on Texas science re-write committee in Feb. We tried to get every committee to change the wording so that the phase about strengths and weaknesses of theories would be eliminated. The Biology committee was so large they couldn’t manage to agree on very much at all and as far as I know did not finish the re-write job. Almost all the sciences managed to eliminate that line. I can definitely believe that the SBOE will vote to do what they d–m well please to do. As long as “I don’t care what the people want Perry” is still in office I don’t think we are going to get anywhere. We need to get Mr. Good Hair out of office and then maybe we can get a little sense back in the process. Texas is first on every list where it should be 50th and 50th on every list where is should be first and damn proud of it. signed. Not a Native

Mariqu

I was the one who got the groups to eliminate the “strengths and weaknesses” phrase when the Texas revision teams met. It is out now in all high school and middle school courses. I am also part of the biology revision group. Please explain what you mean by the biology group was large and couldn’t agree on much of anything. There were only five of us in that group. We didn’t have any disagreements. “As far as you know”…that must not be too far, our revisions for the first draft were completed and turned in. One of the problems the ELAR group had was squabbles within the revision teams. We need to have a united front in science. All interested stakeholders need to start making the public aware of the SBOE tactics. Most people in our state probably don’t have a clue as to what happened in Austin last week. The public needs to know science education will be weaken by the SBOE actions.

Maybe you and I are not talking about the same thing. I was on the TEKS revision group but not for biology and there were 7 - 9 people in biology as compared to Aquatic Science and Environmental which had only 3. At the point when the new TEKS were handed in Saturday afternoon the biology committee was not finished and either chemistry or physics had not removed that phrase from the TEKS. From what I saw in the TEKS biology handed in there were very few changes. I think they did get that phrase out of biology but I know at that time it was not out of all the TEKS.

It seems to me these bozos are trying to provoke a court case now instead of later. I think they did the same thing with declining to accept a math textbook for no good reason. And I believe they won that one. In Texas the fix could be in. The goal is to go to court over English standards no one cares about. If they win then they have precedence for their authority to act without justification and for any reason. I don’t know that we can trust judges in these parts to do the right thing.

You may be right about what they’re trying, but it won’t work. A suit challenging the English standards on the grounds that they are stupid and arbitrary would probably have to be brought in Texas state court and might well go the way these bozos want. There is no law that prevents, say, mandating the teaching of non-Stratfordian theories concerning Shakespeare or phlogiston chemistry just because it’s damn stupid. When the cdesignpropentists biology standards pass, however, it will be a different story. In that case, the plaintiffs can go into federal court (a far better bet than the Texas state courts) and claim that it isn’t just damn stupid, but a smuggling of religion into the classroom. The board may have the right to mandate stupidity, but it doesn’t have the right to mandate religion. In theory – but only in theory – it is possible that the board could prove it was merely stupid, not religious, but I wouldn’t worry about it.

Huh, comment finally showed up. Or maybe it was just my cache needing to be cleared?

Science Avenger said:

harold said:

There was no “college algebra”; algebra was assumed. Remedial courses were not for credit. Nothing prevented students from cross training more deeply into math or the physical sciences as well as biology, and many did.

Actually, there was such a thing as college algebra back in the day, but it was the study of structures like fields, groups, and rings. Sadly, our education system has declined so far that what was then high school algebra has been misnamed “college algebra”.

The study of algebraic structures was known as “abstract algebra” in its day, and has over the years been called various related things, mostly just “algebra”. Personally, I have never seen it called “college algebra”.

And for what it’s worth, once upon a time there was something known as “college algebra”, routinely offered to college freshman. It was, more or less, what is today called “algebra II” in our high schools, but done at a higher and more intense level. I have several old-fashioned textbooks titled “College Algebra”. They’ve got great stuff, like factoring x^4+64 and solving cubics and Descartes’ rule of signs. But alas, nobody does this anymore.

Trigonometry and analytic geometry were for sophomores, and calculus was for juniors.

here is a song I wrote about texas to sum up what is doing to history and science: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9sZJghx_lE

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on May 24, 2008 5:19 PM.

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