Today, the Texas Board of Education held a debate on new standards for science in the public school system, and then had a preliminary vote. The Texas Freedom Network blogger was there, and liveblogged the whole thing. The results? Mixed, with some good stuff and some really, really bad stuff.
The Good: The creationists on the board failed to get a "strengths and weaknesses" statement in the standards. This phrase is creationist camouflage to insert doubt into evolution. It's really just a bald-faced lie: they are trying to let creationist-leaning teachers say things about evolution that aren't true, and create confusion in the minds of students. This failed to pass, so the phrase most likely won't be in the standards. That's a huge victory!
Let me note: one person who spoke out against putting the phrase in was a Republican, Bob Craig (see the 1:23 entry on the TFN blog).
The Bad: At the last moment, dyed-in-the-wool creationist -- and head of the BOE -- Don McLeroy was able to insert a statement into the standards calling into question common descent, the linchpin of evolution. McLeroy is among the worst of the worst when it comes to creationism; search this blog for quite a bit about his mucking about with science.
The Ugly: This is still not over. There will be another vote tomorrow, the formal one, and a final one in March to set the standards in place.
As long as creationists have some control on the board -- and remember, McLeroy is the head of the BOE -- then this will never be over. They will continue to totally deny reality and the totality of scientific research, and instead bully their way and their narrow religious views into the textbooks of Texas, and from there all of America.
Put the TFN blog in your feed reader so you can keep up with these shenanigans. Stay informed (the Dallas Morning News has been covering this as well). Because these people will not stop, ever, until...
Tip o' the Ten Gallon Hat to James Herrod for the Dallas Morning News link.