Texas Governor Puts Creationist in Charge of State Education

26 July 2007

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently appointed former dentist Don McLeroy (pictured left) to head the State Board of Education. Unfortunately for the schoolchildren of Texas, Don McLeroy actively opposes teaching real science and instead opts for silly discredited ideas as replacements.

In 2003, McLeroy was among a minority of school board members who voted against adopting high school Biology textbooks simply because of their account of evolutionary theory. McLeroy complained that the books were "too dogmatic" and did not contain enough criticism.

In a letter dated October 30, 2003, McLeroy explained his objections to evolution, and simultaneously revealed a deep misunderstanding of the topic he was arguing against:

"Given all the time in the world, I don't think I could make a spider out of a rock. However, most of the books we are considering adopting, claim that Nothing made a spider out of a rock.

I don't think I share a common ancestor with a tree. However, most of the books we are considering adopting, claim as a fact that we all share a common ancestor with a tree."

McLeroy added that "it is wrong to teach opinion as fact."

But evolutionary theory isn't the only scientific idea McLeroy opposes:

"In 2001, McLeroy and a majority of the board rejected the only Advanced Placement textbook for high school environmental science because its views on global warming and other events didn't comport with the beliefs of the board majority. The book wasn't factual and was anti-American and anti-Christian, the majority claimed. Meanwhile, dozens of colleges and universities were using the textbook, including Baylor University, the nation's largest Baptist college."

Sucks for you, Texas.

UPDATE: Texas has the highest teen birth rate in the country (63 births out of every 1,000 teens, as opposed to the national average of 41), and simultaneously emphasizes abstinence-only education. When asked if there might be a link between the two, Don McLeroy had this to say:
"The idea that just giving them a lot of information is going to solve it, I think, is kind of naive," he said. "Certainly, it's more of a societal problem than it is a school problem."

Yeah, as if information will help...

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