Texas’ State Board of Education has taken up the matter of Evolution vs. Creationism again today in a hearing to decide on supplemental materials for the state’s science curriculum. Barbara Cargill, the board’s religious evangelical ex-biology teacher who ascribes to a young Earth creationist creed will head up the discussion.
About the only positive thing you can say about Cargill is that she is an EX-biology teacher and is no longer infringing on the religious beliefs (or non-religion) of her students with her own interpretation of cosmology.
The Texas Freedom Network is there in their usual place live blogging the meeting. Their position has been clear from the beginning that any reference to the pseudoscience known as Creationism or Intelligent Design should be eschewed by the state, and not be made a part of the state’s curriculum. Robert Scott, the Education Commissioner has come out with a set of recommendations on which materials should be adopted, and the TFN has given that set its blessings. Now it is up to the SBOE to either accept those recommendations or to go out into the ether and try to ram through its own conservative agenda.
This seems less likely than in the past. Apparently the successor to Cynthia Dunbar, Republican Marsha Farney, has proven to be a thorn in the sides of the evangelical bloc, and has reduced the former bloc of seven uberreligious votes to 6 (in Cargill’s own words, there are only 6 “true Christians” on the board now).
It should be interesting to watch. In the past, the boards foray into wackydom has been famously dealt with in other states with laws being passed to avoid any materials approved by Texas’ SBOE. Whether sanity has actually won the day in the state school board remains to be seen.
With this bunch, always expect the worse.