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Texas Governor Supports Teaching Intelligent Design In Classrooms


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Perry favors ID in science class

But governor has no plans to seek statewide requirement, aide says

 

10:01 PM CST on Friday, January 6, 2006

By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News

 

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry favors the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public school science classes but has no plans to push for curriculum changes that would require Texas students to learn the controversial theory, his office said Friday.

 

Kathy Walt, the governor's press secretary, said Mr. Perry supports the teaching of intelligent design "much as the theory of evolution is now taught" in Texas schools. Current state curriculum requirements include evolution.

 

The governor's position came to light because of a letter sent by his office last month to an East Texas constituent who asked Mr. Perry whether he backed teaching of intelligent design in schools.

 

Intelligent design holds that the complex features of the universe and living things are best explained by an unknown "intelligent cause" rather than by undirected processes like natural selection and random mutation – the key components of Charles Darwin's theory of how life on Earth evolved.

 

Critics contend that intelligent design is creationism in disguise and has nothing do with modern scientific theory. But proponents like the Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank based in Seattle, insist their theory is not based on religion.

 

Last month, a federal judge prohibited a Pennsylvania school district from requiring that intelligent design be taught in biology classes, ruling that it violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

 

The letter from Mr. Perry's office noted that the Pennsylvania decision probably will be appealed.

 

"Once the courts have spoken with finality and clarity, Texas schools will abide by that decision," the letter said.

 

Ms. Walt said that the governor's office was merely responding to a constituent's letter and that Mr. Perry has no plans to seek legislation that would require the teaching of intelligent design in science classes.

 

"We try to respond to all letters that ask the governor's position on issues," she said. "He has always supported providing students with alternative theories as part of the effort to teach critical and analytical thinking skills."

 

But, she added, "the governor is not pushing legislation to require that intelligent design be taught."

 

A group that has clashed with social conservatives over evolution and other hot button education issues said the governor's comments should raise concerns among educators and parents.

 

"For the governor to suggest that intelligent design should be taught in science classes is troubling," said Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network. "We shouldn't be teaching religion and faith in science classes. That is something that should be left to parents and clergy."

 

The State Board of Education dealt with the issue in 2003 when it adopted new high school biology books covering evolution, rejecting the pleas of social conservatives and others who said most of the books were too one-sided in their treatment of evolution. The books were sent to schools in the fall of 2004.

 

"I don't consider it an issue in Texas at this point," said board Chairwoman Geraldine Miller, R-Dallas. "We had lots of testimony and discussed the issue thoroughly in 2003." She added that Mr. Perry's office did not contact her during that debate.

 

Ms. Miller said the textbook decision was based on the state curriculum standards adopted by the board after careful consideration in 1997. The standards required the teaching of evolution in science classes.

 

"If a school district believes there are other substantive theories out there, it has the opportunity to present them. But that is a local policy decision, if a district wants to discuss other theories besides evolution," she said.

 

Ms. Miller said evolution won't be debated by the board again until 2008, when new science books come up for adoption. She said she could not recall any legislation in recent years seeking to place the concept of intelligent design into the state curriculum.

 

From here

 

My partner and I are really at a crossroads. Do we stay and fight for this state that's currently being run by ignorant bigoted people, or leave for somewhere more intelligent and tolerant?

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Guest xandore
My partner and I are really at a crossroads. Do we stay and fight for this state that's currently being run by ignorant bigoted people, or leave for somewhere more intelligent and tolerant?

It depends how much energy you want to waste fighting it. Personally I think it is a step backwards for us here in America and it has to stop sometime and soon. If not for your children then for your grandchildren!

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This is embarrassing. More and more, I can't imagine how stunned the rest of the world must be with America.

 

It figures, though. The way we got real science in the classroom in the first place was not a quest for knowledge but rather an "OH SHIT!" moment, when Sputnik went into orbit. America only becomes science friendly when it becomes abhorantly obvious that we've fallen behind.

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After watching Ken Miller's most EXCELLENT debate on this topic, and how the religious right and the supposedly "moral" majority on this issue is outright lying to get theocracy into our society, I have made the decision to donate this year to www.au.org – something I would never have dreamed about in a million years in my comatose brainwashed Christian state.

 

Click here for debate:

 

What's really so sad is that as history showed us, zealots only see as far as the tip of their noses. The whole ID push will by definition allow stuff such as astrology and all other new age type philosophies to be equally valid in the SCIENCE class.

 

:Doh:

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It figures, though. The way we got real science in the classroom in the first place was not a quest for knowledge but rather an "OH SHIT!" moment, when Sputnik went into orbit. America only becomes science friendly when it becomes abhorantly obvious that we've fallen behind.

Great fucking point. Right on.

 

___________________________

 

 

As far as Texas being so in favor of ID over Science (ToE), the 2004 Texas Republican Party Platform states:

 

"2. We believe that human life is sacred, created in the image of God. Life begins at the moment of fertilization and ends at the point of natural death. All innocent human life must be protected."

 

Although, this statement is in reference to abortion, it is predicated upon direct creation by God (blow some hot-ass god-air on dirt) of Genesis.

 

Any wonder why ?

 

 

SOURCE

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With Texas responsible for a high percentage of textbooks of all kinds which get distributed to all 50 states, it's getting scarier and scarier.

 

As far as whether you two should continue to stay in Texas, I would say instantly, "Come live by us!" Except the national headquarters for Aryan Nation is only about a two hour drive from here into Pennsylvania.

 

It seems that there are small pockets of sanity dotted here and there across the U.S., but no state is immune to this insane onslaught against rationality.

 

(How's Kinky Freedman doing? Now there's a potential Texas governor who could shake a few things up.)

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Guest xandore

The BS is not just in our schools!

 

The fight over evolution has reached the big, big screen.

 

Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.

 

The number of theaters rejecting such films is small, people in the industry say - perhaps a dozen or fewer, most in the South. But because only a few dozen Imax theaters routinely show science documentaries, the decisions of a few can have a big impact on a film's bottom line - or a producer's decision to make a documentary in the first place.

 

Source

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OMFG

 

LAME! I love IMAX documentaries. The "Smoke Jumper" one was awesome, as was the one on dolphins.

 

The dolphin one wouldn't be allowed because it mentioned that dolphins evolved from land-dwelling mammals.

 

Great. Another wonderful experience ruined by religion...

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Dude! Move to Kitsap county. Just an hour's ferry ride to one of the most unabashedly godless cities in the nation.

 

Plus if Kitsap ever seceded from the Union, we'd have Bangor. We could probably nuke the hell out of Tex-ass. ;)

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Texas Freethinker

 

I know how you enjoy Molly Ivins as much as I do. Her January 10 commentary was on this topic and thought we all might enjoy it.

 

 

FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2006, AND THEREAFTER

 

 

 

AUSTIN, Texas -- The governor of Texas is despicable. Of all the crass pandering, of all the gross political kowtowing to ignorance, we haven't seen anything this rank from Gov. Goodhair since, gee, last fall.

 

Then, he was trying to draw attention away from his spectacular failure on public schools by convincing Texans that gay marriage was a horrible threat to us all. Now, he's trying to disguise the fact that the schools are in freefall by proposing we teach creationism in biology classes.

 

The funding of the whole school system is so unfair it has been declared unconstitutional by the Texas Supreme Court. All last year, Perry haplessly called special session after special session, trying to fix the problem, and couldn't get anywhere -- not an iota, not a scintilla of leadership.

 

Instead of facing the grave crisis that may yet result in the schools being closed down, Perry has blithely gone off on creationism -- teach the little perishers the Earth is 6,000 years old, that people lived at the same time as dinosaurs and who cares if the school building is falling apart?

 

Perry faced a potential primary challenge from State Comptroller Carol Keaton Strayhorn. The Texas Republican Party is now so completely dominated by the Christian right, however, that a relative moderate like Strayhorn has no chance against Perry, who has been assiduously kissing the feet, to say the least, of the most extreme elements of the party. So Strayhorn announced she would seek election as an independent, and Perry played the creationism card. Gee, let's all have a big discussion about gays, creationism and covenant marriage -- that'll solve the state's staggering problems with schools and health care.

 

In case you missed it, the court decision everyone has been waiting for on teaching creationism in the schools came out on Dec. 20, and it explains, quite clearly, why creationism cannot be taught as science in this country. Because it isn't science, it's religion.

 

The decision in the Dover, Pa., school board case by Judge John Jones III, a Republican and Bush appointee, is well worth reading. It annihilates the case for teaching creationism. Calling creationism "intelligent design" changes nothing and is disingenuous to the point of being painful. Perry emphasized the equally disingenuous notion that there is "controversy" about evolution, supposedly two sides equally worth considering, so we should "teach the controversy." His spokesperson, Kathy Walt, actually said teaching different theories is part of "developing students' critical thinking skills." That's pathetic.

 

One hears evolution dismissed as "just a theory," as though all of science weren't based on theory and eternally subject to new evidence to the contrary. In science, gravity is "just a theory" -- and if you ever drop something and it falls up, they'll reconsider the whole theory for you. That's just how "theoretical" evolution is -- constantly subject to evidence and proof. But creationism cannot be tested and proved against evidence using the scientific method -- that is why it is not science, it is faith.

 

Meanwhile, it's heartening to note that political nincompoopery is not limited to Texas. A couple of recent quotes out of Washington, D.C., cause the jaw to drop. Our very own Tom DeLay, upon announcing he would quit as majority leader, said: "During my time in Congress, I have always acted in an ethical manner, within the rules of our body and the law of our land. I am fully confident time will bear this out." Good grief, the man was sanctioned three times by the House ethics committee last year alone.

 

Equally stupefying is the attempted emergence of Newt Gingrich, of all people, as an arbiter of ethics. Gingrich has been going about the media, holding forth on the shortcomings of today's Republicans. Let's see, that would be the same Newt Gingrich who originally started using the lobby as an arm of the Republican Party, right? Same Gingrich had the distinction of being the only House speaker to be reprimanded by his colleagues for ethical wrongdoing? Same Gingrich who was accused of misusing nonprofit organizations for political purposes, personally benefiting from political contributions, cutting a sleazy book deal and giving false statements to ethics investigators? Same Gingrich who was fined $300,000 for said lying? I thought it was that Gingrich.

 

They must really think we're morons.

 

On the general subject of political corruption, do not fall into the fatal error of cynicism. You do your country a great disservice by saying things like: "Eh, they're all crooks. Nothing anyone can do about it. Money will always find a way."

 

The answer is perpetual reform. Fix it, and if corruption comes back again, you just whack back at it again. The system as it is encourages corruption and must be changed. Public campaign financing is the best answer in the long-term -- all this "lobby reform" talk is hopelessly inadequate. Hang in, and raise hell -- this is a heaven-sent opportunity to clean it up. Don't blow the chance with cheap cynicism.

 

To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

 

COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

 

http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=miv

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Rick Perry is an idiot and has been hurting Texas since he was the Lt Governor (who in Texas actually has more power than the actual Gov, but thats a different story). He consistently does things that hurts Texas schools and then tries to throw up a smoke screen of some other "big" issue that will bid him more time to not be "guily" of screwing up the education system here.

 

Honestly, if I didn't live in Austin, I don't know that I would enjoy living in Texas. But I think a lot of that has to do with my career choice too. But stuff like this wants me to stay and see more counties in Texas becoming more like Travis County.

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Thank goodness Texas can claim Molly Ivins, and turn to her as an antidote on these issues.

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*finishes reading Molly Ivins*

 

Is there a place where I can see more of her work? I like the way she thinks and how honest she is about it.

 

On a serious note, yes, when the schools are being taught, whose side an invisible man is on is the least of your problems.

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Is there a place where I can see more of her work?

 

http://www.mollyivins.com/showAuthor.asp?AuthorID=3

 

Enjoy!

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AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry favors the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public school science classes but has no plans to push for curriculum changes that would require Texas students to learn the controversial theory, his office said Friday.

 

I dont understand what you have to "fight". Its just an article stating that the governor supports it. He isnt trying to pass laws or anything. :shrug:

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AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry favors the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public school science classes but has no plans to push for curriculum changes that would require Texas students to learn the controversial theory, his office said Friday.

 

I dont understand what you have to "fight". Its just an article stating that the governor supports it. He isnt trying to pass laws or anything. :shrug:

You obviously don't know Gov Perry.

 

Here's what he said just three days ago on the same topic...

 

Perry would support 2007 legislative consideration of schools' teaching "intelligent design" alongside evolution. "I think it's wise for kids to have differing theories to think about," he said.

 

"I wouldn't have a problem in the world with my kids, if they went to public schools, being exposed to that debate. I think it would be good for the whole country."

From here.

 

This type of legislation is brought up every time the Texas legislature meets.

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AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry favors the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public school science classes but has no plans to push for curriculum changes that would require Texas students to learn the controversial theory, his office said Friday.

 

I dont understand what you have to "fight". Its just an article stating that the governor supports it. He isnt trying to pass laws or anything. :shrug:

You obviously don't know Gov Perry.

 

Here's what he said just three days ago on the same topic...

 

Perry would support 2007 legislative consideration of schools' teaching "intelligent design" alongside evolution. "I think it's wise for kids to have differing theories to think about," he said.

 

"I wouldn't have a problem in the world with my kids, if they went to public schools, being exposed to that debate. I think it would be good for the whole country."

From here.

 

This type of legislation is brought up every time the Texas legislature meets.

 

I see. :ugh:

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Y'know, TF, it occurs to me that, from a fundie perspective, what we have is Stupid Design.

 

The facts of existence that bug the bejeezus out of fundies could certainly have been more intelligently designed:

 

1) The Designer had a perfectly good model for heterosexual ideation. Did He then spill ink all over His blueprints or something?

 

2) If The Designer had wanted just everybody to have a say in whether a developing being should come to completion or not, He had a great model for that, too. Egg-laying.

 

I think Perry should find a smarter Designer first. :scratch:

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This is good to always keep these machinations under a public spotlight, like this thread. There is enough assault on our inteligence each day, with endless advertising that you can't avoid, even while standing in line at the bank. It would be great to keep this bullshit out of schools. But, to be accurate in understanding this problem, we have to realise that our elected officials are, in the long run, only going to be as good as the people who elect them. That means to fix this well is to also do what we can to promote real thinking everywhere. Politicians are always going to pander to whatever is going to get them elected. If that's going to be a lot of stupid nonsense, that's going to be what you hear them legislate or support. I of course think everyone knows this, but just want to make sure that at least I myself don't get misdirected by thinking that by only effecting the decisions of a few that this is going to go away.

 

I think Perry should find a smarter Designer first.

 

Those points you made in that entry were brilliant and elegantly put.

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Thanks! If god was so intelligent why didn't he make a mate for Adam right away? Does not the bible say that Adam looked at the animals and couldn't find a helpmeet? LMAO

Y'know, I was thinking about a Stupid Designer (from a fundie perspective) even allowing for homosexual ideation, but you make an excellent point, Serenity.

 

Charley,

 

Thanks.

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Thanks! If god was so intelligent why didn't he make a mate for Adam right away? Does not the bible say that Adam looked at the animals and couldn't find a helpmeet? LMAO

Y'know, I was thinking about a Stupid Designer (from a fundie perspective) even allowing for homosexual ideation, but you make an excellent point, Serenity.

 

Charley,

 

Thanks.

I've often wondered why the spirit-inspired bible openly admits that Adam considered beastiality first. :wicked:

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I've often wondered why the spirit-inspired bible openly admits that Adam considered beastiality first. :wicked:

 

Yup. First man on earth, wouldn't ya know, was just a horny ole farm-boy.

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