Taliban Texas Trapped in the 12th Century

Thursday, March 26, 2009


They like to say Texas is like ‘a whole other country,’ but the sad truth is, Texas exists in a different century, trapped in a time warp and run by Taliban-like religious loons vehemently opposed to science.

Case in point, the controversial Texas Board of Education this week will vote on science standards that critics say seek to cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The board — considering amendments passed in January — will hear from the public on Wednesday. It will then take votes — an initial one Thursday and the final vote Friday.

According to Steven Newton:

“This specific attack on well-established science ignores mountains of evidence and years of research done by experts in a variety of fields.”

One amendment, critics say, undermines the idea that life on Earth derives from a common ancestry, a major principle in the theory of evolution. It calls for the analysis and evaluation of “the sufficiency or insufficiency” of the common ancestry idea to explain the fossil record.

Newton said the board is considering other amendments casting doubt on well-established ideas in the earth and space sciences, plate tectonics, radioactive decay and even how the solar system developed.

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16 Responses to Taliban Texas Trapped in the 12th Century

  1. Dmitris says:

    Sounds like the inmates have taken over the asylum.

  2. Peace Nick says:

    We’re talking about a state of people who voted for George Bush for governor twice and then George Bush for president twice.

    Tell me again, how are these people not crazy?

  3. Jon says:

    I’m not really understanding what you are objecting to here. Objecting to examining a scientific theory because it casts doubt on it is a bit… well, dogmatic.

    Doubting theories and testing them is kinda what science is about, isn’t it?

  4. Big Hank says:

    Jon – I think the objection is self-evident.

    The Texas Board of Education is rejecting established evidence in teaching such basic earth sciences as plate tectonics and radioactive decay.

    This is a page taken directly from the so-called “Young Earth” whack jobs, who claim life on earth started 6,000 years ago.

  5. Jon says:

    I have read the article linked several times now and I can find no reference to them rejecting anything.

    I find multiple references to how it ‘casts doubt’ and ‘undermines the idea’, nothing about rejecting.

    Really, I agree with the notion that this is pretty much trying to get to creationism. But they are doing it by way of teaching “empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing” to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations.”

    What’s to argue with that?

  6. bradfrmphnx says:

    “empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing” to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations.”

    Call it what you will, it still is going against current scientific theory. Religion, god, the holy ghost, spirits, devils, and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny had nothing to do with the creation of the earth. I will allow that “God” created the big bang and left the rest of it up to the fates.

    How did all those fossils and bones get underneath a mile of ice in the Antarctic in 6,000 years?

    How did the continents drift apart so fast in 6,000 years?

    These are questions religion can’t answer and science does.

  7. hJ says:

    All scientific theories have and always will have gaps and holes. No element of science is ever a finished book with the discussion closed. Now, if teachers and communities were able to weigh evidence fairly in the classroom, both they and the students should draw the same conclusions as the scientific community does.

    The problem, of course, is that it opens the door to effectively put a big giant asterisk beside any particular field of science that people feel uncomfortable with. Instead of an education that’s in sync with the world’s scientific community, you run the chance of having an education that’s, at least in part, a product of the local community and their biases.

    The entire reason we as a society are able to progress year after year, is that we’re able to take what has been observed, explained, and then tested and use that as a launching point for new ideas. Hence, “Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants.” It would seem that Texas is content with being just a bunch of dwarfs.

  8. Conejo1982 says:

    Longtime docents at the National History Museum report the museum has been forced to hire additional trainers to provide docents with replies to the under-24 crowd who object to information on the dinosaur tours detailing such facts as “this T-Rex roamed the earth 65 million years ago.”

    The under 24 crowd report being taught in church, in school and at home that dinosaurs and humans co-existed a mere 6,000 years ago. The docents say they were speechless at first but soon realized these views are widely held in conservative, southern states.

    It is astonishing that the Christian right rejects solid science such as radioactive decay. Of course, radioactive decay wholly disproves their assertion that dinosaur fossils are only 6,000 years old and not 65,000,000 years old. You gots ta’ shape your dogma anyway you can.

  9. Mauigirl says:

    This is really sad.

    Hypotheses are what need to be tested and examined; theories are much more concrete, which is something some people don’t realize.

    To cast doubt on central tenets of science is not helping Americans be competitive in this global economy, that’s for sure!

  10. Sharon Diehl says:

    I run into ignorance of science all the time at the annual Gem and Mineral Show in Denver, CO, where we host mineral and fossil booths, hand out geologic literature, and talk to school groups coming through the exhibit on field trips. I never cease to be amazed at the ignorance of PARENTS. At the booth I was manning, we had a mammoth tooth, a fossil mammoth thigh, a tyrannosaurus claw, and various pamplets on volcanic hazards, geologic maps, and water issues. As the children in the group she was chaperoning played with the fossils, we chatted. She said she knew all about mammoths, that they roamed above the Arctic Circle. I said hesitantly, no, mammoths once roamed right here in Colorado, and uh, mammoths were extinct, you did know that, didn’t you? No, she didn’t; she was astonished. I asked her if she had read a recent news articles about the mammoth bones found at an excavation near the Denver International Airport. She said that she didn’t have time to read newspapers. But, she obviously had time to watch the animated movie ICE AGE and come to the conclusion that mammoths were roaming around the Arctic Circle. This isn’t an unusual occurrence. SOOOO MANY people look shocked when I tell them that dinosaurs did NOT coexist with humans, and I thrust a geologic time column into their hands. I stopped helping at the Gem and Mineral show. It was very discouraging.

  11. Adirondacky says:

    I remember reading a few years ago that people living in Texas actually pray to God for rain during droughts. They think their actions will somehow make the clouds rain down. Seriously, I think Texas is stuck in the 3rd century.

  12. libhomo says:

    The religious extremists are afraid that if they give in on evolution, they’ll have to stop sleeping with their relatives too.

  13. bradfrmphnx says:

    Just a small side note on Adirondacky’s comment…

    The Mayans used to sacrifice small children to the gods for rain. They would march them about a mile into the jungle, bury them up to their necks in the ground, then torture and kill them. Along the way they would poke them with sharp sticks in order to make them cry. They believed the falling tears would induce the gods to make it rain. The more they cried, the heavier it was supposed to rain.

    Texas doesn’t seem far behind that idiotic thinking.

  14. Rachel says:

    Evolution, earth sciences, radioactive decay, tectonic plates, etc., are scientific fact and anyone who thinks they’re not needs to go back to school and take a few college-level courses to join the 21st century.

  15. any state that elect john cornyn (and bush, and big hair hutchison) cannot be all that normal — i feel bad for the normal and good people that have to live among the nuttiest

    but as for nutjob states — i think oklahoma wins that one — they have inhofe and coburn

  16. RWR says:

    I think it lasted 1 year when they did this in Kansas?

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