Via Ed Darrell at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub comes a somewhat surprising news story: the Texas State Board of Education, despite being stocked full of creationists, doesn’t think Intelligent Design belongs in the classroom. You might remember the science-education community emitting a collective groan about the appointment of ultra-creationist dentist and abstinence-only advocate Don McLeroy as the chair of this body not long ago. And yet here’s McLeroy, with a definitive educational principle that could have come right out of Panda’s Thumb:
“Anything taught in science has to have consensus in the science community – and intelligent design does not.”
That’s quite an amazing position for someone who said that “Neo-Darwinism” is “not supported by evidence.” Could this be another inspiring example of a principled American citizen who recognizes the difference between their own beliefs and their civic duty?
Maybe. However, Darrell also points out that underneath McLeroy’s declaration we find the distinct whiff of what many have long suspected as the Discovery Institutes’s next move in the struggle over science education:
“When it comes to evolution, I am totally content with the current standard,” [McLeroy] said, adding that his dissatisfaction with current biology textbooks is that they don’t cover the weaknesses of the theory of evolution. (emphasis added)
In other words, it sure seems like the familiar litany of creationist claims are still on the table. Having failed to get them into public education under unified anti-evolutionary banners like Creation Science or Intelligent Design, the next move seems to be to chop them apart and pepper them all over the mainstream textbooks. And as most people familiar with this issue know, Texas has incredible influence over the content of textbooks nationwide, so this is no isolated danger.