Some good news from Texas for a change: the final proposed science standards for the state actually strengthen science, and creationist weasel-words (about the weaknesses of science) were removed. How good is this news?
But with the "weaknesses" requirement removed and a new definition for science, the new plan makes it clear that supernatural explanations like creationism and intelligent design have no place in public classrooms, said Dan Quinn with the Texas Freedom Network, an Austin-based nonprofit group that opposes religious influence on public education.
I'd say pretty darn good! Especially since it's neighbor to the north is busily trying to destroy children's minds. How bad could it have been? Don McLeroy is a full-blown creationist, and head of the Texas State Board of Education!
Don McLeroy, the state board’s chairman, has said that science should admit the possibly [sic] of the supernatural when natural explanations fail. But he has also said that he is not trying to put creationism in public schools.
I think that after saying that last part, his pants burst into flame. Now, before we celebrate too much, this final standards proposal has to be put to a vote by the board in March, and that board is still packed with creationists who will no doubt object to a lot of this language. This isn't over yet. Texas took a strong step back from the brink with this, but there are plenty of people still trying to push it over. If you live in Texas, I strongly urge you to contact the Texas Freedom Network and see what you can do to support reality and keep the antiscience forces at bay in the Lone Star State. Hmmm. I need a "not doomed" picture. I'll have to dig around for one. It's a pity I rarely ever need one.
Update (Jan 9, 2009): Et voila.
Thanks to Douglas Gogerty for the mouse template!