As Phil noted at badastronomy, clueless creationist Don McLeroy was just appointed by Rick Perry to head the Texas State Board of Education. My favorite quote from the linked article: “Given all the time in the world, I don’t think I could make a spider out of a rock. However, most of the books we are considering adopting, claim that Nothing made a spider out of a rock.” Oy. It’s bad enough that he’s a creationist, but does it have to be such a dumb creationist?
Those of us who attended the SBOE hearings in 2003 are very familiar with McLeroy’s antics. If you haven’t read about that before, you can read the full report on my blog.
Martin Wagner emailed me to ask if I still have the material I collected from the hearings: pictures, audio, and speech transcripts. Since they are no longer available on the ACA site, I have gone ahead and uploaded everything to my web site. Linked below are the sound clips record from my video camera. I will upload other material later.
Atheist Community of Austin members
- John Koonz
Texas educator, speaking about creationist dishonesty and misquotes.
- Michelle Gadush
Michelle asks: How come most of the board’s questions go to creationists? Characteristically, the board doesn’t ask her any questions.
- Russell Glasser
Relating the cold fusion scandal to current creationist attempts to skip peer review. Includes some fun cross examination by Terri Leo.
- Don Baker
Universal evolution and evolutionary algorithms should also be taught in schools.
- Steve Elliott
A cautionary recap of what happened to the school board in Kansas. Unfortunately, the camera ran out of batteries during Steve’s testimony, so I missed about a minute while trying to get to a plug.
- Martin Wagner
Introducing the concept of “The Wedge Strategy.”
Texas Freedom Network
- Amanda Walker
The importance of solid science education.
- Samantha Smoot
Head of TFN, Samantha deviates from her written material to do a recap of how the esteemed representatives of the Discovery Institute have behaved themselves throughout the evening. Just a wee bit shocking.
Other pro-science speakers
- Dr. Sahotra Sarkar
Philosophy of Science professor from UT. Dr. Sarkar debated an Intelligent Design guy the year before the hearings; you can see my full report on this page.
- Dr. Steven Weinberg
Physics Nobel Laureate. They let him go on for all of thirteen minutes about the topic “How do we know anything in science?” This one is a must hear.
- Dr. Eugenie C. Scott
Head of the National Center for Science Education.
- Dr. Alan Gishlick
Another NCSE guy. Excellent speech, one of the best of the wrap-up bunch.
- Dr. Robert Pennock
Philosophy of Science professor from Michigan; author of Tower of Babel and Intelligent Design and its Critics.
Creationists from the Discovery Institute
- William Dembski
The math geek of the DI, he does his typical “life is too complicated to evolve” song and dance. He also uses the standard line from the evening about introducing “strengths and weaknesses” into evolution education. (The click-whir you hear in the background is me taking shots with my still camera in the other hand. Sorry about that.)
- John West
I didn’t record his entire speech, but I turned on the camera when I realized that he was getting a nice tongue lashing from one of the board members. This is a two minute clip of John doing the creationist two-step as he tries not to answer the direct question, “Do you want schools to teach Intelligent Design?” Terri Leo steps in to try and rescue him, but she winds up making an even bigger mess.
- Michael Behe
Author of Darwin’s Black Box. Fairly predictable speech from Behe: talks about the flagellum, makes a long argument from incredulity about how impossible it is for tiny things to evolve, and gripes about how scientists are unfair to supernaturalists.
- Bruce Chapman
Discovery Institute president.
- Jonathan Wells
As one of the avowed creationist board members said at the end of Wells’ speech, “Your name has been brought up tonight more than Charles Darwin’s, so obviously you must be having an impact.” Well, of course. (See report)