Strictly for Austinites

Okay, so everyone’s looking forward to Dawkins’ appearance at UT this coming Wednesday. That will be at 7:00 PM. I suspect it will go about two hours, including Q&A. So I thought that following the talk, unless you’re all going to be a bunch of pathetic gotta-go-to-work-tomorrow candy-asses, we’d have an Atheist Experience Blog meetup somewhere in the vicinity. I’m announcing this early so that people will have a couple of days to think about it and add it to their schedules accordingly. There are any number of kewl coffeehouses or bars or late night restaurants to repair to in the UT area, up and down the Drag and elsewhere. Hell, even Amy’s Ice Creams is an option. So, all you locals chime in, and if you’re interested, offer your suggestions.

Darwin Day fun tomorrow

Here in Austin, the fine folks at CFI have another little Darwin Day celebration going on tomorrow afternoon at Book People. Just like last year, there will be talks by UT professors on the subject of “The Relevance of Evolution to Our Everyday Lives,” while for the kiddies, there will be storytime and science activities on the second floor. All of which culminates in the most important part of all, cutting the birthday cake. Check here for more info. Hope every pro-science Austinite can come and bring a friend.

Creationism in Texas: “One of the worst situations that I’ve ever seen.”

Last night I attended the meeting sponsored by the tireless folks at CFI-Austin, “Will Texas Support 21st Century Science Education?” I arrived a little early and bumped into Matt Dillahunty. Soon I was glad I hadn’t walked in the door ten minutes later than I actually did. The room filled up quickly, soon swelling to SRO status and quite possibly violating fire codes. I did a quick head count and stopped at 60, guesstimating about 20 more faces buried in the back of the crowd I couldn’t fully see.

The enormous turnout was heartening for many reasons, not the least of which is that when the forces of ignorance and scientific illiteracy begin their campaign to dismantle science education in Texas this year, they’re going to meet with some organized and vocal opposition quite prepared to humiliate them in their efforts every step of the way. The Christian Right may have a stranglehold on politics in this state. But as their ill-advised firing of Chris Comer, a bit of local political shenanigans that quickly became an international outrage once word got out through the intertubes, illustrated, when they try to mess with the realities of science, the real world is not so accommodating to their ideologies.

Steven Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science was first to speak. Schafersman has spent 27 years on the front lines fighting creationists in their attempts to infiltrate schools, so he’s seen firsthand just how much creationism has evolved in that time. But he described the current situation in Texas as “one of the worst situations that I’ve ever seen.”

As many of you may not know, Texas has long been what’s called an “adoption state” in terms of how textbooks are chosen for public schools. A small group of people in state politics chooses all the textbooks for the entire state. (Many states let each individual school board choose.) In Texas, the selection process had long been influenced by a fundamentalist Christian couple, Mel and Norma Gabler. The Gablers ran roughshod over every textbook submitted for approval, demanding deletions to evolution in biology texts, deletions to information about contraception in health texts, and other things. Censorship of textbooks in Texas got so bad that a number of textbook publishers would simply release “Texas editions” of their books. The idea that religious ideologues can effectively censor students’ access to knowledge is chilling, to say the least.

Mel Gabler died in 2004, Norma last summer. With their passing, fundie whitewashing of textbooks stopped, though the selection process is still mired in politics. The pro-science community succeeded in thwarting the efforts of creationists and their well-funded leaders at the Discovery Institute in 2003 — a process that several ACA members including Kazim and myself participated in directly — but failed in 2004 when health texts came up for review, with the result that teenagers in this state are still not getting health texts informing them of the proper use of contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy and STD’s. Hey, what’s a few dead kids as long as you’re standing up for Jebus, eh?

Here’s why the situation for science is so dire right now. Science standards are coming up for review later this year, and right now, the State Board of Education is not only run by a YEC, but out of the SBOE’s fifteen members, seven of them are YEC’s. Schafersman has described them as “very aggressive” and certain to make a set of standards that has already been graded an “F” even worse. (This was done by the Fordham Institute, a conservative organization, interestingly enough, but not one with a fundamentalist agenda.)

Chris Comer’s firing in 2007 was part of an effort to purge pro-science individuals from positions of influence in Texas education. The whole thing of sacking her based on supposed insubordination and bad performance was just their little dog and pony show. The real goal is to remove anyone who has anything nice to say about evolution — let alone anyone who recognizes it as the foundational principle underlying all biology — from the rolls.

Now this part is important: Right now the fundies are running some fundie wingnut against Patricia Hardy, a non-fundamentalist, non-creationist Republican. If Hardy loses to this person, then the YEC’s will flip to a majority on the SBOE and every schoolchild in Texas will be assured of a 19th century education. In other words, they’ll be fuct, and Texas will become as bad a laughingstock as Kansas was a few years back.

What about the Democrats, you ask? Who are they running? Well, no one. Apparently the Democratic party in Texas doesn’t care about the SBOE, preferring to devote its efforts toward the legislature. So that means there’s no outright progressive, solidly pro-science candidate to vote for. The best we have is a moderate Republican. But that’s better than nothing, I imagine.

Anyway, Schafersman reiterated that there is a “great deal of apprehension about what’s going to happen this year.” How exactly are the creos going to strike? Well, ID has failed stupendously, despite the efforts and the millions spent by Discovery. After Dover, even Dan McLeroy, the cretinous YEC dentist who heads up the SBOE (and who I remember seemed to think he was onto something at the 2003 textbook hearings by constantly asking UT biology professors if evolution was as well-supported by scientific evidence as gravity), is careful openly to acknowledge the lack of support ID has from the scientific community, and that it is thus inappropriate to teach.

But this is simply McLeroy’s (and the rest of the YEC’s) grinning Cheshire Cat face for the media. The agenda now is to demand that the “weaknesses” of scientific theories like evolution must be discussed in classrooms. You know, fair and balanced and all that. This is bogus for several reasons, not the least of which is that the things the creos trumpet as “weaknesses” — Jonathan Wells’ foolish “icons of evolution”; Behe’s broken record about “irreducible complexity” — aren’t “weaknesses” at all for evolution. They’re merely made-up hand-waving nonsense the creos throw out to impress the scientifically illiterate. Also, while the idea of addressing “weaknesses” in scientific theories is, in principle, supposed to be applied to all fields of science, when the rubber meets the road, it’s only evolution that finds itself under the weight of that demand. Hypocritical much? Why yes. But these are creationists. What do you expect? Integrity? Honesty? Knowledge? Ha.

Remember, these are not people who care about knowledge. These are people desperately attempting to protect a bronze age religion from the modern ideas and scientific facts that defy its magical claims. Their whole lives are rooted in the desperate belief that there’s a god willing and eager to grant them eternal life, and if this belief is debunked, then they’re doomed to plunge into a whirlpool of existential despair and hopelessness they probably cannot escape. So if it’s a choice between understanding science and hanging on to the hope they’ll never die, they’ll pick the latter, thank you. They’re the modern day equivalent of the people who imprisoned Galileo and murdered Giordano Bruno, and make no mistake about it.

More shenanigans from the “Goddidit” crowd involve the Institute for Creation Research attempting to get accreditation in Texas so they can offer master’s degrees in science education here. They’d been trying to do the whole process under the table, with the help of creationist sympathizers in the Texas GOP. Once Texas Citizens for Science got wind of what they were up to and made it pub
lic, things have been a little bit rougher for the ICR’s efforts. Right now, the hearing to determine what to do about the ICR’s application has been pushed back from January 24 to April 24. We’ll be following this closely.

Schafersman then introduced Chris Comer, who got a huge round of applause for being, in effect, evolution’s first “martyr” in Texas. Chris didn’t and couldn’t say much, as Schafersman had cautioned us there could be litigation pending concerning her firing, and so Comer was under orders from her lawyers not to take questions about the firing itself. (Good, I hope she takes the assholes to the cleaners and leaves them there naked.) But Comer did tell us that the “forces at play here are huge” and that the whole situation concerning science education in Texas is “far worse than I ever, ever dreamed it would be.” As an indicator of just how thin the ice is on which we’re all skating: there is an end-of-course biology test, currently optional, that will be required of all Texas students as of 2012. Last month there was an attempt to remove all references to evolution from this test, and it almost worked.

Schafersman told us all that, unlike Dover, where fed-up citizens finally got their own back by voting out all of the creationist idiots from their school board after the trial that had damaged their community was over, in Texas it will be harder to rely on the electoral process alone to fix the SBOE. Once again, the Christian Right controls the GOP here (mavericks like Hardy notwithstanding), and the Democrats don’t want to play. So the key to saving science — and saving students — in Texas will be grassroots movements that constantly shine a light on what the creos try to pull whenever they try to pull it. Comer’s firing was met by unanimous condemnation in newspaper editorials not merely throughout Texas, but the whole country and overseas as well. By keeping this kind of attention on creationism’s sneaky BS, pro-science Texas citizens can ensure that science education in Texas does not fall victim to a religious auto-da-fé anytime soon.

If you want to keep up with this (and you want to keep up with this), bookmark the Texas Citizens for Science page as well as the Texas Freedom Network’s Stand Up for Science campaign.

A final note. During the lengthy Q&A, a high school teacher whose name I didn’t catch made an interesting point. Whatever goes on with the textbooks, it was his experience that students didn’t really read their textbooks anyway. What with the internet able to provide all sorts of information to students directly, regardless of whether it’s been vetted by Christian Right ideologues, wouldn’t it be an easy thing for science teachers simply to encourage students to visit such sites as the Talk Origins archive, the Panda’s Thumb, and others, to get the lowdown on the down low about real science? It was a neat idea, and certainly a fun suggestion of the way teachers can rebel if education standards are in fact undermined as badly as the creationists want them to be. I think teachers should do this anyway…but we still have to keep up the fight, and keep it as bloody as it needs to be.


Addendum, Monday: If you’re one of the folks who’s popped over from Pharyngula, welcome…and please Digg this article to spread awareness of what’s going on in Texas. Thanks.

Next Wednesday in Austin: Chris Comer at Texas Citizens for Science meeting

From the Texas Citizens for Science website:

Forthcoming Appearance: 2008 January 16 – “Will Texas Support 21st Century Science Education? A Briefing by Texas Citizens for Science”

Time and Location: Wednesday evening, January 16, 7:00 p.m., Mangia Pizza-Mesa location, 8012 Mesa Drive, Austin, Texas. Maps are available here and here. There is no charge, and you can buy all the pizza you want.

Texas Citizens for Science President Steven Schafersman will discuss the mounting threats to science education in Texas. He will cover the forthcoming revision of Texas K-12 science standards, the forced resignation of Chris Comer from the Texas Education Agency, and the effort by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research to obtain Texas certification to grant masters degrees in science education. After the briefing there will be a Q&A session and open discussion. Chris Comer will also be on hand to answer questions about science education in Texas.

I’ll certainly be there, and not just for the pizza. This will be the year the supporters of science are going to face continued histrionic attacks on quality education from well-financed creationist groups out to protect their Bronze Age myths at all costs. Florida also seems to be a state where the forces of organized ignorance are rattling their swizzle sticks. Despite the fairly comprehensive defeat ID suffered in Dover, they just aren’t getting the message. That’s what people are like when they think they can play “choose your own reality,” I suppose. If this matters to you at all — and it should, for it will go a long way towards deciding America’s relevance as a leader in science and innovation in the 21st century — turn up. Plus, Mangia’s pizza is the shiz.

The New York Times pitches in on the Comer firing

The Old Grey Lady has its article up on the retaliatory firing resignation of Chris Comer from the TEA, and some passages really reveal the boo-scary Orwellian atmosphere that seems to be permeating the agency under its neocon creationist leadership.

Ms. Comer said that barely an hour after forwarding the e-mail message about Dr. Forrest’s talk, she was called in and informed that Lizzette Reynolds, deputy commissioner for statewide policy and programs, had seen a copy and complained, calling it “an offense that calls for termination. ” Ms. Comer said she had no idea how Ms. Reynolds, a former federal education official who served as an adviser to George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas, had seen the message so quickly, and remembered thinking, “What is this, the thought police or what?”


Update: Now there’s an editorial. And it’s nicely uncompromising and, hopefully, deeply embarrassing to Texas.

It was especially disturbing that the agency accused Ms. Comer — by forwarding the e-mail message — of taking a position on “a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.” Surely the agency should not remain neutral on the central struggle between science and religion in the public schools. It should take a stand in favor of evolution as a central theory in modern biology. Texas’s own education standards require the teaching of evolution.

Those standards are scheduled to be reviewed next year. Ms. Comer’s dismissal and comments in favor of intelligent design by the chairman of the state board of education do not augur well for that review. We can only hope that adherents of a sound science education can save Texas from a retreat into the darker ages.

We’ll do all we can, of course. But we’re going up against fanatics who have a religious ideology to protect, and they’re deeply fearful of evolution because they’ve been indoctrinated into believing that if it’s true, they won’t get to live forever playing harps in Heaven’s Fairyland Food Court. When facts go up against psychologically crippling existential terror, it’s always a hard-fought battle.

TEA castigated in Statesman

They didn’t pick my letter to print, but there are two very good ones in the current Austin American Statesman, as well as a surprisingly smart editorial, attacking the political retaliation against Chris Comer by the creationist-run Texas Education Association. The editorial board opines:

The education agency, of course, portrays the problem as one of insubordination and misconduct. But from all appearances, Comer was pushed out because the agency is enforcing a political doctrine of strict conservatism that allows no criticism of creationism….

Whether one accepts the theory of intelligent design or not, discussion encourages scientific exploration, which is what a science curriculum director should do. Forcing Comer out of her job because she passed on an e-mail about the critic’s presentation is egregiously wrong.

It looks like the Texas Education Agency has fallen victim to a smelly little orthodoxy, to quote author George Orwell. And that cannot be good for the schools or the schoolchildren of Texas.

Apart from the little gaffe of calling ID a “theory,” which is like some no-hoper pointing to a Playboy centerfold taped to his wall and calling it his “girlfriend,” it’s nice to see that the paper is ready and willing to call the TEA on its bullshit spin right away, and tell it like it is regarding Comer’s firing: that she was forced out for not toeing a Christian neoconservative anti-science party line. And that the people who make a big noise about scientists being closed-minded dogmatists who have unfairly “Expelled” intelligent design from fair scientific inquiry are the most despicable of hypocrites and lying frauds. Good on ya, Statesman. Maybe you don’t suck as much as I’ve been thinking all these years.

TEA’s science curriculum director forced to resign for promoting science

This is beyond appalling. Remember the talk given here in Austin by Barbara Forrest back at the beginning of the month? It turns out that creationist sympathizers in the Texas Education Agency (rapidly becoming a grossly misnamed entity) have forced the resignation of their science curriculum director, Chris Comer, for forwarding an email promoting that talk. It’s as egregious an act of theocratic political retaliation as you’re likely to see. The lead in this Statesman article is boggling in its implications.

The state’s director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.

Think about this sentence for a minute. Let it sink in. Imagine, for a moment, if it had read: “The state’s director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching that the earth is flat.” Or what if it had read, “The state’s director of history curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching Holocaust denial.” What if we actually lived in that world?

Newsflash: we do live in that world. America is gleefully abandoning everything that the Enlightenment stood for and racing backwards into the Middle Ages with open arms. I don’t like to deal in slippery slope fallacies. But when one has to deal with Christianists and their political machinations, it hardly seems beyond the pale to think these are people who won’t rest until absolutely everything modern science teaches us about the world that in any way appears to threaten their precious fantasies about their invisible sky fairy will be suppressed, its proponents driven out of jobs and positions of public influence. (No, I’ll stop short of hysteria about Gulags, and leave that bit of paranoia to the fundamentalists and their little persecution complexes.)

No surprises about who ordered Comer fired. Lizzette Reynolds is a TEA member who used to work for — wait for it — the Bush administration.

“This is highly inappropriate,” Reynolds said in an e-mail to Comer’s supervisors. “I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities.

“This is something that the State Board, the Governor’s Office and members of the Legislature would be extremely upset to see because it assumes this is a subject that the agency supports.”

Yes, well, we all know how Bush and his boys are not exactly supporters of evidence-based facts, and indeed their whole policy of “if the facts don’t support our agenda, just make some up” is entirely in keeping with the modus operandi of ID creationists. Reynolds is a chip off their little Orwellian block, isn’t she?

I say we make a stink about this, and Comer’s firing should be a major talking point when science textbooks come up for review again in early 2008.

Here is the letter to the editor that I just sent to the Statesman:

I am appalled to read of the political retaliation in the Texas Education Agency against Chris Comer for, in the article’s words, “creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.”

Imagine if the article had stated Comer had been forced out for “creating the appearance of bias against teaching the Earth is flat.” Since when is the promotion of accurate science teaching a firing offense?

Religious extremists in the TEA don’t want students and citizens to know a simple fact that threatens their ideology: that “intelligent design” was laughably revealed to be the poorest pseudoscience in the 2005 Dover trial, and the so-called “controversy” over evolution exists only in the minds of the evolution opponents whose dishonesty and ignorance were laid bare in that trial.

Anti-science extremists in the religious right are playing politics with the education of Texas’ kids. If facts get in the way, shoot the messenger!

Go to statesman.com, and click on Opinion > Letters to write your own.

Report on the Dan Barker talk

Tonight, the Atheist Longhorns campus group sponsored a talk by Dan Barker, president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and author of Losing Faith in Faith and several children’s books.

Turnout was excellent. The talk was held in a UT lecture hall with a capacity of 250. Somewhere between 75 and 100 people attended. The great majority of them seemed to be members of either the Atheist Longhorns or the Atheist Community of Austin, with a few Christians scattered around the room. Most of the jokes were met with appreciative laughs, and most of the stories told for shock value were met with audible outrage.

Dan introduced himself and the Center for Inquiry, then went on to discuss the religious climate in America today. Despite an upswing in fundamentalism since 2001, Dan stated that he was generally optimistic and believed that we were gaining ground over time. He stated that England and other European countries have “grown out of” their preoccupation with religion, and he believes that America will too.

Which is not to say that we shouldn’t be concerned with the trends that we do see. Both Democrats and Repubiclans still seem to think they need to pander to the religious right all the time, so you won’t see even a Democratic candidate fail to emphasize how important his or her faith in Jesus is. Still, Barker feels that the progress of secularists and progressives shows a clear upward trend over time. He made an analogy to the stock market: in the short term, the market may fluctuate wildly, as we just experienced a large short term rise in religiosity. In the long term, however, the zigs and zags surround an overall forward movement.

For instance, many decades ago, people like Margaret Sanger were jailed for supporting birth control. Today, birth control is so common that it is used by 90% of American Catholics, even when the pope said that it’s a sin. He also claimed that the victory in cases such as Kitzmiller v. Dover has been so complete that even creationists know that fighting the case in overt, honest ways is pretty much closed to them now.

Dan then went on to discuss the history of separation of church and state, noting along the way that although those exact words to not appear in the constitution, neither does “separation of powers”; nor does the word “trinity” appear in the Bible. The concepts are the important part.

He discussed George Bush’s faith-based initiatives. Essentially, according to Dan, there have been several examples of various organizations receiving government funding that didn’t do anything but proselytize, and ultimately didn’t even do what they claimed they were supposed to do (i.e., in the case of a group that purported to help former prisoners get jobs, their primary message was “read the Bible, trust Jesus, and then you’ll get a job”).

FFRF proceeded to sue some of these organizations, and win. In many cases, the state officials actually expressed gratitude over the outcome of these suits, noting that if FFRF hadn’t stepped in, they wouldn’t have even known that these abuses were occurring. Why is this? asks Dan. Shouldn’t states be doing oversight themselves, instead of waiting for some atheists to come along with a lawsuit?

Dan claimed that Congress has never approved any faith based funding, which would be illegal if done through official channels. Instead, Bush has a certain amount of money budgeted for general appropriation, which he then used to set up an office of faith-based intiatives at the White House. What this office does is invite religious organizations to come and hear talks which encourage them to fill out some forms and get cash for their church programs.

FFRF tried to sue the executive branch for violation of the first amendment, but the first judge they spoke to denied the case, on the ground that FFRF had no standing. They then appealed the case to the 7th circuit court and won. But the government appealed the loss, petitioning the Supreme Court to overturn the second ruling.

This was about the time that Alito and Roberts were placed on the supreme court, which meant that the overall composition of the court was very different from its state when the lawsuit began. By a 5-4 ruling, they agreed that no one could sue the government unless they had standing as a citizen who has been harmed, and not merely a tax payer. Although this case was similar to the various suits that FFRF had been winning around the country, suddenly the landscape changed. Now they couldn’t get these cases heard on their own merits anymore; everyone was throwing up roadblocks by bringing up the issue of whether they had standing. This brought us up to the present day.

At around 7:45 Dan started fielding questions. Don Baker asked how they raised enough money for all these court challenges, and Dan said that they have a legal fund that people donate to. Also, some lawyers are more than willing to work for free if it means they might get to argue a high profile case before the Supreme Court.

I asked Dan how he and Annie managed to land a gig with Air America Radio, and the answer was: lots of money. Originally they started advertising on AAR, and later they paid more up front to get a national show.

Several people in the back row asked very similar questions about the lawsuits that FFRF had brought. I suspect that they were all part of a Christian group, and the questions may have been planned, but they weren’t all that effective IMO. One asked: If these faith-based organizations receiving money had represented several different religions instead of just one, and if their work had proven effective, would FFRF still oppose them? The other two more or less repeated portions of the same question. In all responses, Dan said that 1. It was in fact mostly Christians that were courted by the office; 2. It wouldn’t matter if other religions were involved; 3. It wouldn’t matter if they did good things with the money, since the issue is government money going to religious programs. Dan made this analogy: If a white supremacist group set up a soup kitchen, and it was clear that they were using it for propaganda purposes, it should be opposed even if it is a really good soup kitchen.

Another guy asked Dan to expand on his comments about Europe “growing out of religion” while America didn’t, and expressed some pessimism about whether we have a lot more pain to go through before religious influence starts to recede. Dan reiterated his overall optimism, but did acknowledge that things could get much worse, especially if another catastrophic even such as 9/11 occurs. He also noted that in Europe, there is official state-sponsored religion, and so churches don’t have to “hustle” for money, since they are already receiving it from government. Over here, religion is a competitive enterprise, so churches work hard to get more private money as much as possible. That’s his explanation for why there’s so much more religious influence here even though it’s not supported by government.

Matt asked whether Dan opposes tax exemption for churches. Dan said: Yes, I think it shouldn’t exist, but it’s so entrenched that it’s not a battle worth fighting for the time being. He did go on a semi-rant about how churches still use fire stations and police stations and roads, etc., but do not pay for them, which means that the rest of us must pay their share.

After the talk, the Texas Longhorns got a group picture taken with Dan. I introduced myself and had him sign one of his children’s books (“Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong”) for me and Ben.

I hung around to see some of the Christian students that were starting up various conversations. One group was very friendly, said they had seen our show, and that they agreed with Dan on most points about separation of church and state. That was a very positive conversation.

I also came across Matt arguing with a fairly aggressive Chri
stian about the philosophical issues of “ultimate morality” and his notion that atheism requires purposelessness. This discussion got somewhat heated and ranged among topics like the Euthyphro dilemma, societal construction of laws (the apologist insisted that laws don’t “exist”, and threw out the usual claim that he’d be killing people if he didn’t believe in God), and some of the nastiness in the Bible. It was hard for me to get a word in edgewise, as the apologist was very strident and had a tendency to talk louder when interrupted; and of course Matt was doing most of the talking on our end. I threw in a few points, but basically I considered the conversation pretty much ended when Matt got the apologist to state that stoning children to death USED TO BE morally correct.

However, that apparently wasn’t the end of it; Matt continued the conversation for a while longer and I think is getting roped into an email discussion. I’ll look forward to that.

Anyway, I enjoyed the evening. Dan Barker’s a good speaker, and a good image of the “friendly neighborhood atheist,” as he likes to say.

Friday in Austin: Barbara Forrest, Creationism’s Trojan Horse

The fine folks at CFI-Austin are sponsoring a talk tomorrow night from 7-9 p.m. by Barbara Forrest, one of the authors of Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Forrest has been active in the front lines of the ID wars, and she’ll be talking about her participation in the Dover trial as well as giving an overview of the whole ID movement. Should be excellent! It all takes place at the Monarch Event Center, Suite 3100, 6406 North IH-35 in Austin. That’s just north of 290/2222, on the west side of 35, in the shopping center where the World Gym is. Miss it not if supporting proper science education matters to you.

At the National Center for Science Education website, you can read this piece by Forrest about her role in Kitzmiller.