The radicalization continues, and it’s about time

Texans can stand a little taller now — their scientists have organized into the 21st Century Science Coalition and are speaking out loud and clear.

The 21st-Century Science Coalition is putting politicians on notice that the science community in Texas will accept nothing less than the best education for our kids. We will not allow politics and ideology to handicap the future of our children with a 19th-century education in their 21st-century classrooms.

Any other scientists in Texas should sign their statement. The rest of us should give a clenched fist salute and promise to be as forthright with our local politicians as Texas scientists are with theirs.


  1. Quiet_Desperation says

    I was going to ask the same question about engineers, although without the “lowly” part. :-P The scientist types where I work come ask *me* questions, and I answer with things like “Yes, that can actually be done in the real world” or “No, you would need a floating point processor running at a frequency we normally refer to as ‘orange'”

  2. Bill Dauphin says

    I’m neither a scientist nor a current resident of Texas, but as someone who was raised (from age 2) and educated (through my BA) in Texas, I wish there were some more concrete way for me to support this effort besides offering my…

    *clenched fist salute*

  3. Desert Son says

    Do scientists-in-training in the subject state count? I’m pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology, but I’m only in my second year, so it’s a ways before I can remove the training wheels.

    In the meantime, *clenched fist salute*.

    No kings,


  4. Nick Gotts says

    I’m not from Texas, but I did visit it once (AAAI at University of Austin, 1984), so:
    *clenched fist salute*

  5. Ben Bachman says

    Yay! William Brinkley, the dean of the grad school I’m in, Baylor College of Medicine, appears to have signed!

  6. The Petey says

    I was going to ask the same question about engineers, although without the “lowly” part. :-P

    “lowly” was a tongue in cheek nod to the “Religious Engineers” thread of yesterday.

  7. Desert Son says

    Ah, just saw this from the sign sheet:

    “The statement is for scientists with or working towards advanced degrees in life, physical, and mathematical science.”

    In that case, from this social scientist-in-training, my second *clenched fist salute* of the day. And cheers for taking a step in the right direction, Texas.

    No kings,


  8. Holbach says

    Come on Texas, get your act together or clenched fists will be raised when you are again part of Mexico.

  9. Shannon says

    Finally, I see my state represented in a good light for once! keep it up, Texan scientists!

  10. raven says

    How long will it be before Bill Dembski reports them to Homeland Security as a terrorist organization?

    Oops, he likely did that yesterday.

  11. says

    I’m a scientist, and though I’ve never been to Texas I fully support the aims of the 21st century science coalition. These are issues that we must unite on.

    *Clenched fist salute*

    Fight the power!

  12. Benjamin Franklin says

    Teach the controversy?


    Squash the Squabble!

    *Clenched Fist Salute* for science

    *Middle Finger Salute* for dumbfuck Young Earth Creationist dentists

  13. Z says

    I am living in Texas (distinction from being born here) and I will see your raised clenched fist, and raise you several letters (emails really) to those legislators who represent me as well as the Governor and several others whose positional authority gives them access to the means of resolution of this problem.

    I’m not an engineer, though systems engineering is what I do. It is not as an engineer that I will stand, but as a citizen, and stand I will out of concern for the quality of life for myself, my family, and my countrymen.

    I refuse to accept the dogma, doctrine, and traditions of anyone, be they theists or fascists, as they are the same to a free man with a free mind.

  14. Quiet Desperation says

    “lowly” was a tongue in cheek

    Oh, I know. :)

    But I have had a pure comm theory guy ask if a certain thing could be done, and my answer was “Yes, if you have Deep Thought, a cluster of 9 million HALs or some sort of spooky planetary consciousness not constrained by the limits of space and time.”

    Or one of those 8 core Mac Pros. Man, them is some sweetness!

  15. The Petey says

    Yeah, ChE here.

    Chemists figure out “how”
    we figure out how to make it work in the real world.

    I actually describe myself as an industrial plumber.

  16. Qwerty says

    The Texans are laying it on the line. There will be no “teaching the controversy” if they have their way. Bravo to the Lone Star State scientists.

  17. The Petey says

    But I have had a pure comm theory guy ask if a certain thing could be done, and my answer was “Yes, if you have Deep Thought…”

    But this is earth – don’t you know where the planet’s USB port is?

  18. ChuckP says

    I’m not a scientist, but I am a Texan. It is a great thing that this group of scientists is doing. I only hope that Don McLeroy and the rest of the IDiots on the SBoE take heed and listen. Unfortunately, the Texas SBoE has a terrible track record when it comes to choosing reason over superstition. Their adoption of the Language Arts curriculum not long ago demonstrates their willingness to ignore expert opinion.

  19. BobC says

    This year, Texas scientists are speaking out.

    It’s about time. What about the rest of America’s scientists? There’s a war against science education going on all over the United States, especially in the Christian infested Deep South. Every American scientist should be demanding that the Christian retards keep their insanity out of our schools. They also should be demanding that creationist biology teachers be fired immediately. They should be ridiculing creationists on school boards and demanding that they be put in prison for treason.

  20. James F says

    Thanks, PZ, I’m going to forward this to the Texas Freedom Network, Texas Citizens for Science, Clergy Letter Project, and some of my colleagues in Texas.

    *clenched fist salute*

    Power, brothers and sisters! Are you in a state with a Citizens for Science group? Join it! Are you a member of the NCSE? Join it!

  21. says

    Oh, yay! A reason to be proud of my home state again… There have been way too many tick marks in the other column of late.

  22. fullyautomateddesign says

    Hmmmm… the TEA isn’t too far from where I am right now. Any other Austin Pharynguloids up to pay these guys a visit?

  23. The Hogfather says

    Wouldn’t a 19th Century eduction actually be better than young Earth Creationism (and quite possibly Creationism in general)? Since by the 19th Century we had Charles Lyell (1797-1875) and the scientific concensus was that the Earth was at least millions of years old. Later of course came the work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace and even before these two Lamarck. Okay yes Lamarck got a hell of a lot wrong, but he was still closer to the mark than those arses who insist on a 6000 year old universe!!!!

  24. SASnSA says

    As a Texan with a strong curiosity for science, *clenched fist salute*

    Lets hope these voices for reason aren’t completely drowned out by the incessant droning of the idiocracy that seems to dominate the area.

  25. Bill Dauphin says

    I am living in Texas (distinction from being born here)

    Boy, you got that right! According to true-born Texicans, if you can’t trace your lineage back to the heroes of the Alamo or San Jacinto, you’re nothing but a goldang carptebaggin’ furriner!!

    I was raised from toddlerhood in Texas, and had no memory of living anywhwere else, but my best friend at U. of Houston — whose family had lived on the same block for 4 generations — could not but chortle at my lamentable outsider status.

  26. Joe Bob says

    Born and raised in Austin. Master of Science in Computer Science, University of Texas, 1979. Fled to Europe shortly after Reagan’s election.

    *Clinched Fist Salute*

  27. Coragyps says

    Signed, even though I’m a oil-field chemist and so not a real scientist. And I did a clenched-fist salute once before, as a part of my fifteen minutes of fame on the GE College Bowl.

  28. Aquaria says

    We recently had an article about the TX school board evolution debate, with coverage included of the Chris Comer incident, in our local indie weekly, the San Antonio Current. It was a great article, front page, but, unfortunately, of a mostly ignored paper–even though they do some of the best reporting in the city.

    Well worth a read, and a very good article, for the side of rationality. It’s not perfect, but it’s far from flattering to the faith-heads.

  29. willy says

    YA!!!! I am a scientist in Texas. Or at least an aspiring one. I am going to forward this to all my professors. Absolutely brilliant.

  30. JBM says

    I’m with all of the commentators here on the clenched fist salute. Having been witness to the ways of Texas politics for quite some time, and not in any way trying to deflate or detract from this laudable effort, the conservative bloc on that board is not going to pay any heed to this petition. You could have this petition signed by Einsetin, Oppenheimer, Curie, Freud, Lavosier, Boyle, Kelvin, Tesla, Heisenberg, Faraday, and Moore (assuming they were alive AND the intended recipients comprehended their scientific contributions) and countless other Nobel laureates in science, and it would be categorically ignored. The “teach the controversey” paradigm, albeit chock full of lies and tortured logic, would prevail. Logic, reason, and honesty — and any accountability thereto — have long since been chucked out the window… of a truck. I apologize for sounding too cynical, but I’ve seen the barbarians here drastically cut funding for low-income childrens’ health insurance despite the cries and pleas of thousands of health care experts. The decision to “teach the controversey” will be easier to make than that.

    Still, good luck to all involved in this issue. I encourage everyone to keep an eye on how this issue develops. Remeber: what Texas decides with regard to school books will have a significant bearing on what shall be made available to students in the other 49 states.

  31. shonny says

    Shit! There is hope for the US!

    If all the best and brightest pull together, no doubt there can be a future where sanity, intelligence, and understanding becomes the desired ideal, rather than, as now the dumbing down.

    Come on all the rest of you, bright eyed and bushy tailed, follow the example, and make ignorance, superstition, and stupidity history!!

  32. Michael Phillips says

    What a fantastic statement! The Texas scientists really are showing the way – now the other States need to do something similar – and soon.
    From here in England, this sounds like the a huge step forward in the fight-back for reality, science and pure common sense.
    I really hope that the USA – having shot itself in the foot – is on the mend.
    “Clenched-Fist Salute”
    Mike Phillips, Leeds, England

  33. Sili says

    It was a great article, front page, but, unfortunately, of a mostly ignored paper–even though since they do some of the best reporting in the city.
    Posted by: Aquaria | October 1, 2008 6:46 PM