Though the left-right culture war (all Republican bad, all Democrat gooooooood) is still raging in a small segment of the overall science population (some bloggers, whatever science journalists remain), the rest of America has moved on. People recognize that in the 1990s Democrats were anti-science and in the 2000s Republicans were and now that pendulum has swung again and it will keep happening. Today, food, energy and medical science, the three most pressing short-term issues we face, are vilified by the left.
But the right's subversion of science is not dead yet. Climate change is still a pesky issue for them and though the percentage of people who deny evolution is only slightly higher on the right, their efforts to subvert it are much greater.
Texas has been getting attention for efforts by fifth columnists with official titles to undermine evolution. Who has led the charge in making sure that these anti-biology influences don't make science in their state look bad? It is not atheists or academics, it is Texas religious leaders in The Texas Freedom Network, an Austin-based coalition who want to make sure science stays science and religion stays religion. They have consistently stood up to the social authoritarian religious types in the Texas Board of Education.(1)
Credit and link: Texas Freedom Network
The anti-evolution ringers got power at the State Board of Education the same way Discovery Institute got to write its anti-science nonsense for National Review - by cloaking themselves in values that Texans embrace while masking their true intentions. And politics is still politics; we have a president who hates nuclear power, so if you write a book criticizing nuclear power you can run the NRC, even if you have no experience or education in physics.
The Texas Freedom Network
got young scholars from the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University to look over textbooks presented for consideration by the State Board of Education.
“We found no instances in which publishers suggest the science behind evolution is weak or legitimately questioned,” said Kathy Miller, president of the TFN Education Fund, in their statement. “Just as important, they don’t disparage the religious beliefs of people who reject evolution. These textbooks simply focus on teaching students what mainstream science, including the overwhelming scientific evidence, says about evolution.”
Exactly what science books do.
It's always been that you don't mess with guns or religion in Texas - perhaps soon, science will be thrown into that sentence also.
Read Texas Science Textbook Adoption: 2013 - What Proposed Science Instructional Materials Say about Evolution by Texas Freedom Network.
The National Center for Science Education also stays on top of these issues in Texas and nationally.
(1) Want to stand up to far left social authoritarians against science too? Sign this petition condemning eco-terrorism by progressive anti-biology groups scaring farmers in developing nations.
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