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NPT Capitol: Shapleigh roasts creationist over the coals

State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso gave Don McLeroy, Chairman of the State Board of Education a run for his money during his appearance before the Senate Committee On Nominations Wednesday. Shapleigh pushed McLeroy over issues like the earth’s age and global warming. (Read excerpts here) After the hearing Shapleigh’s office announced the following statement:

“Don McLeroy is not qualified to serve as chairman of such an important board as the State Board of Education (SBOE). His views on creationism do not square with science; his views on reading do not square with evidence; his views on the future of education in Texas do not square with a diverse state seeking education excellence.”

Shapleigh plans to bring the issue of McLeroy’s views up when his re-nomination hits the Senate floor later this month. Read the full press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright

Senator Eliot Shapleigh

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2009

Senator Shapleigh releases statement on Rick Perry’s nomination of SBOE Chairman Don McLeroy

Senator Shapleigh plans to sever nomination, bring confirmation debate before full Senate

“Right now, Texas needs strong education leadership, particularly in math and science to make us competitive in the 21st Century… Don McLeroy is not qualified to serve as chairman of such an important board as the State Board of Education (SBOE). His views on creationism do not square with science; his views on reading do not square with evidence; his views on the future of education in Texas do not square with a diverse state seeking education excellence.”

****************

AUSTIN – Today, after testimony from current Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education Don McLeroy in the Senate Committee on Nominations, Senator Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) issued the following
statement:

Don McLeroy is not qualified to serve as chairman of such an important board as the State Board of Education (SBOE). His views on creationism do not square with science; his views on reading do not square with evidence; his views on the future of education in Texas do not square with a diverse state seeking education excellence.

Here are a few of his quotes over the years on various topics:

Disregarding research and expertise

“I disagree with all these experts. Somebody has to stand up to these experts.”

– SBOE meeting ,March 27, 2009, on the debate over evolution

“Scientific consensus means nothing.”

-San Francisco Examiner , March 30, 2009, on the debate over evolution

“Conservatives like me think the evidence (for human contributions to global warming) is a bunch of ‘hooey.'”

– Austin American-Statesman , March 28, 2009, during the debate on science standards

On religion and science

“The old definition was inferior in that it undermined both the philosophy of the naturalist and the supernaturalist. By circular reasoning, the naturalist was prevented from using science to prove that
‘nature is all there is,’ and the supernaturalist was prevented from offering supernatural hypotheses. With the new definition, both the naturalist and the supernaturalist are free to make ‘testable’ explanations. The debate can now shift from ‘Is it science?’ to ‘Is it testable?'” – Austin American-Statesman , March 25, 2009, arguing for a redefinition of science to include supernatural explanations

“In critiquing the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) missionary evolution tract-Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, he identifies their theft of true science by their intentional neglect of other valid
scientific possibilities. Then, using NAS’s own statements, he demonstrates that the great ‘process’ of evolution-natural selection-is nothing more than a figure of speech.” – February 1, 2009
, endorsing a book that characterizes parents who want their children to learn about evolution as “monsters,” scientists as
“atheists,” and pastors who teach that there is no conflict between science and religion as “morons”

“When I became a Christian, it was whole-hearted. I was totally convinced the biblical principles were right, and I was totally convinced that it could accurate scientifically.” – Austin American Statesman
, March 8, 2009, oddly discussing why his desire to water down public school instruction about evolution isn’t about his
religious beliefs.

“If evolution is development of life through unguided natural processes, how can we be made in the image of God? How can humans be worth anything?”

– Texas Observer , February 20, 2009, rejecting suggestions that science and religion are not in conflict with each other

“There were only the four really conservative, orthodox Christians on the board (who) were the only ones who were willing to stand up to the textbooks and say that they don’t present the weaknesses of evolution. .
. . And the more I look back on it, I believe if we would have challenged the naturalistic assumptions that nature is all there is with our fellow board members and challenged these people that were talking
about it a little bit that brought up testimony, possibly we would have gotten a few more votes because a lot of these dear friends of mine on the State Board of Education are good, strong Christians that are active
in Young Life and other activities. But they were able to totally not even worry about the fact that evolution’s assumption that nature is all there is in total conflict with the way they live there life.”- Lecture at Grace Bible Church in Bryan , July
2005, in which Dr. McLeroy discusses the state board’s adoption of biology textbooks in 2003

On reading and language arts “What good does it do to put a Chinese story in an English book? You
learn all these Chinese words, OK. That’s not going to help you master … English. So you really don’t want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them. Why should you take a child’s time trying
to learn a word that they’ll never ever use again?” He added that some words – such as chow mein – might be useful. – San Antonio Express-News , March 21, 2008, discussing why language arts students shouldn’t be reading the works of authors from different countries

SBOE member Mary Helen Berlanga has also called on Governor Perry to remove Don McLeroy , stating that since he took over as chairman “it has been a disaster. Both, his positions on the English Language Arts and Reading Document (ELAR) and his attitude towards our teachers have been very offensive. Many of our state representatives’ and senators’ comments have been ignored and they too are offended. You cannot afford to have Don McLeroy in such an important position in our state.”

During the 81st session, at least fifteen bills have been filed by Republicans and Democrats alike to limit or
eliminate SBOE authority over textbooks and curriculum.

In the Senate, I will sever his name from consideration and seek to block his nomination as SBOE chairman. His term has served to divide Texas and put us onto a path to a less educated workforce.

Right now, Texas needs strong education leadership, particularly in math and science to make us competitive in the 21st Century. Don McLeroy is not qualified to lead in education.

Related documents:

* Opinion by Attorney General Dan Morales regarding the authority of the SBOE to adopt a rule prescribing the content of state-funded textbooks for use in public schools. (November 21, 1996)

* Opinion by Attorney General Greg Abbott regarding the authority of the SBOE to adopt a rule requiring school textbooks to meet general textbook content standards as a condition of the board’s approval.
(September 18, 2006)
* Letter from SBOE member Mary Helen Berlanga requesting removal for Don McLeroy as board chairman. (May 20, 2008)
* Letter from Texas State Representatives Rob Eissler, Scott Hochberg and Diane Patrick urging the SBOE to reject vague TEKS proposed by the board for elective courses on the Hebrew Scriptures and New
Testament under HB 1287. (May 16, 2008)

– End –

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. johnnyfriegas

    April 23, 2009 at 7:39 am

  2. My Grandpa killed a dinosaur.

    BW

    April 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  3. Every single YEC (Young Earth Creationist) should take a college geology course at their local community college… I did and it forever changed how I view the world. Not because it promoted evolution, but because of the PROCESSES of physical geology and how the rock cycle works, tectonics, fossilization, and the list goes on. Once a person has basic foundational knowledge in this area, and sees the OVERWHELMING evidence against a young earth even being a remote possibility, then they realize that if their religious beliefs and scientific evidence do not mesh (back each other up) then there’s a problem. People change their beliefs all the time, and grow mentally and spiritually (if they don’t then they are ‘stuck in a rut’) but you can’t change the fossil record. “Creation” means an UNFOLDING, and so does “Evolution.” Interesting… hhhmmm….

    Evolution, in my view, is HOW God did it. YECs tend to feed themselves the same information by others who agree with their belief system, and do not truly seek to understand another view. Have you? No YEC can explain HOW God made the world… it is a blind faith-based BELIEF based on the Bible, period. The Bible states what, but not the details of how. The ONLY way they can explain HOW is to turn to the scientific method of testing hypotheses until they cannot be disproven, and eventually becomes theory (theory is science does NOT have the same connotation as it does in regular every day usage). Otherwise it is purely a belief held up by faith. Faith is not such a big deal, because even children have faith in Santa Claus bringing them gifts every Christmas – which is a holday rooted in paganism anyway), and has no substance in the real world; only the subjective world of the one doing the believing. The majority of people do not realize how ethnocentric their views and values and beliefs are (cultural sharing, and establishment of cultural norms is the root of this). The majority of people do not even realize their own enculturation.

    Time to wake up and grow up, and realize that YEC’s older beliefs about a 6-10kya creation of earth have slowly been eliminated from their beliefs system one by one, and still continue. Even AIG (Answers in Genesis) has a FAQ page that has eliminated beliefs and arguments that they realize have been disproven and are no longer valid. One by one they are vanishing. Little by little people become educated and teach others WHY science MUST match their God’s way of doing things… if not then God is not the ultimate Scientist and is not in charge of natural processes that affect us daily, and is not able to create using the creation set in motion from the moment of His Big Bang. It is like smacking God in the face with your own fist to say He does not use a PROCESS to get things done in this world, through creation, through us, through nature, through everything that is.

    If creation is in motion today, then it was in the past as well, and there are LAWS of science (that He set in place, if one chooses to see it that way) that do not change. These laws set the boundaries on how things can and did and will (or should?) develop, all the way down to the subatomic level and the periodic table. Is your God not the author of that too? Why does it have to be “magic”… POOF! Everything suddenly is, and then the process begins(?), rather than the process begins and everything unfolds as He planned it to be? This gets into predestination, however, which is a whole other can of worms. Let’s stick with the YEC myth for now.

    Here’s a simple explanation that examines the proof of why the earth is old. This is common sense folks!:
    http://www.sunstar-solutions.com/youngoldurth.htm

    PapaJohn

    April 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

  4. johnnyfriegas

    April 24, 2009 at 7:10 am

  5. there are no atheist in foxholes.

    chupame

    April 24, 2009 at 8:40 am


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