Earlier that day, a number of people attended a legislative hearing on the Texas Board of Education’s egregious abuse of power and process in passing English language standards. In an 11th hour move, they switched standards drafted by their writing committee with ideologically driven standards which reflected board members’ own skewed perspectives. It’s widely seen as a preview of tricks they hope to play with science standards.
Over barbecue, I heard tales of the legislature raking the Board over the coals. At the talk itself, Steve Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science gave more insights into the current situation in Texas, with an eye towards the impending fight over science standards. There are seven hardline conservatives who are sure to vote for bad standards, the challenge is keeping those seven (including chairman Don McLeroy) from getting an eight-vote majority.
After that, Ed Brayton compared the claims of ID advocates with John Baez’s Crackpot Index, not surprisingly finding that ID scores somewhere between people who talk to their dogs, and those who believe they’ve been probed by aliens.
I closed by talking about the history of creationism, and how we got where we are today in Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere. The questions afterward were excellent, as was the beer at the Draught House later.
Yesterday, I started the day with a visit to the State Board of Education. Alas, I had to leave before the innumerate hacks set the schedule for revising science standards, a decision which won’t be considered final until the end of the Board’s meeting today.
I admit to some skepticism about the Lone Star Republic State. That said, the Texans I’ve met in the last few days are great folks. Chris Comer is famous for standing strong for science, but there are many other Texans doing the same. Some work for the Texas Freedom Network, but many are just private citizens, writing letters, contacting the SBoE, and working to elect a better Board, and a better legislature.
I also have to admit that the barbecue really is pretty good. Also, that Netroots Nation is pretty awesome.