Responding to the Texas state Senate failing to confirm religious antievolutionist Don McLeroy as chair of the State Board of Education, Sen. Steve Ogden went on the record:
Ogden decried much of the criticism of McLeroy as a “slur.”
“It is not fair to say that if you don’t believe Darwin’s theory of evolution or accept the argument that global warming is occurring, that you should not be on the State Board of Education,” he said.
Mr. Ogden, any concerned citizen could be on a state board of education. Any citizen holding unsubstantiated opinions about empirical research can hold a seat on such a board. However, when a person holding an unsubstantiated narrow sectarian viewpoint who uses their seat on such a board to push to have those views be promulgated as legitimate science, they are not only not doing the job that they are supposed to be doing, they are in malfeasance and have demonstrated by such bad behavior that they do not belong there.
You want kids to learn weird stuff in science classes? Pony up the appropriate ante: show that the arguments you favor have demonstrated their merit under scientific scrutiny and have convinced the scientific community of their worth. Until then, the best approach is to make sure that kids learn what science has to offer in their classes. If it is wrong, the researchers of tomorrow will have a better shot at showing it is wrong if they actually understand it in the first place. Trying to replace instruction with confusion, as McLeroy has consistently advocated, does no one any good.