Pharyngula

Listen to Texas this morning

I was just notified that one of the people working for Texas Citizens for Science (the good guys) will be discussing the Chris Comer incident with someone from the Texas Freedom Network (more good guys). It doesn’t sound like there will be a lot of drama and confrontation, but there will be information and an opportunity to see the decent, intelligent side of Texas represented.

Thresholds’ host George Reiter will be interviewing Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science, and Dan Quinn, communications director for the Texas Freedom network, on the politics in Texas that led up firing of Chris Comer, director of science at the Texas Education Agency for ‘misconduct and insubordination’ and of ‘siding against creationism and the doctrine that life is the product of ‘intelligent design.’ The show is on KPFT, Houston, 90.1 FM, from 11am-12noon this Thursday, Jan 3, 2008. It can be picked up live on the website, http://www.KPFT.org.

Comments

  1. #1 Christianjb
    January 3, 2008

    That’s 9 am Pacific, 10 am Mountain, 11 am Central, noon Eastern. Wherever you are, you can go to http://www.kpft.org and click on the ‘listen now’ button.

    The host (G. Reiter) is also a professor of physics at U. of Houston and so presumably knows a thing or two about science. (I’m his postdoc, but that might not be much of an endorsement.)

  2. #2 raven
    January 3, 2008

    Sounds like a great show. Can’t listen to it in real time even on the web, but might catch it if it is archived.

    My big question. Why hasn’t Chris Comer sued the religious bigots for religious discrimination? IMO she would have a slam dunk case.

    From the crayfishing the Texas Talibani have been doing, they know it and are scared to death. A few subpoenas for relevant documents and communications would most likely turn up the DIs hands inside a few of these theocratic puppets.

  3. #3 Raynfala
    January 3, 2008

    Oh, the (minor) irony.

    I click on the “listen now” button, and what’s the first thing I hear? TAFKA Cat Stevens / Yusaf Islam singing “Peace Train”.

  4. #4 Mold
    January 3, 2008

    Suing may be the last thing Comer wants. The state is filled with religio-wackies and she’ll never be able to work again. Yes, Xianists have sleepers in state governments. They await the day of Dominion.

  5. #5 raven
    January 3, 2008

    They await the day of Dominion.

    Await? They already own Texas. The governor is a theocratic moron. They have filled the state government with theocratic bigots.

    Suing for religious discrimination is the right thing to do. Comer is a known, card carrying normal person. Can’t put that cat back in the bag.

    “Have you ever been or are you now an acceptor of the fact of evolution?” Comer failed the New McCathyite’s test.

  6. #6 raven
    January 3, 2008

    Texas scores below the national average on most QOL statistics. They have high rates of childhood and adult poverty and high rates of teen pregnancy.

    For all the religious crazies they have, it hasn’t translated into anything but more misery for more people. What happens when you live in a fact free, reality deficient bubble.

    Walking the walk on family values
    By William V. D’Antonio | October 31, 2004

    PRESIDENT Bush and Vice President Cheney make reference to “Massachusetts liberals” as if they were referring to people with some kind of disease. I decided it was time to do some research on these people, and here is what I found.

    The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1.

    But don’t take the US government’s word for it. Take a look at the findings from the George Barna Research Group. George Barna, a born-again Christian whose company is in Ventura, Calif., found that Massachusetts does indeed have the lowest divorce rate among all 50 states. More disturbing was the finding that born-again Christians have among the highest divorce rates.

    The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt. The AP report stated that “the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people.” The 10 Southern states with some of the highest divorce rates were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. By comparison nine states in the Northeast were among those with the lowest divorce rates: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

    How to explain these differences? The following factors provide a partial answer:

    More couples in the South enter their first marriage at a younger age.

    Average household incomes are lower in the South.

    Southern states have a lower percentage of Roman Catholics, “a denomination that does not recognize divorce.” Barna’s study showed that 21 percent of Catholics had been divorced, compared with 29 percent of Baptists.

    Education. Massachusetts has about the highest rate of education in the country, with 85 percent completing high school. For Texas the rate is 76 percent. One third of Massachusetts residents have completed college, compared with 23 percent of Texans, and the other Northeast states are right behind Massachusetts.Continues….

  7. #7 Christianjb
    January 3, 2008

    The show’s started. For those who can’t listen I will try to get a copy of the MP3 up somewhere and I’ll post here later with a link.

  8. #8 Engineer-Poet
    January 3, 2008

    Listening via the WiFi at work… great show so far.

  9. #9 BlueIndependent
    January 3, 2008

    I’m listening to it now too. They seem to be using the term “sound science” a little too frequently though. I understand what that is supposed to mean, but it’s a code word for the ideological malcontents out there opposing global warming and evolution.

    I would hope they soon reference the index to creationist claims.

  10. #10 Raynfala
    January 3, 2008

    Second caller: pulling out that old “evolution is religion” canard.

  11. #11 BlueIndependent
    January 3, 2008

    Ya the caller at 35 minutes in had no idea what he was talking about and was obviously biased toward religion. He was equating evolution with belief or a belief system and kept looking at it as evolution versus religion, not as a separate entity. He didn’t sound like a total lost cause that couldn’t be convinced, but the two show guests could’ve done more to nail him on the evolution=belief thing. I think he got off the hook too easily.

    Show hosts and guests really need to be more proactive in calling people on their questions that they don’t realize are false thinking.

  12. #12 Uber
    January 3, 2008

    Just to state

    Southern states have a lower percentage of Roman Catholics, “a denomination that does not recognize divorce.” Barna’s study showed that 21 percent of Catholics had been divorced, compared with 29 percent of Baptists.

    Other studies have shown the catholics with a higher rate of divorce and that if they get a church annullment don’t answer in the affirmative on polls.

  13. #13 Raynfala
    January 3, 2008

    The last caller summed it up best. To paraphrase, “Why the heck is this still an issue at all?!?”

    Yeah yeah, the answer is obvious… I know. Still, it never fails to inspire astonishment and disbelief. Now, if only some people would exercise THEIR disbelief-mojo more often, we wouldn’t have this mess. :^/

  14. #14 PvM
    January 3, 2008

    The recording can be found in the Archives section. After a ‘false start’ the interview starts at 5:20

  15. #15 BlueIndependent
    January 3, 2008

    @ #12:

    I have a perfect example of your point in my family. Even Catholics facing the termination of a marriage, who’ve been married for years (even more than a decade or two), will still seek annullment and acceptance from the Church first before facing the word divorce.

    I hadn’t known that someone in my family tried that crap until years later when my mother told me about it.

  16. #16 Pierce R. Butler
    January 3, 2008

    There is a whole hour’s worth of the “decent, intelligent side of Texas” in the post-Ivins era?!?

  17. #17 Christianjb
    January 3, 2008

    Thanks for the link PvM.

  18. #18 Gene Goldring
    January 3, 2008

    The last caller Yam (sp) summed up one reaction us foreigners have watching these discussions develop around the States.

    I moved here to the U.S. about 11, 12 years ago. I’m from the Netherlands.

    I’m just absolutely amazed that we’re having discussions like this. As for me, it’s just ridiculous that people even think about teaching I.D. or creationism in a classroom. (little laugh)It’s… I thought I’d give you the foreign perspective on this. It makes me feel like people outside the U.S. are just laughing about people here, you know what I mean?

    Myself, I’m a resident of Canada that really isn’t laughing. This is one form of fatalistic dogma that can negatively effect societal development in oh so many ways over the long haul and has been shown to spread to other countries. Fundamentalists pushing this crap have little to no concept of the wider implications, some of which were skimmed over on the program.

  19. #19 Gene Goldring
    January 3, 2008

    (Lost the quote tags in the last comment. I’ll try it one more time.)

    The last caller Yam (sp) summed up one reaction us foreigners have watching these discussions develop around the States.

    I moved here to the U.S. about 11, 12 years ago. I’m from the Netherlands.

    I’m just absolutely amazed that we’re having discussions like this. As for me, it’s just ridiculous that people even think about teaching I.D. or creationism in a classroom. (little laugh)It’s… I thought I’d give you the foreign perspective on this. It makes me feel like people outside the U.S. are just laughing about people here, you know what I mean?

    Myself, I’m a resident of Canada that really isn’t laughing. This is one form of fatalistic dogma that can negatively effect societal development in oh so many ways over the long haul and has been shown to spread to other countries. Fundamentalists pushing this crap have little to no concept of the wider implications, some of which were skimmed over on the program.

  20. #20 Ryan
    January 6, 2008

    The traditionalist politics in Texas help to keep this kind of “Intelligent Design” crap well ingrained. It is actually an understatement to say that most political entities here work on the good ol’ boy system. It’s going to be one tough nut to crack with all these neo-fascist Christians running the place.

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