Pharyngula

There’s a school board election in District 11 of Texas that has a clear choice: Pat Hardy is the pro-science candidate, despite being a conservative, religious Baptist, while her opponent is a deranged lunatic who is quietly outspending her 12:1 while avoiding the public eye altogether. You do not want to vote for Barney Maddox — he is an “ill-informed nutcase”.

Isn’t this weird? Here in Minnesota, we’re affected by the outcomes of local school board races in Texas — allowing ignorant, raving lunatics to make textbook decisions there is going to shape the choices we get to make here. So if you know any Texans, spread the word: Barney Maddox is bad news.

Comments

  1. #1 chancelikely
    February 28, 2008

    If there is going to be an apocalypse, the surest sign of it is that Texas is the bellwether state for textbooks.

  2. #2 James F
    February 28, 2008

    And while you’re at it, please sign the Texas Freedom Network’s Stand Up for Science petition, or volunteer for the TFN Rapid Response Team!

  3. #3 James F
    February 28, 2008

    One more thing…

    PZ, don’t forget District 2. Democrat incumbent Mary Helen Berlanga is facing retired school administrator Lupe Gonzalez, who is an equal-time-for-ID proponent. More here.

  4. #4 whoisyourcreator
    February 28, 2008

    Evolutionists should get their stories straight:

    “To be fair, the Gablers did find and point out numerous factual errors in various textbooks, and sometimes those errors persisted despite efforts to get them corrected. They also pointed out real oddities, like a history text that spent more time on Marilyn Monroe than George Washington. You don’t need to be part of the Christian Right to suspect that there’s something very wrong about that.”

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2007/08/03/norma-gabler-textbook-censor-1923-2007.htm

  5. #5 Chris A
    February 28, 2008

    Fort Worth is part of Tarrant County, I will tell my friends who live there.

  6. #6 AJS
    February 28, 2008

    Lupe Gonzalez ….. is an equal-time-for-ID proponent.

    So play them at their own game! Demand equal time for phlogiston theory in chemistry classes, equal time for the Four Humours in biology classes, and equal time for Aristotelian mechanics in physics classes. How about equal time for “2 + 2 = 5″ in maths classes?

    Also, I note that in Florida they are now referring to the “Scientific Theory of Evolution”. We should use that term, too. It sounds more impressive to someone who thinks a theory is little more a guess.

  7. #7 Glenn
    February 28, 2008

    I have to say that, in this day and age, I don’t understand why any state would be held hostage in its textual materials to any other state. First, printing different editions of the same textbook should be technically a breeze now. Even if not, then if a state finds that even with the best textbook it can find it wants to make changes, then distribute additional info/addenda. Or teachers can do it. When I was in college and law school, profs never felt limited to the text and used to distribute additional materials all the time.

  8. #8 Chris A
    February 28, 2008

    whoisyourcreator,

    If you spent half the time it took you to make that cheeky monkey graphic, you could have cracked open a science book and learned something.

  9. #9 Andrew
    February 28, 2008

    #1 chancelikely:

    California and Texas are the two most important states for textbook selection because they are #1 and #2 in population, and consequently buy the most textbooks. Unfortunately, the loonies know this and go out of their way to try to affect the choice of textbooks, especially in Texas.

  10. #10 Michael Woelfel
    February 28, 2008

    As children we are taught fairy tales, but folks frogs really don’t change to princes. Let’s look at some Scientific facts…NO MUTATION has ever been observed to produce a more complex living organism, i.e., add new DNA; even with observation using current technology. Fruit flys simply had their Existing DNA destorted, nothing beneficial to the flys occurred in those experiments. Again- and this is THE BIGGIE- No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed (NN-DNA-HEBO) to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs. Think about that, NO NEW DNA has Ever been observed to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs.

    Macro evolution is a totally baseless exercise of faith, since this single issue has never been resolved!

    Doctors of science teach throughout textbooks, of a mysterious ‘Mother Nature’ who resembles Santa Claus. She works the scenes bestowing imaginative anatomies and behaviors freely upon all living things (yet NN-DNA-HEBO). Earth’s life forms were cleverly supplied, each according as it had need. Yet all change was said to be completely accidental- although in duplicate, as each male and female of all species co-evolved with no disruption in their procreative abilities. Though Mom Nature is promoted as somehow marvelously ‘innovative’, only ‘ranking’ scientists can understand and interpret how her modifying activities occurred; but Nowhere Do They Explain Process Details (BECAUSE NN-DNA-HEBO). So we are simply to accept that the boundless and stunning variety of life on this planet appeared solely from time and happenstance; in short folks “LIFE HAPPENS!” No one can point out positively a single transitional fossil. Neither is there an example of any mutation producing a beneficial change.

    The following information is taken from an ICR Impact publication (April 2002 article #346) normally devoted to scientific creation evidence. This article reveals the competence and influence of some of today’s CREATIONIST scientists. To show the reader the esteemed prominence of the creation worldview, a few of these Genesis believing scientists are listed: Kenneth B. Cumming (Dean and Professor of Biology) has a Ph.D. from Harvard where he studied under Ernst Mayr, “often considered the dean of living evolutionists”. Dr. Carl B. Fliermans (Microbiology) is a microbial ecologist with Dupont with over 60 technical publications. He is well known as the scientist who first identified the “Legionnaire’s Disease” bacterium. Dr. Kelly Hollowell (Molecular Biology) has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Miami. She is also an attorney (J.D.). Dr. Hollowell’s work includes a number of publications in the fields of DNA technology, cloning, and neurobiology. Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D. is an inventor, most notably of the M.R.I. machine. Dr. Kurt Wise (Paleontology) has the M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, having studied under the dedicated evolutionist, Stephen J. Gould. “Dr. Wise is currently in charge of the science division at Bryan College.” Dr. Duane T. Gish (Senior Vice President and Professor of Biochemistry) has earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Beyond his career as a research chemist, and 24 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Dr. Gish “is also known worldwide for winning over 300 scientific debates with evolutionists”. As you can see, many fully credentialed scientists deeply intimate with the varied aspects of evolution, have wholly rejected the ideas. There are many more scientists today actually numbering in the thousands, who have also turned away from the monkey-man conjecture, and who now likewise embrace the literal Genesis record of human origin.

    The effects of ‘Scopes’ had it’s heyday. The pendulum of public opinion will now swing back with the release of Expelled. Solid Scientific evidence will be the catalyst, with the archaic ideas of Darwin a made a laughingstock. The current crop of evolutionary scientists will cluster and squall among their counterparts. Tell me there’s no God!

  11. #11 Thoracantha
    February 28, 2008

    “Yet all change was said to be completely accidental- although in duplicate, as each male and female of all species co-evolved with no disruption in their procreative abilities.”

    Check out Wobachia, polypolidy, female-killing chromosome before you say stuff like that.

  12. #12 BobC
    February 28, 2008

    “Pat Hardy is the pro-science candidate, despite being a conservative, religious Baptist, while her opponent is a deranged lunatic who is quietly outspending her 12:1 while avoiding the public eye altogether.”

    If I lived in Texas of course I would vote for Pat Hardy, but I would like to point out that a Baptist, no matter how pro-science that Baptist is, is also a deranged lunatic. These people believe in a sky fairy and they believe the mythical jesus was a god. They believe they go somewhere after they drop dead. They are nuts, however I appreciate it when they support science education despite their mental illness.

    It’s too bad an atheist could never be elected to anything in Texas. The only choice voters have is to vote for the least deluded Christian.

  13. #13 phantomreader42
    February 28, 2008

    Michael Woelfel, your entire ridiculous post is founded on the claim that No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed!!111

    This claim is simply FALSE. The issue you claim has never been resolved HAS BEEN RESOLVED.

    Without your false foundation, the whole thing falls apart. It’s worthless. You’re just regurgitating creationist grabage that was debunked decades ago. Are you really so stupid you don’t know the difference? Or are you just lying?

    Your hero Dr. Gish is so well known that he’s got a fraudulent debating tactic named after him. It’s called the “Gish Gallop”, and consists of throwing out so much dishonest crap at once that your opponent doesn’t have time to refute it all. Honestly, is this a good role model?

    Isn’t your imaginary god supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

  14. #14 October Mermaid
    February 28, 2008

    So I guess Michael Woelfel is joking around, then. Nobody could compare evolution to a fairy tale, then support the Genesis origin story without a huge sense of irony. I mean, surely.

    Although he does a good job of parodying that line of thinking. “Look at how many holes there are in this theory. It’s so magical how this all just HAPPENED to occur. Suuuure it did. Evolution is such a crock. God did it. There are no holes in THAT! God can do anything! Something doesn’t make sense? Well, his ways are not our ways. I win!”

  15. #15 Fox1
    February 28, 2008

    Michael Woelfel: No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed (NN-DNA-HEBO).

    That really, really did not need to become an acronym, and you say “folks” way too much.

    Sorry, those were the only parts of that screed original enough to warrant a response.

  16. #16 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Check out Wobachia, polypolidy, female-killing chromosome before you say stuff like that.

    In fact, no. Google Wolbachia, polyploidy, and the female-killing chromosome.

    And stop this bullshit about “Mother Nature”. If you had ever opened a science textbook, you’d have noticed that no such supernatural being can be found in any of them.

  17. #17 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Check out Wobachia, polypolidy, female-killing chromosome before you say stuff like that.

    In fact, no. Google Wolbachia, polyploidy, and the female-killing chromosome.

    And stop this bullshit about “Mother Nature”. If you had ever opened a science textbook, you’d have noticed that no such supernatural being can be found in any of them.

  18. #18 Aaron
    February 28, 2008

    This is kind of a lose-lose situation, I’m afraid. Maddox may be a nutcase, but let’s not forget that back in August, when the Houston Chronicle asked Texas SBOE members whether they would be open to teaching intelligent design, Pat Hardy was the only responding board member to say “yes”. (Unfortunately, the original link to that article is dead.)

  19. #19 afterthought
    February 28, 2008

    Tell me there’s no God!

    Posted by: Michael Woelfel

    O.K. There is no God.
    Join the world of reason.

  20. #20 Michelle
    February 28, 2008

    “Tell me there’s no God!

    Posted by: Michael Woelfel”

    There’s no god. God is a faerie and the bible is his tale, and a bad one at that. Seriously. I think the bible is a lame read. It’s not even good stories.

    Happy now?

  21. #21 John C. Welch
    February 28, 2008

    When I hear the fundies and other religioids saying, after “Fucking God. Sent a fucking tornado right through my fucking house and killed me kids. I worship him, but sometimes? Sometimes God is an Almighty Dick.”

    If they’re going to give him all the credit, he can just take all the blame too. He’s in charge, it’s his fault.

  22. #22 Cody
    February 28, 2008

    I wouldn’t get too excited for Mrs. Hardy.

    “Board member Pat Hardy said she was open to the idea of intelligent design curriculum, but she added that she doesn’t advocate putting any religious teachings into science classes.”

    Looks like we might have to deal with another Teach The Controversy howler.

  23. #23 Michelle
    February 28, 2008

    @Cody: So in other words, both candidates are scum and the folks there are absolutely boned.

  24. #24 Aaron
    February 28, 2008

    That’s the article! Thanks, Cody!

  25. #25 Curt Cameron
    February 28, 2008

    whoisyourcreator wrote:

    Evolutionists should get their stories straight

    whois, the incident where the Gablers complained about the space given to Marilyn Monroe was in 1973! And it wasn’t, as Maddox implies, that she got more space than “American presidents,” but the original complaint 35 years ago was that in one book she got more space than George Washington. Why do creationists have to lie so much?

  26. #26 Rey Fox
    February 28, 2008

    Is it even worth arguing with people who insist that there are no transitional fossils? These are obviously people who have not only not ever opened a science book, but would, in fact, spontaneously combust if they ever did. Plus, this one should be banned in short order for spamming anyway.

    Oh, but, Michael, you forgot the Dean Scream that you ended that identical comment with on the “Media Alert” thread. That really helped your argument.

  27. #27 Christianjb
    February 28, 2008

    We need to drop a Digg bomb and a Reddit Bomb on this one in order to get a few more people aware of the vote.

    This blog entry is too short and doesn’t contain enough info about the candidates. The linked page is better, but might not stand up to the traffic (though maybe it can).

    Someone suggest the best site to get behind, and then we should Digg the Bejesus out of it.

    Alternatively, we could just Digg up each and every site, but I don’t know which is better from a tactical point of view.

  28. #28 Liz Masuoka
    February 28, 2008

    Speaking as someone who finds herself now living in Texas after stints in both California and Virginia, I’ll be the first one to admit that the state of Texas science education disturbs me. However, I should point out that the unfortunate reality in Texas is that the problem is worse than just textbooks. Children are being indoctrinated even before they reach school.

    I volunteer in my son’s kindergarten class and a few weeks ago we were talking about dinosaurs. One student looked at a picture of dinosaurs and wanted to know where the people where. I pointed out that there were no people living at the time of the dinosaurs. Immediately one of the other children piped up with something along the lines of “yes there were because God made people and they’ve been here forever” with the intent of implying that of course people and dinosaurs at one time lived together. These are 6 year olds who have no ability to understand theology and are taught from a young age what to believe and what to say. I’ve had other kids come up to me and proclaim that Jesus is their Savior with, I’m sure, no understanding of what that means.

    Is it any wonder that science education in Texas is staring the abyss in the face?

  29. #29 Disciple of "Bob"
    February 28, 2008

    Let’s all have a rousing chorus of The Monkey Song, shall we?

    http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/DY/Jerry_Falwell_Monkey_Song.mp3

  30. #30 misterbowen
    February 28, 2008

    @10: “Tell me there’s no God! ”

    whois, there is no God.

    whew! cleansing!

  31. #31 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Tell me there’s no God!

    There’s no god. thats wasn’t so hard now, was it?

    If there were would he do a better job than my nuprin and heating bad of sorting out the lower back pain that has me at home today? If not, screw it.

  32. #32 MAJeff, OM
    February 28, 2008

    heating pad.

  33. #33 mjfgates
    February 28, 2008

    And here I thought “heating bad” was just wit…

  34. #34 Mark
    February 28, 2008

    You list one city and three counties. The county Fort Worth is in is Tarrant.

    Just sayin’.

  35. #35 Ediacaran
    February 28, 2008

    Barney Maddox has written for the ICR. See the article “Mutations: The Raw Material for Evolution?”:

    http://www.icr.org/article/3466/

  36. #36 Scott Simmons
    February 28, 2008

    Oh, sure, like I’m going to register as a Republican so I can vote in the primary.

    But I’ll sure as hell vote for the Democratic opponent in the actual election in November, if he wins the Pub nom, assuming they manage to field one. :(

  37. #37 Jsn
    February 28, 2008

    Steve Blow, columnist for the Dallas Morning News, writes about Dr. Maddox (urologist) and his crackpot agenda in todays DMN Metro section. I have no idea if anyone at the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote about Maddox to expose his creationist stealth campaign. Not that it would matter much in this bastion of religious fundamentalism…

    Oh, and Michael… there is no god – there are no gods, elves, fairies or any other type of supernatural being beyond our imagination. Learn to live with that.

  38. #38 Molly, NYC
    February 28, 2008

    Michael Woelfel @10 – Uh, you don’t actually know anything about DNA, do ya? Don’t bother lying about it–if you did, you’d be able to make a real argument instead of just cutting and pasting whatever you find at some Let’s-con-the-public-into-financing-our-proselytizing-efforts-using-taxpayer-dollars Web site. And you wouldn’t be so breathless about someone who dropped out of science to go to law school–like about half the intellectual property lawyers I know (and I do know quite a few). However, Hollowell’s JD is from Regent University, which wouldn’t qualify her to type a PTO application in this neck of the woods.

    By the way–those six scientists you cited? Two questions:
    First, are you aware that six isn’t that many scientists? There are about three times that many scientists who know that ID is baloney, just among the 200 or so residents of my apartment building. It’s like saying that most people are blond because you know six blonds.

    And secondly, are you aware that, with the exception of Damadian, every scientist you name is paid to slam evolution? They all work for some Bible college, or get checks from the Discovery Institute as “consultants,” or some other position from the religious end of the wingnut welfare spectrum.

  39. #39 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2008

    How about equal time for “2 + 2 = 5″ in maths classes?

    actually, most dumbfucks don’t really care what you teach in math classes, so long as it doesn’t counter something their pastor told them.

    which brings up where you can REALLY make the “equal time” argument work:

    churches.

    demand equal time for Islam or FSMism in an evangelical church. They are tax-exempt institutions, right?

    that’ll get their attention…

    er, assuming you want it.

  40. #40 raven
    February 28, 2008

    First, are you aware that six isn’t that many scientists? There are about three times that many scientists who know that ID is baloney, just among the 200 or so residents of my apartment building.

    The actual number of scientists who work in the life sciences and related is a bit murky but the estimates are about 1/2 million in the USA and another 1/2 million worldwide. Over 99% of those accept the fact of evolution.

    You could probably find more scientists who believe in UFOs and alien abductions than cretinism. You will definitely find more in mental hospitals and detox centers than believe in cretinism.

    Six scientists who are religious fanatics is insignificant.

  41. #41 jeh
    February 28, 2008

    MW sez: “Read my lips. No new DNA. RML-NND! ” ; )

  42. #42 October Mermaid
    February 28, 2008

    #27 I live in Texas and it was the same way for me.

    One of my most embarassing memories was, in sixth grade science class, refusing to answer a question on a test because it mentioned evolution.

    I put “I don’t believe in evolution. It is a lie.”

    My science teacher (a man named Allan Caffey, who I can’t seem to find online anywhere, which is a shame, because I want to write him a thank you letter) asked to see me after class.

    He sat me down and talked to me about how I understand that people are taller now than they were in, say, Biblical times and how it was strange that certain races should also look taller now. And he sort of used that to ease me into understanding evolution in a way that made sense and appealed to common sense, so it got past my Christ firewall.

    And then there was the time in fifth grade where the teacher was discussing a poem about how the world would end in ice and I (like a moron!) piped up and said “Well, the world won’t end that way! It will end in fire! God says so!”

    And the teacher, shocked at my outburst, since I was normally quiet, said “Well, maybe, I guess, the the icy winds blowing off the planet could look like flames?”

    So yeah, from a very early age, you’re already closed off and it takes a lot to get to you.

  43. #43 shane
    February 28, 2008

    Marilyn Monroe was the 5th president wasn’t she? Anyway how many films did George Washington make?

  44. #44 Rick T.
    February 29, 2008

    And here I thought “heating bad” was just wit…

    I just thought that your nose was plugged in addition to your back pain.

  45. #45 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    This Texan will spread the word. :D Bad news. Check.

  46. #46 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    P.S. Unfortunately, I share a last name with this whacko. :(

  47. #47 Holydust
    February 29, 2008

    P.P.S. (sorry for the spammy comments)

    Is there a place in the killfile yet for creobots posting the same BS post in every Pharyngula thread? Please?

  48. #48 Michael X
    February 29, 2008

    I am so irritated that Michael is such a popular name.

  49. #49 Michelle
    February 29, 2008

    I don’t think Michael the Creationist will bother posting back… At least, not until he wants to post the same damn thing again. He looks like just another lame hit and runner that posts a pre-made speech of lies.

  50. #50 raven
    February 29, 2008

    However, I should point out that the unfortunate reality in Texas is that the problem is worse than just textbooks. Children are being indoctrinated even before they reach school.

    Unfortunate but easy to believe. The brighter among the kids will learn soon enough that they’ve been lied to and many will dump the whole fundie thing. The stats for college fundies is around 50%.

    The other half will be stuck in the tiny bubble and end up as the next generation of burger flippers and lawn mowers. The fundies are really just setting their kids up to fail in a modern world.

    Texas pays for its Voluntary Ignorance. They have rates of poverty, child poverty, and teen age pregnancy notably above the national average. This is in a state floating in $103/barrel oil money. How can you stick a pipe in the ground and pump out huge wealth and still end up poor? Easy, just live in a fundie (or Islamic) theocracy.

  51. #51 Steven Schafersman
    February 29, 2008

    Cody wrote:

    ——-
    I wouldn’t get too excited for Mrs. Hardy.

    “Board member Pat Hardy said she was open to the idea of intelligent design curriculum, but she added that she doesn’t advocate putting any religious teachings into science classes.”

    Looks like we might have to deal with another Teach The Controversy howler.
    ——-

    Don’t worry. I know Pat Hardy very well. She is indeed a Christian and conservative Republican. But she is not a Radical Religious Right Republican. Creationists are calling her a RINO, which is a lie. Pat believes in an ultimate Creation by God, but she wants evolution taught in science classes. The ID curriculum she mentioned was for a religion class (none exist in Texas public schools at the moment). Hardy is part of the current 8-person majority opposing the 7-person Creationist minority on the SBOE.

    Her opponent in the primary March 4, Barney Maddox, is a Radical Religious Right Republican who is getting money from the other 4Rs in Texas, such as James Leininger and Bob Perry. Maddox is a raving, aggressive, Young Earth Creationist who has reviewed biology books for Educational Research Analysts, the Gabler organization, and written a pseudoscientific article for ICR. He wants to corrupt the state’s science curriculum standards by inserting bogus “weaknesses” about evolution.

    Steven Schafersman, President
    Texas Citizens for Science

  52. #52 uncle noel
    February 29, 2008

    Nader for School Board!
    Um, what? Oh. Then Hardy I guess.

  53. #53 James F
    February 29, 2008

    #35 Scott Simmons wrote:

    Oh, sure, like I’m going to register as a Republican so I can vote in the primary.
    But I’ll sure as hell vote for the Democratic opponent in the actual election in November, if he wins the Pub nom, assuming they manage to field one. :(

    I appreciate the sentiment, but please consider voting strategically in the GOP primary and switching your party affiliation afterward. If there’s no opponent, then next week is the election!

  54. #54 James F
    February 29, 2008

    #50

    Steven,

    Thank you for the information about Pat Hardy and Barney Maddox. I have forwarded your web site to the Florida Citizens for Science, who just had their own battle with the antievolution crowd over the state science standards.

  55. #55 Scott Simmons
    February 29, 2008

    “I have no idea if anyone at the Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote about Maddox to expose his creationist stealth campaign. Not that it would matter much in this bastion of religious fundamentalism…”

    I guarantee you that Steve Blow’s DMN column has more readers in Tarrant County than anybody that writes in the Star-Telegram.

  56. #56 Scott Simmons
    February 29, 2008

    “I appreciate the sentiment, but please consider voting strategically in the GOP primary and switching your party affiliation afterward. If there’s no opponent, then next week is the election!”

    Yeah, I know. Sadly, I’ve already missed the registration deadline, too. So that was mostly just sour grapes. :)

  57. #57 blf
    March 2, 2008

    Michael requests:

    Tell me there’s no God!

    There is no god.
    There are no gods.
    There never was a god.
    There never were any gods.

    Whilst I cannot predict the future, I suspect there never will be a god. I suspect that in the same way I suspect pigs don’t fly and that you are a demented fuckwit: There is a considerable amount of evidence supporting those assertions, and no evidence to the contrary for either assertion. Just like evolution.

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