The Austin American Statesman reports that Ms. Chris Comer, Texas state director of science curriculum, was fired after forwarding an email announcing a talk about intelligent design in the Austin area. The talk “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse,” was by Barbara Forrest, a historian and philosopher who has studied the ties between ID and earlier generations of creationism. It focused on her work in the Dover trial and her book Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design.

The Statesman explains:

The call to fire Comer came from Lizzette Reynolds, who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as deputy legislative director for Gov. George W. Bush. She joined the Texas Education Agency as the senior adviser on statewide initiatives in January.

Reynolds, who was out sick the day Comer forwarded the e-mail, received a copy from an unnamed source and forwarded it to Comer’s bosses less than two hours after Comer sent it.

“This is highly inappropriate,” Reynolds said in an e-mail to Comer’s supervisors. “I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities.

“This is something that the State Board, the Governor’s Office and members of the Legislature would be extremely upset to see because it assumes this is a subject that the agency supports.”

Horrors! The state’s science curriculum supervisor supports ? science!

Indeed, Comer was fired for exactly that radical interpretation of her job responsibilities. The memo from her boss recommending that she be fired explains:

the forwarding of this event announcement by Ms. Comer, as the Director of Science, from her TEA email account constitutes much more than just sharing information. Ms. Comer’s email implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker’s position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral [i.e. "intelligent design"]. Thus, sending this email compromises the agency’s role in the TEKS revision process by creating the perception that TEA has a biased position on a subject directly related to the science education TEKS.

Indeed, we must inquire what the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is supposed to do if not endorse particular positions with respect to science education, especially those related to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS, statewide science education standards).

Given that the state is gearing up to revise those standards, it is hard not to see this as a shot across the bow of the Texas education community, and an attempt to prevent scientifically knowledgeable folks from participating in discussion of what topics are scientific, and what scientific topics should be presented when in the educational process. I certainly hope this strategy backfires.

Comments

  1. #1 Ex-drone
    November 29, 2007

    I’ll bet Reynolds was fuming when she got to the TEA’s prayer meeting that day. It’s hard enough to skate around all the legal obstacles in order to push through a pro-creationist curriculum without having to deal with well-informed policy makers too.

  2. #2 Fastlane
    November 29, 2007

    I was confused at first. I assumed the talk ‘about ID’ was a pro-ID talk.

    So is this going to be covered in the upcoming ‘Expelled’ movie??

  3. #3 ZacharySmith
    November 29, 2007

    Fastlane –

    I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if Ben Stein or any of the DI hacks will back Comer on this, you know, in the name of fairness and equal treatment for “both sides”.

  4. #4 Josh Rosenau
    November 29, 2007

    Fastlane, my mistake, the talk was by the excellent Barbara Forrest, talking about her adventures in Dover. Will clarify.

    Zachary: Don’t hold your breath.

  5. #5 Nick Anthis
    November 29, 2007

    FINALLY! It’s about time that Texas lives up to its conservative credentials and starts to do really crazy things….

  6. #6 mark duigon
    November 29, 2007

    The United States really ought to increase its foreign aid to third world countries like this to improve their education.

  7. #7 James Kidder
    November 30, 2007

    I just find it hard to believe that the Texas Education Agency feels the need to stay neutral on such a pivotal question. The weight of evidence is clearly in favor of evolution. How is the agency helping the education of children in Texas by staying neutral? What do they perceive their role to be?

  8. #8 Larry Fafarman
    December 1, 2007

    Josh Rosenau said,

    Indeed, we must inquire what the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is supposed to do if not endorse particular positions with respect to science education, especially those related to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS, statewide science education standards).

    Who are you to decide what the role of the TEA is or should be? Apparently the role of the TEA regarding review of the science curriculum is supposed to be that of an “honest broker” — i.e., a neutral mediator. Maybe some reasons for this neutrality requirement are: (1) the TEA might conduct the hearings on the science curriculum; and (2) the TEA might implement the science curriculum.

    Chris Comer willfully violated a directive to not send external communications regarding upcoming science curriculum reviews. Furthermore, the email she sent out was not neutral — it announced a one-sided presentation of a theory that intelligent design is part of a fundy conspiracy to take over the USA and the email bore the name of the National Center for Science Education, an organization dedicated to promoting the dogmatic teaching of Darwinism.

    Also, there are other factors that contributed to her resignation under pressure — e.g., she insulted her boss by saying that her agency lacked “real leadership” while he was acting commissioner. She gave no justification for that statement other than to say that he was just an acting commissioner.

  9. #9 Tobbar
    December 1, 2007

    Whoa, Fafarman, chill.

    Tragically, you’re forceful denounciation of Ms. Corner falls humiliatingly short of actually changing anybody’s mind.

    Mr. Rosenau’s can state his opinion about the TEA if he wants to, as well as to how it should do it’s damn job. He can state it, and he can agitate it. Just like I, a red-foot Okie, can. WElcome to the big leages, TEA.

    Willfully disregarding a directive to not send external communications regarding upcoming science curriculum reviews is simply an act of common sense when you are the- and I’m going to put it bold caps for you, Tex– THE TEXAS STATE DIRECTOR OF SCIENCE CIRRICULUM. It is an act of courage.

    Teach the contraversy!

    As for the email she forwarded or copied or whatever, being from the Natioanl Center for Science Education and it’s corageous view on the correct teaching of science (something that the great state of Texas could learn a lesson from)- big damn deal. You can use the freedom of information act to look at all the various emails being bounced around the TAE and count those from creationlists and “dogmatic Darwanists”. Knock yourself out, cowboy.

    And as for acting deputy directors not having the same pull and power as real deputdy directors. Well, duh. Mr. Acting Deputy Director shouldn’t have gotten a burr under his saddle over that.

  10. #10 Larry Fafarman
    December 1, 2007

    Mr. Rosenau’s can state his opinion about the TEA if he wants to, as well as to how it should do it’s damn job.

    What is the TEA’s “damn job”? It is apparently quite a bit different from what Mr. Rosenau thinks it is or what he thinks it should be.

    Willfully disregarding a directive to not send external communications regarding upcoming science curriculum reviews is simply an act of common sense when you are the- and I’m going to put it bold caps for you, Tex– THE TEXAS STATE DIRECTOR OF SCIENCE CIRRICULUM.

    Sending such external communications was not one of her job duties and in fact was contrary to her job duties.

    Other public officials and employees work under gag rules. For example, court employees are not allowed to give legal advice to litigants. Under California’s Brown Act, members of a legislative body are not allowed to communicate privately with each other to try to develop a consensus on something that they may later vote on.

    And as for acting deputy directors not having the same pull and power as real deputdy directors.

    Her boss was acting commissioner, not acting deputy director. How do you know that as acting commissioner he did not have the same “pull and power” as a “real” commissioner?

  11. #11 Josh Rosenau
    December 3, 2007

    Larry, what else must Ms. Comer remain neutral about? Gravity? Geocentrism? Phrenology?

    The job of the Director of Science Curriculum is to provide information about the extant science curriculum, to help teachers implement statewide standards, and to help the public understand those standards. If you disagree with my characterization of her responsibilities, I hope you are prepared to offer some sort of basis for your disagreement. So far you’ve provided none.

    Forwarding an email does not imply an endorsement, of course, but even if it did, what’s wrong with endorsing an idea already embodied in the TEKS? They include evolution and don’t include ID or other sorts of creationism.

    Neither you nor I know the backstory of what she actually said about the acting commissioner. All we have is someone citing an anonymous report. It is certainly accurate to say that the only leadership in the agency at the time was an “acting commissioner,” and it is not inaccurate to characterize an interim agency head as less “real” than a properly appointed and confirmed leader. None of us knows whether there was any normative judgment (“insult”) attached to what she said at the time, so it’s hopelessly irresponsible to speculate.

  12. #12 Larry Fafarman
    December 3, 2007

    If you disagree with my characterization of her responsibilities, I hope you are prepared to offer some sort of basis for your disagreement. So far you’ve provided none.

    Not true. I gave reasons but you ignored them. I said, “Maybe some reasons for this neutrality requirement are: (1) the TEA might conduct the hearings on the science curriculum; and (2) the TEA might implement the science curriculum.”

    It is certainly accurate to say that the only leadership in the agency at the time was an “acting commissioner,” and it is not inaccurate to characterize an interim agency head as less “real” than a properly appointed and confirmed leader.

    I’ve already answered that too. I said, “she insulted her boss by saying that her agency lacked ‘real leadership’ while he was acting commissioner. She gave no justification for that statement other than to say that he was just an acting commissioner.” I also said, “How do you know that as acting commissioner he did not have the same “pull and power” as a “real” commissioner?”

  13. #13 Josh Rosenau
    December 4, 2007

    Repeating unfounded assertions is not actually evidence.

    When G W Bush went in for surgery, he signed a piece of paper making Dick Cheney the Acting President. Technically, Cheney could have issued pardons, started wars, redeployed troops, launched a nuclear first strike against North Korea, etc. But as a practical matter, that would be widely regarded as exceeding the authority of a mere “acting” president. Similarly, there is a fair claim to be made that an acting commissioner is a placeholder, and does not represent real leadership. Again, I don’t know what was actually said, and neither do you or Lizzette Reynolds.

  14. #14 Larry Fafarman
    December 5, 2007

    Cheney could have issued pardons, started wars, redeployed troops, launched a nuclear first strike against North Korea, etc. But as a practical matter, that would be widely regarded as exceeding the authority of a mere “acting” president.

    Someone has to be in charge. When Reagan was hospitalized after being shot, Sec. of State Alexander Haig said, “I am in charge here” ( a statement that arguably exceeded his authority). Of course, as acting president, Cheney should not do anything other than take emergency action. But the issue of emergency action would not in general apply to the job of state education commissioner.

    Again, I don’t know what was actually said, and neither do you or Lizzette Reynolds.

    We do know what was said — it was reported in the press. And the press did not report Lizzette Reynolds as saying anything about Comer’s remark that the agency lacked “real leadership” while her boss was acting commissioner.

    OK, maybe an acting commissioner would be reluctant to make a decision that might be reversed by the next “real” commissioner. But Comer gave no justification for her statement other than to say that her boss was just an “acting” commissioner. It is not anyone’s job to give excuses for Comer that she herself did not give.

  15. #15 Josh Rosenau
    December 5, 2007

    Larry, Comer’s description of her boss as an “acting commissioner” is accurate. She didn’t say “just,” that’s your addition. There’s no evidence that she contrasted “acting commissioner” with “real commissioner.” It isn’t clear from Reynolds’s summary what the context of Comer’s remark about “real leadership” was, nor do we know what explanations she might offer. I continue to think that “None of us knows whether there was any normative judgment (“insult”) attached to what she said at the time, so it’s hopelessly irresponsible to speculate.”

    Care to address the question I posed way back when: “Larry, what else must Ms. Comer remain neutral about? Gravity? Geocentrism? Phrenology?”

  16. #16 Larry Fafarman
    December 6, 2007

    There’s no evidence that she contrasted “acting commissioner” with “real commissioner.”

    She used the term “real leadership,” not “real commissioner.”

    It isn’t clear from Reynolds’s summary what the context of Comer’s remark about “real leadership” was

    Go back to the original news article — it says nothing about Reynolds saying anything about Comer’s remark about “real leadership” —
    http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/11/29/1129science.html

    nor do we know what explanations she might offer.

    We know what explanation she did offer — that her boss was only acting commissioner at the time.

    If she was just making a general statement about acting leaders, then what was her point in making the statement? Her statement could be interpreted as meaning that her boss was a bad commissioner.

    Care to address the question I posed way back when: “Larry, what else must Ms. Comer remain neutral about? Gravity? Geocentrism? Phrenology?”

    The question is moot because there are no major controversies in those areas. But if there were major controversies in those areas, then the TEA should have no trouble maintaining neutrality in those areas.

  17. #17 Brian
    December 6, 2007

    Josh said, “…a subject on which the agency must remain neutral [i.e. "intelligent design"]. Actually, the subject is not ID. The subject is the origin of life; ID is one of the theories.

    Josh said (as quoted in the St Pete Times), “You want your science education to be accurate”. I’m curious, how do you know evolution is accurate? What species have you been watching, and have observed a change in its physiology? What animal fossil have you seen that shows a skeletal form that is significantly different from that of a living member of that species?

    What is so wrong with presenting growing minds with more than one idea about the origins of life? Why can’t a teacher be free to say, “OK kids, today we’re going to learn about one theory of how life began. Tomorrow, we’re going to learn about another. We’re going to give you some information, we’ll discuss each one as a class, and we’ll let you decide whether you believe one of the ideas, a combination of the two, or neither”? That certainly doesn’t threaten me as a conservative in the least, but apparently it scares you to death. Is that because you’re afraid that people will only believe your ideas if yours are the only ones with which they’re presented?

  18. #18 Brian
    December 6, 2007

    Oh yeah; to your question (“what else must Ms. Comer remain neutral about?”), the answer is EVERYTHING. Ideally, they should not have a “stance” on any area of the curriculum. To me, all they should be doing is making sure that information being provided is of a sound nature; that is, the source of the information should be traceable, and there should be fact-based support of theories presented.

    I think it’s very dangerous to enable school officials to start saying, “Well, we don’t believe that, so we’re not going to allow that information to be distributed”. You seem to think that school board members should use their positions to be activists for their own beliefs. Suppose that the majority of school bureaucrats were conservative, rather than liberal as they are today. Would you be equally comfortable with letting them insist that only their ideas be taught?

  19. #19 Josh Rosenau
    December 6, 2007

    Larry writes: “there are no major controversies in those areas.” Nor are there scientific controversies over evolution. QED.

    I am not asking you how her statement could be interpreted. My point is that we do not know what she actually said, nor what she meant, and that it is reckless to speculate.

  20. #20 Josh Rosenau
    December 6, 2007

    Actually, Brian, the subject is not the origin of life. The subject at issue is a forwarded email about a talk by Barbara Forrest. The talk was titled: “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse. It explained:

    In her talk, Forrest will provide a detailed report on her expert testimony in the Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board trial as well as an overview of the history of the “intelligent design” movement. Forrest is a Professor of Philosophy in the Department of History and Political Science at Southeastern Louisiana University; she is also a member of NCSE’s board of directors.

    The issue at hand is fairly obviously “intelligent design” and not “origins of life.”

    Furthermore, the issue of origins of life is not generally addressed in state science standards. The extant TEKS do not mention that phrase, nor do most state science standards. Evolution, your apparent target here, is not a theory of the origin of life.

    My research is on prairie voles and related species. The evolutionary differences within vole populations are pretty easy to demonstrate. They’ve also got a pretty good fossil record, but that isn’t what I personally study.

    There’s no problem presenting alternative scientifically credible theories in science class. There’s a big problem with presenting nonscientific ideas as if they were science. That’s just dishonest. ID is not a scientific theory, so it doesn’t belong in a science classroom.

    The idea that science educators should be neutral about “everything” is absurd. The earth isn’t flat, atoms do exist, and germs really do cause disease. There’s nothing to be gained by being neutral about flat-earthism, and no benefit in presenting alternatives to atomic theory, gravitational theory or germ theory.

    The error you’re making, and it’s a common one, is confusing what we teach in science class with what we “believe.” I believe in love, I believe that the Cubs are the greatest team in baseball, and I don’t talk about what I do or don’t believe about religious topics.

    Evolution, like gravity and atomic theory, is an extensively tested body of knowledge which unifies observations and hypotheses across a wide range of fields and disciplines. Like the rest of biology, I accept it as the best available explanation for the diversity of life, the particular pattern that diversity takes, the fossil record, molecular and morphological patterns, and a range of other evidence.

    Accepting that theory is different from belief. If a new scientific theory were proposed which provided a better explanation for the data evolution explains plus other data, and if it offered useful avenues for new research, I would gladly accept that theory as a better one. That’s how theories like plate tectonics and Einsteinian relativity came to dominate geology and physics, respectively, in the 20th century. It’s how the Big Bang came to be widely accepted. Each of those theories overturned existing theories because they were better science. Right now, there is no better science than evolution, and pretending otherwise is inaccurate and a dishonest way to teach kids.

    I’m sorry if you don’t find dishonesty and inaccurate education problematic. I don’t generally view honesty as a partisan matter, and I’m intrigued to learn more about this aspect of your political philosophy.

  21. #21 Josh Rosenau
    December 6, 2007
    There’s no evidence that she contrasted “acting commissioner” with “real commissioner.”

    She used the term “real leadership,” not “real commissioner.”

    Duh. You did:

    maybe an acting commissioner would be reluctant to make a decision that might be reversed by the next “real” commissioner.

    Thus validating the point I was making, that “real” in this context could take multiple meanings, and you and I have no basis for judging which meaning Comer intended, as we would have to do in order to declare with such certainty that “there are other factors that contributed to her resignation under pressure — e.g., she insulted her boss by saying that her agency lacked ;real leadership’ while he was acting commissioner.”

  22. #22 Creatrix
    December 7, 2007

    This is absurd. We are allowing education to be decided on by the uneducated dolts who came up with the astoundingly witty and factually bereft argument that we could not have “come from” monkeys because there are still monkeys? Tragic. And plain old pathetic.

  23. #23 Larry Fafarman
    December 9, 2007

    Josh wrote,

    Larry writes: “there are no major controversies in those areas.” Nor are there scientific controversies over evolution.

    No scientific controversies over evolution? LOL Those controversies were apparently a major reason for Comer’s ouster.

    Like the rest of biology, I accept it as the best available explanation for the diversity of life, the particular pattern that diversity takes, the fossil record, molecular and morphological patterns, and a range of other evidence.

    Accepting evolution as the best available explanation does not necessarily mean accepting it as the only available explanation or the only possible explanation.

    She used the term “real leadership,” not “real commissioner.”
    Duh. You did:
    maybe an acting commissioner would be reluctant to make a decision that might be reversed by the next “real” commissioner.

    I was not the one who introduced the term “real commissioner” — Tobbar ( December 1, 2007 8:47 PM ) did that, except that he incorrectly called her boss’s position “Acting Deputy Director” instead of “Acting Commissioner” —

    And as for acting deputy directors not having the same pull and power as real deputdy directors. Well, duh. Mr. Acting Deputy Director shouldn’t have gotten a burr under his saddle over that.

    =============================================

    Thus validating the point I was making, that “real” in this context could take multiple meanings, and you and I have no basis for judging which meaning Comer intended,

    Comer’s statement that her agency lacked “real leadership” while her boss was acting commissioner was not necessarily intended to be disparaging, but it could easily be interpreted that way.

  24. #24 Josh Rosenau
    December 9, 2007

    “Those controversies were apparently a major reason for Comer’s ouster”

    Evidence, please. The precipitating incident was an email about a talk by Barbara Forrest. Forrest was addressing her experience in the Dover trial. That trial resulted in a ruling that:

    The evidence presented in this case demonstrates that ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications. Both Drs. Padian and Forrest testified that recent literature reviews of scientific and medical-electronic databases disclosed no studies supporting a biological concept of ID. On cross-examination, Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.”� In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals, ID also features no scientific research or testing.

    After this searching and careful review of ID as espoused by its proponents, as elaborated upon in submissions to the Court, and as scrutinized over a six week trial, we find that ID is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community. ID, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science. �

    To conclude and reiterate, we express no opinion on the ultimate veracity of ID as a supernatural explanation. However, we commend to the attention of those who are inclined to superficially consider ID to be a true “scientific” alternative to evolution without a true understanding of the concept the foregoing detailed analysis. It is our view that a reasonable, objective observer would, after reviewing both the voluminous record in this case, and our narrative, reach the inescapable conclusion that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.

    The controversy that exists exists outside of the scientific realm. Forrest’s talk was about that social controversy, not any scientific controversy. This is appropriate, since she is neither a professional scientist nor a historian of science. She is a philosopher by training with expertise in the history of the creationist ID movement.

    “Accepting evolution as the best available explanation does not necessarily mean accepting it as the only available explanation or the only possible explanation.”

    Who is saying otherwise? I await your argument in favor of teaching bad explanations; will you start with the humoral theory of disease? The flat earth? The luminiferous ether? Or perhaps you want schools to teach explanations which don’t exist yet?

    I don’t care how Ms. Comer’s comments could be misinterpreted. I care what she said and what she intended. No evidence has been offered that her actual statement or her intent was insubordinate. You seem, at last, to have conceded that point.

  25. #25 Larry Fafarman
    December 9, 2007

    The controversy that exists exists outside of the scientific realm. Forrest’s talk was about that social controversy, not any scientific controversy. This is appropriate, since she is neither a professional scientist nor a historian of science. She is a philosopher by training with expertise in the history of the creationist ID movement.

    A “Darwin-to-Hitler” lecture by a bible-pounding holy-rolling fundy-type creationist crackpot would also be about the “social controversy.” Would Comer send out an “FYI” notice about such a lecture? She should either send out “FYI” notices on all public events concerning a particular issue, or send out none.

    You seem, at last, to have conceded that point.

    I have conceded nothing.

  26. #26 Josh Rosenau
    December 10, 2007

    “Comer’s statement that her agency lacked “real leadership” while her boss was acting commissioner was not necessarily intended to be disparaging.”

    That was what I had been arguing. You disagreed, but now concede the point.

    The difference between Barbara Forrest and and a random Bible-pounding crackpot is that (as I said before) Forrest “is a philosopher by training with expertise in the history of the creationist ID movement.” She has been accepted as an expert on the topic by a federal court, not to mention the academic community. A random Bible-thumper is unconstrained by the evidence, while she is recognized for her ability to gather and synthesize evidence. Duh.

    This is why pure neutrality is so stupid. You wind up not being able to distinguish between crackpottery and well-supported science (or history, philosophy, art, religion, etc.).

  27. #27 Larry Fafarman
    December 10, 2007

    “Comer’s statement that her agency lacked “real leadership” while her boss was acting commissioner was not necessarily intended to be disparaging.”

    That was what I had been arguing.

    You quote-mined me — you left out “but it could easily be interpreted that way.” It was a tactless thing to say.

    The difference between Barbara Forrest and and a random Bible-pounding crackpot is that (as I said before) Forrest “is a philosopher by training with expertise in the history of the creationist ID movement.”

    Lots of crackpots are recognized scholars. Forrest is a crackpot who happens to be a recognized scholar.

    She has been accepted as an expert on the topic by a federal court,

    — by a fatheaded judge who did not even write the ID-as-science section of the opinion and who said in a commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders believed that organized religions are not “true” religions.

    A random Bible-thumper is unconstrained by the evidence, while she is recognized for her ability to gather and synthesize evidence.

    Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, is a professor of history. So why shouldn’t Comer send out an “FYI” notice announcing a Weikart “Darwin-to-Hitler” lecture ?

    By her own admission, Comer is not neutral. Comer’s department might in the future have the responsibility of implementing a science curriculum that includes study of the weaknesses of Darwinism. She is obviously unsuited for the position that she held for 9 years. She resigned. She wasn’t fired.

  28. #28 Josh Rosenau
    December 10, 2007

    Odd that her alleged “unsuitability” took 9 years to emerge. She was told to resign or be fired. Do you really want to argue that point?

    Again, why is neutrality about what belongs in the science class a good thing? What other subjects should she be neutral about?

    The issue at hand was never “strengths and weaknesses,” but Intelligent Design. You and I seem to agree that the “strengths and weaknesses” approach is just a different form of ID, but that isn’t the standard Disco. Inst. talking point.

    I don’t know what other events Comer sent emails about, and I don’t know how she chose which to forward and which not to. You don’t know that either, but choose to darken counsel by words without knowledge.

  29. #29 Larry Fafarman
    December 17, 2007

    The issue at hand was never “strengths and weaknesses,” but Intelligent Design.

    Forrest’s lecture was solely or primarily about ID, but the upcoming Texas science standards review concerns all strengths and weaknesses of evolution.

    You and I seem to agree that the “strengths and weaknesses” approach is just a different form of ID, but that isn’t the standard Disco. Inst. talking point.

    No, I don’t agree. To me, ID is just one of many weaknesses of evolution.

  30. #30 Josh Rosenau
    December 17, 2007

    Ah. I don’t think that would be the DI talking point, either.

    You agree that the email forwarded was not about “strengths and weaknesses,” but about the legal history of ID. How could that be seen as bearing on “a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.”?

  31. #31 denn
    December 31, 2007

    The United States really ought to increase its foreign aid to third world countries like this to improve their education.

  32. #32 werd
    December 31, 2007

    I wonder if Ben Stein or any of the DI hacks will back Comer on this, you know, in the name of fairness and equal treatment for “both sides”.

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