*chopper blades whirr, their flicker blending into the flickering of fluorescent lights in a vast chamber*

Austin? crap, I’m still in Austin. Every time I think I’m going to wake up back in the prairie. When I was in the hotel after the first day, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing…

When I was here I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the hearings. I’ve been here a day now. Waiting for a vote, getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker. And every minute creationists squat in the brush he gets stronger. Each time I look around the walls move in a little tighter.

And so we return to the William B Travis Building, where we’ll be into the second day of business before the Texas Board of Education. Most of the business today will be pretty boring for all involved, but they will be voting on approval of the new science TEKS. As before, the issue is language in the current standards requiring that students “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.” That italicized language is the issue.

The draft under consideration says that students should “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing.” That better describes how science works, and enjoys unanimous support from the different writing committees.

As pointed out here, and more coherently by the New York Times and others, this draft generated some heat. Conservatives on the board are averse to the new language, and the Disco. Inst. was out in force, with Stephen Meyer promoting bogus nonsense and rudely interrupting everyone he could.

Today they’ll take the first of several votes on that, and there’s a chance that someone will try to amend the good language drafted by the science experts.