Comer's Suit Against Creationist Texas Ed Agency: More Details

From the NCSE:

As reported in last week's Evolution Education Update, Chris Comer, the Director of Science at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) who was forced to resign over a dispute involving intelligent design, filed suit in federal court, seeking an injunction against TEA's "policy of neutrality with respect to the teaching of creationism in the Texas public schools."

According to the Dallas Morning News (July 3, 2008), Comer's suit alleges "that she was terminated for contravening an 'unconstitutional' policy at the agency. The policy required employees to be neutral on the subject of creationism -- the biblical interpretation of the origin of humans, she said. The policy was in force, according to the suit, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal."

The Associated Press explains (July 3, 2008) that Comer's suit "alleg[es] she was illegally fired for forwarding an e-mail about a speaker who was critical of teaching a controversial alternative to evolution. ... The e-mail, which was intercepted by a state education leader, was about a speaker coming to Austin who had critical views of creationism and the teaching of intelligent design. The federal courts have ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal under the U.S. Constitution's provision preventing government establishment or endorsement of religious beliefs. 'The agency's 'neutrality' policy has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, and thus violates the Establishment Clause,' the lawsuit said."

WorldNetDaily, a conservative news site, adds (July 8, 2008) that "Comer's lawsuit also quotes an open letter to the commissioner of the TEA from 121 doctorate-level professors of biology at Texas universities, protesting her termination and supporting the assertion that state curriculum officials cannot remain neutral, but must actively oppose intelligent design theory."

Comer's suit also revives concerns about the management of the TEA. The Austin American-Statesman reminds readers that "In an interview with the Statesman last year, Comer said the actions of science curriculum employees at the agency had been subject to increasing scrutiny in 2007 as the State Board of Education prepared to consider revisions to the science curriculum for all Texas public school students. The board was originally slated to consider the science curriculum earlier this year but has postponed that discussion until November. The board plans to hold a first vote on the curriculum in January and a final vote in March."

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Yes, May she have the luck to get a sane judge.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will take this and maybe some Dover type lawsuit to put a stop to this intelligent design crap in our state. Its unfortunate, because the taxpayers, including me, will end up paying for it.

Baylor University in Waco is a Baptist University but it teaches evolution and in the Old Testament History class students are told that the creation stories in Genesis are not to be taken literally. Despite this, I'd guess that more than half the Baptist ministers in this state push the young earth creationism concept.

By Texas Reader (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

this is really tgood

To fire the Director of Science for forwarding an email that is relevant to science and the development of science standards is just wrong. It is a way of imposing ignorance, and imposed ignorance is anti-science.

Supporters of Intelligent Design are either trying to confuse philosophy with science or they just don't know the difference. The TEA is no exception as there seems to be a lack of intellegence there. To be a scientific theory, it must contain a condition under which the theory can be proven false. The belief in supreme beings is a philosophical idea not a scientific theory because the idea of a supreme being can never be proven true or false. Intelligent design is based upon the idea that some aspects of life are to complex to have evolved and must have been created by some sort of supreme being. ERGO: it's a philosophical idea.

By David C Harmer (not verified) on 14 Jul 2008 #permalink