What Does Don McLeroy Really Want to Teach?

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Scientists are “atheists.” Parents who want to teach their children about evolution are “monsters.” Pastors who support sound science are “morons.”

Is that the sort of message Chairman Don McLeroy and his cohorts on the State Board of Education have in mind for Texas science classrooms if they succeed in their campaign to shoehorn “weaknesses” of evolution back into the science curriculum standards? That’s certainly the message of a new book McLeroy is now endorsing.

Dr. McLeroy – noting his position as board chair – recently wrote a glowing recommendation of Sowing Atheism: The National Academy of Sciences’ Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children They’re Descended from Reptiles by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. (The new book is self-published.) The chairman clearly likes what he reads:

In critiquing the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) missionary evolution tract—Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, he identifies their theft of true science by their intentional neglect of other valid scientific possibilities. Then, using NAS’s own statements, he demonstrates that the great “process” of evolution—natural selection—is nothing more than a figure of speech. These chapters alone are worth the reading of this book.

Curious to know what Johnson envisions – and McLeroy endorses – as a proper science education? You can read the full tome for yourself online. Or if you don’t have the time (or the stomach) to explore the full treatise, we have compiled a few choice selections that give you the flavor. Remember, this could well be coming soon to a public school science class near you if evolution opponents on the state board get their way next week. Read more after the jump…

Excerpts from Sowing Atheism by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.

In some ways, the author’s acknowledgements tell you all you need to know. At the start of the book, Johnson gives a thank you to a virtual “who’s who” of the creationism /evolution-bashing industry:

Thanks also to Answers in Genesis.org, CreationontheWeb.com, the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org), ScienceAgainstEvolution.org, and American Vision.

Like these creationists pressure groups, Johnson doesn’t just think the theory of evolution has weaknesses. He thinks the whole thing is a toxic fiction:

Out of millions of species on this planet, the evo-atheists cannot specifically trace back the “evolutionary” ancestry of one of them even a single “evolutionary” generation. That’s an ugly embarrassment and an ugly fact. The NAS [National Academy of Sciences] writers have to slap some lipstick on their “no-evidence” pig.  (p. 51)

But at least he is honest about where these “weaknesses” originate and who is pushing them into science classes. He forthrightly states that creationists and intelligent design advocates are driving this strategy:

The NAS writers express the taboo in their book thus:

. . . arguments that attempt to confuse students by suggesting that there are fundamental weaknesses in the science of evolution are unwarranted . . .

If we take out the dependent clauses, leaving just the subject and predicate, we have “arguments are unwarranted.” The arguments to which they refer are coming from the creationists and those who espouse intelligent design. The NAS writers mean that creationist and intelligent design arguments are forbidden. That’s the taboo. (p. 75) (Emphasis added.)

(If only the creationsists on the Texas state board were this honest, rather than repeating the absurd position that the “weaknesses” of evolution have nothing to do with intelligent design or religion.)

And what is the end game for this creationist strategy?

Creationists do not want to bring religion into the classroom… Creationists simply want the God hypothesis brought back into the science classroom, and recognized for what it is—a scientifically valid hypothesis. (p. 24)

There you have it, folks. No religion here. Just the hypothesis that God created the world and everything in it. Nothing religious about that.

The majority of the book is dedicated to proving the author’s pet hypothesis that evolution (or “evo-atheism”) is a plot by atheists to indoctrinate students – and ultimately destroy religion.

Their arbitrary staining, or tainting, of all nature with their atheism is an important part of their “scientific method.” The hierarchy of the NAS has stolen true science; they are sacrificing our children to their atheism, and at the same time, destroying our children’s faith in God. (p. 27)

What are they doing coming into all of our elementary schools, all of our junior highs, and all of our high schools with a disguised demand that our children embrace their evoatheism? What are they doing teaching our children that they are descended from worms and reptiles? What are they doing imposing their atheistic religious faith on our children when we’re not around? What are they doing sowing atheism in our schools? (p. 88-89)

The NAS hierarchy knows how ugly their atheism looks to the God-fearing citizens of America, so they’ve got to smear a lot of lipstick on their atheist hog. They use liberal, apostate Christianity for that purpose without, of course, using the words “liberal” or “apostate.” (p. 52)

But Johnson reserves his most vitriolic diatribes for fellow Christians who see no conflict between their faith and evolution.

The obvious problem here is that it is simply not possible to be a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word, and at the same time, embrace the tenets of atheistic evolution. (p. 54)

It gets worse, even devolving into name-calling, as when Johnson slanders the thousands of Christian clergy who have signed onto a statement rejecting a conflict between faith and evolution.

The Greek word translated as stupid is moron, where we get our word for a mentally dull and sluggish person. In my judgment, only morons—more than 11,500 morons in this case—could sign a letter maintaining that the “timeless truths of the Bible” are compatible with the billions of unpredictable aberrations of evo-atheism. What do these apostate morons celebrate at their Sunday services, the lies about humanity’s origins told by Moses, Jesus, and Paul? (p.57-58)

The book also condemns parents who dare to teach their children evolution, calling them “monsters.”

What kind of monster parents teach their children that they’re descended from rodents and reptiles? (p. 66)

 The book’s author was so pleased to learn that his “research” was impacting education policy in Texas, he quickly issued a press release thanking the chairman:

I’m delighted with Mr. McLeroy’s endorsement of ‘Sowing Atheism,’ and hope all the board members read it thoughtfully before they vote. Our nation cannot progress morally, spiritually, or politically so long as we permit the NAS to teach our children that they are descended by chance from worms.

As bizzarre and abrasive as some of these ideas may be, clearly any yahoo with a half-baked idea can write and self-publish a book. That is not the important point here. The real issue is the inability of the chair of the Texas State Board of Education to distinguish between legitimate, mainstream science – as represented by the National Academy of Sciences – and a lone crackpot with an openly religious agenda.

Given that the state board will vote next week on science standards for a whole generation of Texas school children, it seems fair to ask Dr. McLeroy: does he believe the information in this book is appropriate for high school science students, or just elected education policy-makers in the second largest state in the country?

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55 Responses to “What Does Don McLeroy Really Want to Teach?”

  1. James F Says:

    So much for “alternative scientific theories,” as if there were any doubt about what that was code for. It’s actually useful, in light of recent court cases, that McLeroy endorsed this execrable work.

    What’s next from Johnson? Sowing Atheism II: The National Academy of Sciences’ Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children that the Earth and the Universe are Billions of Years Old? Actually, that’s probably already part of the current book….

  2. TXatheist Says:

    Yes fellow Texans the bible and koran are stupid fairy tales and if you think they are history you are brain dead. If your kid grows up to be an atheist you should be grateful because he could have been a brain dead redneck typical texas xian like Bush and everyone is ashamed of that hillbilly. md457@hotmail.com

  3. reality Says:

    at least this book opens the eyes of some to understand that life has been created supernaturally.

    I suppose some will still believe they originated from a rock.

    Wake up!

  4. JC Dufresne Says:

    One must infer that the author of the book believes the Pope to be a moron, a notion that I think millions of Catholics in Texas, the US and the world would take issue with and be insulted by. I enjoy watching evangelicals chew up and spit out other denominations with whom they disagree. One of these days the mainline Protestants and Catholics will find their voice and run these guys out of town.

  5. Martin Says:

    Hey, “reality”! Created from a rock? That’s the Christian idea, isn’t it? Well, mud, anyway.

  6. Dick N Says:

    Don McLeroy DDS has demonstrated unequivocally that religion drives his campaign to denigrate science, especially the science of evolution. Methinks there is a brewing court case if he and his fundamentalist cohorts on the SBOE succeed in altering the TEKS standards written by scientist sand science teachers. Who knows, Austin could be the next Dover PA (if we could find a judge as brilliant as John E. Jones III).

  7. Dr. Donald Masters Says:

    Dr. Mcleroy painted his own sorry portrait by endorsing such worthless tripe authored by this grossly misinformed looney tune. Self publishing was his only choice and fortunately distribution should be limited to “believers”.

  8. jdg Says:

    reality Says:
    March 18, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    at least this book opens the eyes of some to understand that life has been created supernaturally.

    You suffer from the “God Delusion”

  9. Newfie Says:

    @ reality

    Of course we originated from a rock. Some even still have remnants of the “one rock” in their prefrontal cortex, as you’ve clearly shown.

    *goes back to sleep*

  10. Robert Bretz Says:

    Well Mr. McLeroy, I guess the National Conference of Catholic Bishops are the morons.

    The following is from preface in my CATHOLIC bible from the section titled Reading Your Bible:
    [quote]
    Literary Genres or Forms

    It is very important to know what literary form a writhe uses to convey his message. Is it a history, a poem, a figure of speech, a parable? If you don not know, you may misunderstand the writer’s message. That is why we must pay attention to the literary genres (forms) of the Bible. The following a just a few of them.
    . . .
    The Allegory: A figurative story with a veiled meaning. Read Genesis . . . for centuries these chapters have been misunderstood as inspired lessons in science. The Bible does not teach science; it teaches religious values. It uses these folktales to teach a lesson. Again, the point of the allegory (not the details) is God’s message to you.
    [end quote]

    So, are Catholic Bishops Morons?

    But who is the real heretic here. You, claim that the Bible is to be read literally, no exception. I would presume that this applies to Matthew 16:18 “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

    So, are you a Roman Catholic? Which, if you do read scripture literally, is the ONLY Church Jesus established on earth?

  11. Wen Says:

    I can think of no better proof against creationism than the current chairman of the Texas Board of Education. Would God really ever create an ignoramus in His likeness?

  12. jdg Says:

    Well, I think that these creationists will do their best to undermine science. I thought the meetings were today, but it is next week. I won’t be able to attend next week, 9wks exams and LTF training. Either way if these anti science rules pass, they won’t be taught.

  13. Charles Says:

    “The real issue is the inability of the chair of the Texas State Board of Education to distinguish between legitimate, mainstream science – as represented by the National Academy of Sciences – and a lone crackpot with an openly religious agenda.”

    Actually TFN. That is not quite true. The real issue is the apparent inability of Don McLeroy and the Texas State Board of Education to keep their names out of a book that plainly shows that their real agenda is to teach Christian fundamentalism in the science classrroms of Texas. The weaknesses and academic freedom arguments were fairly well in trouble anyway, but this pulls the handle on the toilet. The biggest problem these people have is keeping their mouths shut when deafening silence would better serve their ends. All this book does is add to the Christian fundamentalist misery in a future court case. Shut up Larry unless you can show me your JD>

  14. Cytocop Says:

    If you read the Bible literally, you’ll run into a host of problems. I’ve described this before in a previous posting but, of course, it’s doubtful any creationists had the courage to read what I wrote.

    You’ll have to accept a talking snake and a talking donkey. Not only are these critters able to vocalize, they are able to speak in a language the humans of their time and place can understand. Hmmm…..

    You’ll also have to accept a God who, on Mt. Sinai, prohibited murder but later, in Deuteronomy, he instructs the Israelites to commit a scorched-earth genocide in Canaan. How’s that again about no murdering, eh?

    You’ll also have to accept that this God nuked Aaron’s two sons for the unspeakable heinous sin of making a sacrifice to God that God hadn’t commanded. Oh, the chutzpah! The sick sick perversion!! Yet, other people commit far worse sins and nothing happens to them.

    I could go on and on, writing a thesis-length, thesis-worthy posting describing every error and weakness of a literally-interpreted Bible. It’s just that literalists would be too fearful to read it and too arrogant to address it.

  15. Charles Says:

    And yes, Larry. I noticed that it was a press release and that Dr. McLeroy’s name was not actually in the book. However, my point is still the same. No. I have to address this in more detail. See you guys in a few minutes.

  16. Rocket Mike Says:

    ScienceMinded and La Fafa need to pay close attention to this one. I’m surprised they haven’t commented.

  17. Charles Says:

    The Johnson book said: “Their arbitrary staining, or tainting, of all nature with their atheism is an important part of their “scientific method.” The hierarchy of the NAS has stolen true science; they are sacrificing our children to their atheism, and at the same time, destroying our children’s faith in God. (p. 27)”

    Speaking as a Christian, I have a better take on this. I think fundamentalist Christians are destroying their own children’s faith in God and trying to use science and evolution as a scapegoat to keep from facing up to their own personal failures as parents and the failures of their belief system.

    As evidence, I offer three stories from my own experience:

    1) The first story comes from an Internet acquaintance of mine—a Christian professor at a Christian-college-affiliated learning retreat for young born-again Christians. The retreat is in Oregon. He says that many of the students coming to the retreat are already disillusioned with the Christian fundamentalist belief system when they first get there—not because of evolution—but rather because they do not feel loved. They feel that they have been brought up in a cold and harsh belief system that gives them nothing but rules to follow and shows them no love. In turn, because they have never known anything else but this cold system, they apparently accept the notion that God must be stern, disciplinarian, cold, and loveless like this as well. It frightens the kids, makes them feel conflicted, and makes them want to run away. It is like another Internet acquaintance of mine has said, “Christian fundamentalism is a form of religion that has been drained of love.” Recent statistics from the fundamentalists themselves indicate that approximately 88 percent of their children leave their churches and never go back after graduation from high school. In other words, just as the professor said, they are fleeing because there is no love there. In other words, the Christian fundamentalists might very well say as Pogo said, “We has met the enemy—and he is us.” The opposition to teaching evolution in the science classrooms of Texas is really just a desperation measure by people who live in a religious house of cards that is already severely cracked and splitting apart. Why? Because there is no love there. When Jesus was talking about the end times, he said the following:

    And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24: 12-13)

    I am increasingly convinced that these verses refers to the Christian fundamentalists and their churches, which have lost their love. Why did they lose it? They lost it because they got preoccupied by everyone else’s iniquity (sins and the immorality all around them), and it drained all the love away—probably into a state of outright hatred of their fellow man. Sound like anybody we know? Notice that Jesus goes on to say that only those whose love ENDURES until the end will be saved. Love is the key—the thing Jesus is really watching and the thing that He really cares about the most. The Christian fundamentalists like Johnson are always sitting high on their judgement horses with regard to everyone else’s apostate church when they should be more concerned about their own apostate backyard.

    2) I once visited a Christian fundamentalist website maintained by a very mean-spirited, caustic, and downright nasty individual who said things to nonbelievers and so-called “apostate” Christians that would not be tolerated here and in other venues. I pointed out to him that I did not see much in his behavior that looked like the love of Jesus in the scriptures. He then told me this, which I must paraphrase here: “We believe that the love mentioned in the New Testament is simply sharing the gospel with the unsaved. Beyond that, we have no other responsibilities of love.” What Bible has he been reading?

    3) Back in the 1970s, I was visiting at a Southern Methodist Church in Goodletsville, Tennessee, on a Sunday morning. For those of you who are not aware of it, the Southern Methodist Church is very different from the United Methodist Church and tends to be very fundamentalist in character. Deserving or not, it at one time had a historical reputation as a haven for racist members who could not stomach the outcomes of the Civil War and the later civil rights movement. On this particular morning, a sermon was being delivered by a guest speaker involved somehow in overseas African missions work and Bible distribution. The sermon was going along about as one would expect in a church like that until the speaker made a statement that absolutely caused my jaw to drop. It went something like this:

    “And we have recently established a hospital for the local people in this poor African nation. Did we do this because we care for the health of their bodies. No. To tell you the truth, we could care less whether they live or die physically. Our main purpose is to pull them into the hospital so we can preach the gospel to them and save their souls. That is our main focus. That is really all that is important.”

    Where is the love in that? If you are a Christian, a nonbeliever, or even a northern crickett frog, what do you do with a loveless statement like that? What is any feeling or sensitive creature on this Earth supposed to think about a statement like that? Do we really want people who think like this to be in charge of what our children learn in our public schools? I sure do not think so.

  18. Jean-Denis Says:

    As a French friend of the American people watching all this nonsense from the “old world”, I cannot emphasize enough how catastrophic an image of America such a book or position gives outside your borders. And don’t believe we don’t watch or can’t see!

    I know better of course, as a skeptic reading skeptic blogs. But overall, a large proportion of Americans, often believed to be a majority since even one of them was once elected as your president, are seen over here as arrogant, retarded, ignorant, and stupid fundamentalists. To us, there is very little difference between them and muslim fundamentalists found in some other parts of the world, besides their holy book’s title.

    Wake up America, this is a disgrace to your country.

    You can quote me on that.

    (and keep up your fight. Reality will prevail, with or without the creationists).

  19. Charles Says:

    The Book Says: “Their arbitrary staining, or tainting, of all nature with their atheism is an important part of their “scientific method.” The hierarchy of the NAS has stolen true science; they are sacrificing our children to their atheism, and at the same time, destroying our children’s faith in God. (p. 27)

    What are they doing coming into all of our elementary schools, all of our junior highs, and all of our high schools with a disguised demand that our children embrace their evoatheism? What are they doing teaching our children that they are descended from worms and reptiles? What are they doing imposing their atheistic religious faith on our children when we’re not around? What are they doing sowing atheism in our schools? (p. 88-89)

    The NAS hierarchy knows how ugly their atheism looks to the God-fearing citizens of America, so they’ve got to smear a lot of lipstick on their atheist hog. They use liberal, apostate Christianity for that purpose without, of course, using the words “liberal” or “apostate.” (p. 52).”

    Look. I live in a place, such as Silicon Valley or Research Triangle Park, where science is THE BIG INDUSTRY. We have scientists crawling all over the place here—thousands of them. While I am sure that some percentage of them are atheists, as there would be anywhere, I also know that the same town is loaded with churches. They are not empty on Sunday either. If most of the scientists here were atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, or whatever our town would be overrun with the philosophy, associated meetings in every public building, and all the rest that one might expect if nearly everyone in town adhered to some atheist or humanist party line. The bulletin boards in the grocery stores would have signs “BIG ATHEIST MEETING TONIGHT. Y’ALL COME!!! or ATTENTION: ATHEISTS TO SPEAK AT CLOVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ASSEMBLY ON APRIL 13.

    We do not have anything like that at all. Our town has normal stuff on its bulletin boards. One is more likely by far to see a gospel singing announcement on a grocery store or restaurant bulletin board thnt anything about atheists or humanists. I think there might be a small humanist club here that occasionally runs a meeting announcement in the local paper, but that announcement is nearly lost in a veritable sea of other announcements like Rotary Club, Elks Club, Knights of Columbus, Baptists Men Singles, and so forth. My town is famous worldwide, but it is also very much traditional small town America with thousands upon thousands of people who love Jesus and go to church and synagogue. It is a good town where most ordinary Americans would be proud and grateful to live. In addition, I do not know of a single scientist who goes down to his lab each day with the notion that today will be the lucky day that he WILL PROVE that there is no God.

    In my opinion, and I am in a better position to know than most people in this country by virtue of where I have lived and worked for the past 25 years, the book statements above sound ridiculous and ludicrous.

  20. Charles Says:

    “The obvious problem here is that it is simply not possible to be a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word, and at the same time, embrace the tenets of atheistic evolution. (p. 54)”

    —This suggests to me that Mr. Johnson may not have this talent of belief, but I can assure him here that the Lord Jesus has blessed millions of his followers with the gift of faith necessary to do this. Just because Mr. Johnson feels that he would have to reject Jesus if evolution turned out to be true does not mean that millions of other people would have to do the same. This is a weakness that applies only to Mr. Johnson and those Christian fundamentalists like him.

    “The Greek word translated as stupid is moron, where we get our word for a mentally dull and sluggish person. In my judgment, only morons—more than 11,500 morons in this case—could sign a letter maintaining that the “timeless truths of the Bible” are compatible with the billions of unpredictable aberrations of evo-atheism. What do these apostate morons celebrate at their Sunday services, the lies about humanity’s origins told by Moses, Jesus, and Paul? (p.57-58)”

    —-No. Actually, we apostate morons believe that we understand what the Bible is really saying a lot better than the Christian fundamentalists do. Our pastors go off to great universitites such as Duke University to study the Bible, ancient Middle Eastern history and culture, Biblical arcchaeology, ancient languages, comprehensive theology, church history, etc. It is something one might call a REAL education. We figured out a long time ago that the Bible is not fully literal, not a science textbook, and not a history textbook. The literal interpretation of the Bible is a HUMAN choice.

    The book also condemns parents who dare to teach their children evolution, calling them “monsters.”

    —-Personally, I think the real monsters are parents who do not allow their children to use the brains that God gave them. The real monsters are Christian fundamentalists parents who bind heavy weights of rules and religious legalism on the backs of their children—weights too great to be borne—and will not lift one finger to remove them. The real monsters are parents who suck every ounce of love out of their children’s lives wiuth these heavy weights and drive them away from God by so doing. The real monsters are those who use their so-called “faith” to make an idol of the Bible and use their religious system to create an image of a loveless God that is by its very nature slander against his Holy Name. The real monsters are the fundie parents who peddle lies and falsehoods to their children as truth.

  21. TaoMacGuy Says:

    People,

    Can we all stop with the ad-hominem attacks? It belittles us all.

    A) We have evidence on our side. Period.

    B) If we need to be doing anything, it’s writing letters and *educating* people on critical thinking skills.

    When I talk to my friends about such things I love to say to them: “One word: epistomology,” quickly followed by, look it up at dictionary.com or Wikipedia. That word, in my experience, unknown by most, usually gets a “What? Eh? What *is* this epistomology?” — and the door is open! :-)

    Mwoooo ha ha! My evil plan takes another step! ;-)

    By the way, epistomology works *both* ways. What I love about it is that those of us who base our lives on evidence and rational thinking skills wallow in the whole “how do we know what we know” or “prove it” world!

    Cheers!

  22. Michael Suttkus, II Says:

    So, if a Texas state school board member dares send out an email suggesting people should listen to a talk by Barbara Forest, they are taking sides in a controversial matter on which school board members must remain neutral and should be fired.

    But if the head of the school board writes a glowing review of a pro-creationism book, that’s just fine and dandy.

    Good to know he’s not a bloody hypocrite or anything.

  23. Lige Says:

    I’m not reading all that crap.

  24. Larian LeQuella Says:

    You see, what we have here is a problem that people who think that evolution is “only a theory” are not educated nor do they seem to maintain the mental capacity to fully understand what the theory states. Why is it that the most grandiose lies I have ever heard are from the ones thumping their bibles? Furthermore, they don’t grasp that their hypothesis doesn’t even stand up to the rigor of what it takes to advance to a theory…

    By the way, GRAVITY is “just a theory” as well. To be honest, we actually know a great deal more about evolution than we do gravity. Yet we don’t argue that theory?

    Face it, this is a massive manufactured LIE on the part of christians in an attempt to circumvent the Constitution as well as reality for their agenda.

    Oops, evolution just happened: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305150917.htm

  25. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Michael Suttkus, II Says (March 19, 2009 at 6:33 pm) —
    –So, if a Texas state school board member dares send out an email suggesting people should listen to a talk by Barbara Forest, they are taking sides in a controversial matter on which school board members must remain neutral and should be fired.

    But if the head of the school board writes a glowing review of a pro-creationism book, that’s just fine and dandy.–

    You are confusing the Texas Education Agency with the state board of education. It is the TEA that has the neutrality policy towards the hearings on the new Texas science standards — the SBOE does not and cannot have such a neutrality policy.

    Barbara Forrest’s lecture was a one-sided presentation of a crackpot conspiracy theory that the fundies are trying to use intelligent design to turn the USA into a theocracy. Would it be OK if the TEA distributes an official announcement of a Ken Ham “Answers-in-Genesis” lecture or a Richard Weikart “From Darwin to Hitler” lecture? We can argue whether it is proper for the TEA to have the neutrality policy, but the TEA has a right to have the policy and Chris Comer clearly violated the policy. IMO ousting Chris Comer was a mistake because it has turned her into a Darwinist heroine and martyr.

    Also, school board chairman Don McLeroy had nothing to do with Chris Comer’s ouster. An Austin American-Statesman news article reported: “As far as I’m concerned, (agency employees) can say what they want,” McLeroy said. “They’ve got freedom of speech.” The news article is no longer available, but McLeroy’s statement is recorded in my following comment:
    http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/editorial/entries/2007/12/01/is_misdeed_a_creation_of_polit.html#comment-3048602

    My blog has several articles about Chris Comer in the following post-label group (the group is listed in the sidebar of the homepage) —
    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/search/label/Chris%20Comer

    It is unfortunate that the book called the signers of the Clergy Letter “apostate morons.” However, I agree that the Clergy Letter Project is stupid. It tells us nothing new — we already knew that many religious folks see no conflict between evolution and religion. Also, there is a difference between believing in evolution and believing that there is no conflict between evolution and religion.

  26. Chet Says:

    Charles,
    All “gods” were/are created, by us, and only by us. We are the only species with “gods” and our own created “religions”.
    Prove that there are “gods” or that there is a “god”. If “god” is a “HE”, how is that it is a “HE?” How do you know it is “Him”? What empirical evidence do you have, “faith?”; “feelings”; “subjective emotions”; an ancient text of sonnets by an ancient desert tribe? The ravings of St Paul who created “christianity”?
    The only “god” is our star, Sun. Sun dieties were worshipped by more people: Apollo (Greece/Rome); Freyr (Norse); Garusda (Hindu); Helios/Helius (Greece); Huitzilopochtli/Uitzilopochtli (Aztec); Inti (Inca);

  27. Chet Says:

    continuing.
    Sun God Liza (West African);

  28. Chet Says:

    oops, submitting too soon, impatient:
    Sun God Lugh (Celtic); and finally, Sun God Re/Ra/Amun (Egyptian).
    There’s even a Sun Goddess Amaterasu (Japan).

    Now how about all of those Moon goddesses?

    All of these gods and goddesses must be factual beings, too?

  29. Robert B Says:

    What will the Religious Right Fundies require next?

    That we teach Noah and the Great Flood parallel with Hydrologic Cycle and Sodom and Gomorrah in conjunction with the Theory of Plate Tectonics?

  30. FloydA Says:

    Wow. I’ve just skimmed through the book “Sowing Atheism” that McLeroy presented (http://people.virginia.edu/~abb3w/Fark/sowing_atheism.pdf).

    The author, Robert Johnson, is not just ignorant of science, he seems to have a…to put it politely… “unique” understanding of the world around him.
    That book isn’t a typical creationist text, it is actually even weirder. It ranks up there with Oscar Kiss Maerth, the invaders from the hollow earth and Erich von Däniken’s “ancient astronauts.” Johnson thinks that the NY City Human Resources Administration is out to get him, and that the statues in the Parthenon reveal a secret code about the origins of life.

    Seriously. That’s actually what he thinks.

    This is what McLeroy wants taught to Texas students in science classrooms?

  31. Dee Says:

    Speaking as a devout Christian, I find this entire spectacle over evolution to be the latest shiny thing to distract people from what’s important. One’s salvation is NOT dependent upon either believing in evolution or creation. If I choose this moment to believe that God used evolution to create this amazing world of ours, I can assure you, my place in heaven would not be diminished one iota; if I choose to believe God created all things magnificently by His spoken word it does not increase my stature in the afterlife.

    Why are Christians fighting and debating over these things? Having been a Christian for almost 50 years, I can only shake my head in disgust at the way the fundamentalists are behaving – their public insistence on putting creationism into textbooks is insulting and a mockery of our faith. Jesus didn’t die on the Cross to make sure everyone was taught creationism. He died for our sins, and to give us life more abundantly – which translates into loving sinners into the kingdom, not bashing their heads with the bat of creationism.

  32. fred edison Says:

    “Creationists do not want to bring religion into the classroom… Creationists simply want the God hypothesis brought back into the science classroom, and recognized for what it is—a scientifically valid hypothesis. (p. 24)”

    Speaking as a devout realist. That simple and shocking statement above tells you _everything you need to know _ about the true motives and intentions of people like Johnson & McLeroy. A “God hypothesis” (whatever that is) DOES NOT equal scientific/science/evidence/critical thinking. _A _GOD_ hypothesis equals _RELIGION._ They want religion taught in the classroom. Who needs church and sunday school when we can teach it in the classrooms of our our educational systems? You creationists people are frightened of educated thought, scientific evidence, and a world that has a reason not involving an unseen deity. There’s no other logical explanation. You want religion taught as unfounded and unsupported fact in the classrooms. Period. You must have lost your minds and your faith.

  33. Robert T. Gross Says:

    Not all hypothesis’ are equal. The flat earth hypothesis has surprisingly prevailed late into the 29th century. There are probably a few adherents of such notion yet. Evidence, though scant, can be sighted in its favor, but the preponderance of evidence is way greater that the Earth is round. As deficient or more so is the evidence for creationism. It too is pseudoscience not worthy of scientific credit. At best it should be taught only in an elective comparative religion or history of religion class.

  34. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Is this McLeroy letter endorsing the book a hoax? The letter has not been reported in the mainstream media — the letter’s only source is the website of the book’s author. Even though McLeroy is an avowed creationist, I doubt that he would advocate teaching something titled “the God hypothesis” in the public schools.

    Also, I am wondering about that recent Texas Republican Party resolution urging restoration of the “strengths and weaknesses” language to the state science standards — that resolution was not reported in the mainstream media either. That resolution is especially newsworthy because the January rejection of the “weaknesses” language can be reversed this month by just one vote switch from the three Republicans who voted against the language in January.

    Evolution theory is not central to biology. Usually biological relationships are established by taxonomy, genetics, homology, etc., and then the Darwinian evolutionary mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection are added afterward as a gloss in an attempt to give a naturalistic or materialistic explanation of how the biological relationships came to be. Radio talk-show host Dennis Prager said that one can be a creationist, believe in witchcraft, believe that the earth is on the back of a turtle, etc., and still be a great medical researcher.

    In my studies of coevolution, Darwinian evolution theory was potentially a science-stopper. Darwinist biologists often consider coevolution to be simply the result of “mutual evolutionary pressure” between two different species and have no desire to investigate further. My hypothesis that coevolution by Darwinian processes is not always possible motivated me to investigate further. The important thing is to keep an open mind and not stick rigidly to the bible or Darwinism.

  35. Ben Says:

    It appears that Larry is still in Satan’s grip.

  36. Charles Says:

    I laugh every time you say that. In my teen years, I had a soft cover (vinyl and cloth), zippered bag that I used to use to carry my sporting goods to the tennis court. My mother, who was born in 1910 and had probably seen some kinds of luggage that have now gone extinct, referred to that bag as my “grip.” Whenever someone on the Weather Channel says that the Midwest is “…now in Winter’s grip…”, I imagine a piece of luggage with Ohio dangling loosely outside of an unzipped portion of the grip. Whenever you see that Larry is still in the grip of Satan, I imagine the Underwood Deviled Ham guy carrying a grip with Larry’s head poking out of an unzippered portion of it.

    No offense intended Larry. Visual images are just funny things sometimes.

  37. the Civilized Says:

    I am so glad that there is this concentrated push for religious over secular education in Texas and other states. I hail them for insisting that belief in a creator trumps any man-made idea such as the ‘Scientific Method’ .

    As a parent of a nine-year-old who subscribes to and teaches rationality and careful consideration, I relish the thought that certain in-breds are forcibly removing their progeny from any possible position of real competition with my child.

    Simply put, my kid will rule theirs and I’m good with that.

    Yes… I’ve gotten meaner as I age. ;)

  38. floyda Says:

    Larry Fafarman Says: “Evolution theory is not central to biology. Usually biological relationships are established by taxonomy, genetics, homology, etc.”

    Perhaps I am missing something that has come up previously, before I visited this site. How, Larry, do you define “homology” in a way that does not require descent from a shared ancestor?

    I ask this in all sincerity.

  39. Larry Fafarman Says:

    floyda Says (March 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm) —
    — How, Larry, do you define “homology” in a way that does not require descent from a shared ancestor? —

    There is nothing in the definition of homology that “requires” descent from a shared ancestor. Homology is evidence — not proof — of a shared ancestor. Also, there is something called “convergent evolution,” where similar features arise in different lines of descent. And sometimes there cannot be any homological evidence of evolution, e.g., in the transition between unicellular organisms (e.g., protozoa, corals, and sponges) and multi-organ organisms (e.g., jellyfish).

    Pieces of evidence should not be viewed in isolation but should be viewed in combination with other pieces of evidence. I am reminded of the joke about the man being tried for stealing chickens:

    Defendant to witness: Did you see me go into the henhouse?

    Witness: Yes

    Defendant: Did you see me come out of the henhouse?

    Witness: No

    Defendant: Aha! Ise still in that henhouse!

    As I said, evolution theory can be misleading — I gave the example of my studies of coevolution. I have also heard that evolution theory may have led to erroneous conclusions about “junk” DNA. Anyway, as I said, the idea that evolution is central to biology is absurd. I don’t even remember studying evolution at all in my high school biology classes — that would not be possible if evolution were central to biology.

  40. Ben Says:

    “the idea that evolution is central to biology is absurd,” said Satan, by way of Larry Fafarman.

  41. Michael Says:

    The sad thing is, McLeroy is from Bryan-College Station, home of Texas A&M University, which is supposed to be a top school for engineering and science. I also live here, and can attest to the fact that while views such as his are far from uncommon, they’re hardly universal. Anywhere in the country you go, and almost anywhere i nteh world, you’ll find a wide range of ideas and philosophies if you look and listen hard enough, and there is more than enough room in the world for such a range of opinions. The problem is that our culture these days seems to favor such extremes and allows them to have this kind of influence at the expense of other beliefs. I don’t know whether it’s more a matter of people actually sharing such views or a desire to be entertained; political and social fora look more and more like “reality” television every day. The focus on finding the truth seems to be shrinking steadily, replaced with a desire to “win” at any cost and a refusal to analyze one’s one beliefs in the light of new information or to respect the dignity of others and their views.

    Whether you live in the States or elsewhere, please don’t assume that McLeroy speaks for all religious people here in Texas or in the U.S., much less the population as a whole. You’re just hearing the most from those who insist on screaming the loudest.

  42. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Michael says,
    –Whether you live in the States or elsewhere, please don’t assume that McLeroy speaks for all religious people here in Texas or in the U.S., much less the population as a whole. —

    Meanwhile, you two-timing Darwinists want people to assume that McLeroy speaks for everyone who questions evolution theory.

  43. Ben Says:

    AP Newswire—In the latest creationism news, it appears that Larry Fafarman is still firmly in Satan’s grip.

    Ironically, Fafarman, a retired engineer in California, seems to be unaware that Mephisto is controlling his every thought. In fact, he will no longer even respond to requests for comment.

    Experts, primarily Catholic priests, say it is easy to identify when a subject is being controlled by Satan. According to Father Guido Sarducci, “The one who is being manipulated will use words like ‘Darwinist’ and say that evolution is ‘absurd.’ It’s really quite sad and pathetic.”

    Satan, who laid low for much of the seventies, reappeared in the eighties in conjunction with the introduction of “intelligent design.” The mischievous miscreant also goes by the names Beelzebub, Lucifer, and the Prince of Darkness. Calls to Satan were not immediately returned.

  44. Charles Says:

    Hi Ben. As indicated by the following verse from the bible, perhaps Larry and ScienceMinded were just some sort of celestial Big Mac. I know you are not the religious type, but there is some good advice here.

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

  45. Rocket Mike Says:

    The last time the courts, in the territory we now call the US, allowed spectral evidence at trial was in the 1690’s for the witch trials conducted in colonial Massachusetts. We now commonly call them the Salem Witch Trials. This was around the time that scientists were banishing all similar supernatural appeals from scientific work. The Enlightenment continued and the brilliant founders of our constitutional government also banned the supernatural from consideration in laws and governance by making the United States of America a constitutionally secular republic. Now, there are religious extremists that want reverse all that by forcing their sectarian supernatural beliefs on America. Their “Wedge” of undermining evolution, which they believe is the soft under-belly of science, is just the starting point to subvert all of science with the allowance of spectral evidence once again. They want to subvert the Constitution to put themselves in power to have DOMINION over all of us, they want to RECONSTRUCT America in their perverted image. And they are getting plenty of help from people who don’t have a clue.

  46. Charles Says:

    Rocket Mike and All Here.

    I know what you mean. I have spent much of the past 20 years of my life studying good academic literature on the religious right and what I would now call Christian Neo-Fundamentalism in this country. I say that because the old 19th century Christian fundamentalism that was espoused by famous academic figures such as J. Gresham Machen at Princeton University was in many ways the Orthodox American Christianity of that time. It was supported and defended at that time by real academics with a good education. Many people across this country still think that that form of Christian fundamentalism is exactly the same type of fundamentalism that we have today and that it developed solely from old seeds planted ages ago in the American South. That is just plain not true. While the religion of the south has always leaned in a conservative direction, it really has a separate church history from that of the rest of the nation. The old, traditional, 19th century Christian fundamentalism, as a movement body, actually developed among fairly well educated people up north and settled in its early yaers in areas surrounding the Great Lakes states—and spread out from there.

    This Christian Neo-Fundamentalism that we have today has developed here in the United States just over the past 40 years or so. While it might have taken some ideological cues such as Biblical inerrantism from the traditional 19th century Christian fundamentalists, this new and highly mutated form is a very different animal. The many factors that have influenced its development are bizarre and frightening. You mentioned the new Dominion Theology and Christian Reconstructionism. I would bet my last dime that no more than one person in every 100 people that sit in the pews at a Christian fundamentalist church know what these terms mean, and chances are high that this one person is in a leadership position in the church—which leaves the members of the congregation in total darkness about the evil and frankly quite nonChristian forces that are subliminally shaping their beliefs and values. Because of what I know after 20 years of study, I am firmly convinced that Satan has taken control of these people and their churches without them having a single clue about it—which is the way the force of evil in this world has always operated. They just sit there in the pews like “dumb bunnies,” taking in all of the clap-trap and making it part of their lives—never knowing what it is and where it came from originally. And it has just enough half scripture thrown in with it to make the lying and evil other half look good. Their attitude is like this: “Well, Pastor Farkus did go to seminary for a lot of years. He seems to be such a good and kind man of the Lord. Surely, anything that he urges us to believe or do must be the right thing. Right?” My mother was like that, God rest her kind and departed soul. If a stranger just used the name “Jesus” a couple of times in the process, she could have been persuaded that a page torn from an astrology book was gospel truth.

    Frankly, while I still fight it whenever possible (like here), I do not hold out much hope for the reign of good sense and real Christian faith in this country (the real, kind, and loving red-letter faith in Jesus). The people in these churches have been sucked into the lies and distortions so deeply over the past 40 years that I am beginning to believe that there is little chance of them waking up and little chance for the future of our country. Out before us, I see our own version of 1861 headed our way—just like Skynet in the “Terminator” movies. I believe that this viral Christian-Neo-Fundamentalism may very well be leading us into a second American Civil War. I am talking about a shooting war with real bloodshed where deceived and fanatical Christian Neo-Fundamentalists on one side are pitted against opposing factions of mainline Christians and nonbelievers. It would be easy to think that such a conflagration could never occur here. The problem is that it already did 144 years ago, and what happened once can happen again. This little “evolution weaknesses” war in Texas is just a mild symptom of a much larger and more dangerous problem that is developing here in the United States. It has been said, and I think well so, “If fascism ever takes over in the United States, it will come draped in an American flag and carrying a cross.” We should all pray to Jesus that we will have enough good sense to step back from the abyss and never allow this happen. I hope religious conservatives at places like the Dallas Theological Seminary are listening and considering what might happen if these so-called Culture War fights continue? Is reaching for, attaining, and holding on to personal position, power, and glory within a church hierarchy really that important in the face of such potential tragedies. Where are the red-letter Christians these days and the simple, loving pastors of old who could spend a lifetime doing nothing else but caring for a small flock of parisioners and helping their fellowman—all at low pay? Where have all these pastors gone? Were they lured away by the wealth, power, and flashy lights of the Broadway religious show down at the megachurch. Who knows?

    Just for those who do not know about it and think that I might be nuts, here are three articles on Dominion Theology and Christian Reconstructionism, which is already influencing churches, pastors, and parachurch organizations around our country—-without church members knowing it.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/dominion-theology.html

    http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v08n1/chrisre1.html

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Christian_Reconstructionism

  47. Rosebud Says:

    This is, in part, why I left Texas. Every time I try to give the State another chance, someone like McLeroy rears his ugly head. He is a disgrace. They not only want us to go backwards; they really don’t understand the concept of separation of church and state. Who in the world allows a dentist with a hick accent run the Board of Ed?

  48. Robert Says:

    I think IQs have dropped precipitously over the last 30 years. I simply have no words…..

  49. Drew Says:

    Religion is one part delusion, one part ignorance, and one part dishonesty. I have figured out the ingredients, I just can’t figure out the proportions involved.

  50. Travis Says:

    The fact that this Don McElroy guy believes that the world is less than 10,000 years old undermines anything he might say about education. This goes for all “Young Earth” believers.

  51. Brock Says:

    Don mcleroy needs to stick to fixing teeth. Anybody that believes that the earth was created in 6 days by “god” is a moron.

  52. bill Says:

    does any one here know the first amendment? look it up the seperation of church and state you refer to is a ruling from a court case where the judge was a kkk member and his decision was based on his hatred for catholics. yes really now go back and read the first amendment slowly. and then stop yelling the sky is falling

  53. bill Says:

    all this hate speech against religion well the science that you spew as being gospel is not proven either so why shound’nt it be open for debate what are you all afraid of? isnt this what this great country is about freedom to practice the religion of your choice Or not? that seems to be what the left wingers do they have no valaid arguement so they resort to name calling and demonize any one who does’nt believe what they do

  54. Hanna Says:

    I am a historian and I don’t even think to comment on how to fill teeth.

    Stick to what you know, McLeroy.

  55. Stevo Says:

    I was will to go along with Intelligent Design until I herd McLeroy speak. Now I’m back to pure evolution!

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