Official State Reviewer Confirms Concerns over Science Textbook Adoption in Texas

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A University of Texas scientist is expressing serious concerns about the qualifications of fellow reviewers examining new biology textbooks proposed for public high schools in the Lone Star State. A letter he sent to State Board of Education members this week also highlights concerns that SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, might have inappropriately tried to influence reviewers in Austin last month. His full letter is at the end of this post.


We reported on Monday that anti-evolution activists nominated by SBOE members to serve as official reviewers are pressuring publishers to weaken instruction on evolution in their new biology textbooks. Texas Education Agency staff appointed reviewers from the list of SBOE nominations and individuals who nominated themselves. State board members will use their reviews to help them decide whether to adopt the textbooks for use in Texas schools. The board has scheduled a public hearing on the textbooks for Tuesday (Sept. 17) and a final vote on adoption in November.

Late Wednesday, an SBOE member forwarded to the Texas Freedom Network a letter from Jimmy Gollihar, a doctoral student and scientist working at UT-Austin. Gollihar nominated himself as a reviewer.

Gollihar’s letter describes a “review process that is either broken or corrupt.” He explains, for example, that many reviewers on the biology panels were clearly unqualified to evaluate the textbooks:

“The net result of having a huge raft of non-scientists on the panels was that rather than checking for factual errors in the texts I was put into the position of having to painstakingly educate other panel members on past and current literature. Somewhat unsurprisingly, a reviewer from another table, who is also a well-known creationist without any training in biology, was quite proud that he was the one reviewing the sections on evolution for his table … with no scientific counterpoint to be had. As a result, even beyond the obviously ideologically-derived comments on the materials many of the comments found littered throughout those reviews make no sense whatsoever from a scientific viewpoint and are absolutely not germane to the content prescribed in the [Texas curriculum standards].”

 

Written By: Dan – TFN Insider
continue to source article at tfninsider.org

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  1. May I also suggest these under educated scientific reviewers go see their local Mac-job bus boy the next time they need a Dentist or Doctor. Hey they can probably read a menu and wipe down a table- not too different from the skills required of a Doctor!
    OK, I’m being sarcastic, but surely even in Texas there are restrictions on what you can and can’t do without being qualified or licensed to perform certain things.
    It’s unlawful to impersonate a Police Officer, why not unlawful to impersonate a Scientist- which is EXACTLY what these clowns are doing. jcw

  2. Only the religious object to explaining the natural process called evolution by natural selection.

    When the Bible was written the authors knew next to nothing about how the real world operated. Nor could they have done. These Texan cretins have no such excuse. The information is right in front of them, but they refuse to look at it.

    • In reply to #5 by rod-the-farmer:

      Perhaps we could have dentists approving the Building Code, librarians approving Workplace Health and Safety regulations, etc.

      Not forgetting theological experts on angel wings, reviewing aircraft designs!

      • In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #5 by rod-the-farmer:

        Perhaps we could have dentists approving the Building Code, librarians approving Workplace Health and Safety regulations, etc.

        Not forgetting theological experts on angel wings, reviewing aircraft designs!

        But would theologians have anything to say about angels’ wings? I think I’ve read that the Bible never mentions these useful appendages,which were merely inventions of early painters who thought they’d look nice.

        • In reply to #7 by CEVA34:

          In reply to #6 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #5 by rod-the-farmer:

          Perhaps we could have dentists approving the Building Code, librarians approving Workplace Health and Safety regulations, etc.

          Not forgetting theological experts on angel wings, reviewing aircraft designs!

          But would theologians have anything to say about angels’ wings? I think I’ve read that the Bible never mentions these useful appendages, which were merely inventions of early painters who thought they’d look nice.

          While angel myths have been around for centuries, I think you are right that the wings are more recent theological inventions: – but they do seem to have support and blessings, from the current hierarchy.
          http://www.examiner.com/article/vatican-city-consecrated-to-st-michael-the-archangel-by-pope-francis
          Fictional additions and embellishments have never been a problem for woo-thinkers “interpreting” texts!

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