On the Fight Between Evolution and Creationism in Texas Classrooms

2 Texas Republicans defend evolution in the classroom. Kids and parents everywhere should be thankful.

By + More

By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Let's hear it for Pat Hardy and Tincy Miller.

Pat and Tincy are the two Texas Republicans who showed the good common sense that Texans are known for and voted to remove a state-mandated discussion of the "weaknesses" of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution from their state's biology curriculum.

We can all be thankful to Pat and Tincy because national textbook publishers tend to cotton to big purchasers like the state of Texas. Had the religious right won this one, it might have affected what your kid reads from Rhode Island to Hawaii.

Yes, 83 years after Clarence Darrow humiliated William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes "monkey trial" in Dayton, Tenn., there are still hardy anti-Darwin sentiments in parts of the Bible Belt, whipped up by modern-day "creationists."

And we're not out of the woods yet. Pat and Tincy joined six Democrats on the Texas State Board of Education to carry a preliminary vote, 8 to 7, on Thursday. But the winning coalition needs to stay intact, under pressure from the wingers, through the final adoption of the standards in March.

Just how nutty are these creationists? Well, according to the New York Times, the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education—Don McLeroy, a dentist—says "he does not believe in Darwin's theory and thinks that Earth's appearance is a recent geologic event, thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion as scientists contend."

Yabba Dabba Doo, Dr. Don. The whistle is blowing at the Slate quarry: Time to slide down off the brontosaurus, pick up Wilma and Dino your pet dinosaur, and head out to the drive-in for some ribs. And don't forget, before you go to bed, to put your saber-toothed tiger out.

  • Read more by John Aloysius Farrell.
  • Read more from the Thomas Jefferson Street blog.