Sunday, October 19, 2008

Don McLeroy Jenkins: Epic failure by the creationists. Again.

Some readers may be vaguely aware that Texas is going through their aperiodic burst of anti-evolution sentiments from their school board. Don McLeroy, the current Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education has managed to effectively lay the groundwork for any possible legal challenge by his opponents.

First a bit of background: The creationists used to try to teach creationism next to evolution. The federal courts said that was unconstitutional because of that whole First Amendment thing. It can be so pesky and inconvenient sometimes. Then suddenly a mutation showed up and they started to teach “creation science” which was completely different from “creationism.” The Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard ruled that this was nothing more than thinly disguised creationism.[1] Then miraculously, a new mutation occurred. Now, there was “intelligent design” which had nothing to do with that unconstitutional “creation science” thing. Not all. (Actually it wasn't a single mutation but a series including a well-preserved transitional form). In Kitzmiller v. Dover, this new variation was ruled unconstitutional. The latest version is “teaching the controversy.”

However, McLeroy has gone and shot himself in the foot. In a recent editorial, he justified teaching the controversy by saying that, under the new proposed curriculum claims about evolution … will be challenged by creationists.” Oops. He said the c-word. I can see his legal allies carefully planning a case in front of a federal judge to explain how what they want has nothing to do with creationism at all. And then he arrives, running into the courtroom screaming “McLerooooy Jennnnkins! Creationism!”

[1] If one does have opportunity to read this decision, I strongly recommend reading Scalia’s dissent as well. It gives one real appreciation for Scalia’s intelligence and thoughtfulness and raises serious issues that are worth thinking about.


Anonymous said...

hehe... sounds familiar. Now, why would that be? Oh, yeah, same strategy for the 5th bloody time!!!

And I have to say that I LOVE Scalia's dissents. It's just so much fun to read statements such as "My honored brethren on the Court are complete idiots."

Anonymous said...

I've recently posted a brief email conversation I had with McLeroy at my own blog.

I think some of the formatting of your post may be "off".

Anyway, thanks for sharing the link to the editorial. Also, nice Leroy Jenkins joke. ;)

Joshua said...

Hmm, the formatting looks fine to me. What browser are you using and which part looks off? Thanks for the pointer to your conversation. That does look interesting.