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Big Tex and Big Rex (Texas Freedom Network).
The Texas State Board of Education will meet in September to begin its review of science textbooks to be adopted by the state.  Because Texas is one of the largest textbook buyers in the nation, the choices made by Texas textbook committees exert a disproportionate impact on what textbooks are available nation wide.

The Texas Freedom Network is asking for support.  Please sign their "Stand Up For Science" petition and make your rational voices heard.

They also offer this wonderful visual of Big Texas and Big Rex.  Don't let this become the cover of your child's next science book!

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Comment Preferences

  •  To believe in creationism you have to... (18+ / 0-)

    ...disbelieve almost all science.  From evolution, to big bang, from radioactive decay, to plate tectonics.  And you have to believe every single word of the King James bible no matter how many contradictions and no matter what consequences.

    The Creationism cult is a dangerous one.  Their cult leaders can sell them on anything.  They make Scientology look sane.

    How many are there? We have more of these sorts than any other country except Turkey.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:36:49 PM PDT

    •  Speed of light, too. (13+ / 0-)

      Most people miss this one. The distance to other stars and galaxies can be measured pretty directly, by parallax and other methods. Turns out most of them are a lot more than 6,000 light years away.

      I suppose the Michelson-Morley experiment was designed by the devil to destroy the faith of many.  -sigh-

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 03:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i was in a church school today. (4+ / 0-)

        had to go because of work. anyhow, painted with 16" high letters, not a poster but painted right on there was,
        "faith" = verb.

      •  Well, of course it was! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, Oh Mary Oh

        And Albert Einstein was at heart a god-fearing Creationist, dontcha know.  That was the true meaning of his giant General Relativity fudge-factor Λ.

        Texas is hell-bent on turning its children into absolutist evangelicals, with an added soupçon of uncritical thinking + ignorance.

        That is, if they don't fire all their teachers first.

        (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

        by argomd on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:35:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My brother is an optics engineer and a creationist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, argomd

        He's bright and sensitive, but he just blows my mind with his denial of evolution gymnastics. If I wasn't already seriously heartbroken, it would have broken my heart by now.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:01:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Geez! Really? (0+ / 0-)

          My cousin and I are the only Ph.D.s in the whole extended family, both physicists, and he's a quantum optics whiz.  We are the black sheep, for all the right reasons.  

          Don't tell anyone, particularly the Kentucky-leaning bulk of the family, but he and I are both atheists.

          Is it the "engineer" part that makes creationist-belief possible?  There were almost far more conservatives over on the engineering faculty than among us theoretical physics types.  Librul pinko commies, to a one.

          Very sorry to hear that you are seriously heartbroken.  Getting through each day can be very difficult, as I know you know, so I wish you relief.  I hope you see a path forward with a positive gradient in it.

          (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

          by argomd on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 11:17:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was born heartbroken. What I was referencing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            above, though, happened a while back and I deal with it ok. It's just part of life. As for my brother, I'm just seriously disappointed that there is this stupid barrier between us. He went through a rough period with a divorce and gaining custody of his kids, and his "born again" experience helped him through it. As a result, I guess he felt obligated to buy into the brainwashing, (even though he is still a Democrat, thank God, or whatever) and some of the groupthink. As a result, I''ve been treated somewhat shabbily because I won't drink the koolaid. He goes to great lengths to leverage doubt about details of the theory of evolution.
            As for me, I doubt the existence of God, (depending on how "God" is defined), but not because of the theory of evolution. It's possible for me to conceive of a God that operates through the mechanism of evolution and DNA biology. It's also possible for me to conceive of a "God" that is purely psychological in nature.
            I think what is going on is that so many of these evangelical believers experience so much doubt, which is just their rational minds working, so they externalize their doubt in all those "others" who represent a threat. As time goes on, this internal doubt is just going to increase which is going to create an ever more desperate radicalism in "belief" with a corresponding increasing radicalism in the religious right.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 12:22:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your insight seems spot-on. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Of course, understanding as well as you do what drives so many fearful, anxious souls to drink that dangerous but strangely comforting Kool-aid -- that understanding doesn't take away the sorrow.  

              As an only, I can only try to imagine your pain of estrangement or separation from family.  Clearly it has sent you into careful reflection and an uncommonly successful attempt to empathize.

              But you are who you are, and you're no longer vulnerable to the Kool-aid of salvation.  Living with uncertainty and doubt -- not finding an artificial escape from it -- is the most human thing one can do, IMO.  Only then can one approach true empathy.

              I didn't lose god in science; I never had him/her, and so there was no barrier to the sanity and beauty of science.  In my later years, I've tried to reconstruct the path I took.  It began when I left the southern baptist church as a teenager, revolted by the horrific racism of my wealthy congregation in a deep southern town.  It was cemented as I enveloped the history of the Holocaust.  If there was a god, and if that god was good and had any say in the matter, the Holocaust would not have happened.

              That's the terrible, ultimate appeal of defining the "others" as a threat to overcome, as you say.

              Take care.  

              (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

              by argomd on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:58:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I stopped going to church when I was 14. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I had already spent a couple of years struggling to find a reason. However, I still considered myself a Christian, just one without a serious need for superstition and foolishness. Now I consider all discussions about religion to be political discussions, and its very rare that people actually have a real discussion about spirituality and life and the human condition in terms of religion.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 07:21:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True, that. (0+ / 0-)

                  If one accepts  that adhering to a fixed set of beliefs is easy.  Acting from conscience is all there is.  In the end, I am convinced that we are what we do, or don't do.

                  Which is why real discussions about spirituality are so rare, I guess.  So very few people have even had such discussions with themselves.

                  You came to your crossroads years earlier than I did, but those teen years, when we are faced with the often horrible paradoxes in the societies we're preparing to enter, are so very painful.  How do I reject the church my parents love so much without rejecting them?  How can I sit quietly listening to a sermon and look out the windows at a bleak slum ignored by all of us?  How can we claim to be peace-loving just as we send thousands of young men to die in a war we ourselves started?

                  Don't know if you've read him or seen his videos, but you might find some enlightenment in Chris Hedges.  You are who he speaks of when he describes "the courage to be vulnerable."

                  (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

                  by argomd on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:50:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Note to Republicans & their fellow travelers: (13+ / 0-)

    "The Flintstones" was not a documentary.

  •  The only way out of this impasse (7+ / 0-)

    before Battleground Texas turns Texas Blue is through Open Educational Resources (OERs), that is, through Free digital learning materials. Free means both no-cost (Free as in beer) and with freedoms for users (Free as in speech) such as the right to make and improvements and republish the results. In practice that means putting these materials under Creative Commons Sharealike (CC-SA) licenses. The reason we can make this work is that computers cost much less than printed textbooks.

    In fact, there are biology textbooks available as OERs under CC-SA, including those from the California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative. CK-12 Foundation offers CK-12 Biology and CK-12 Biology I Honors, both under CC-SA.

    Of course, Creationists have an unbroken track record of losses in court since the Supreme Court ruled against them in Epperson v. Arkansas, which to our national shame was decided only in 1968. But losing to Federal tyranny is a badge of honor to Creationists. Only their declining numbers, as shown in polls over time, give us any hope of turning them back in the court of public opinion, and it will be a while yet.

    I write OERs for Sugar Labs, the software and content partner of One Laptop Per Child, in a program that I manage called Replacing Textbooks. One of our greatest needs, where Kossacks could be of particular help, is a set of Civics OERs for all levels.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:44:29 PM PDT

  •  TFN is doing really great, great work (8+ / 0-)

    I grew up in Texas and am very familiar with the way the evangelical right, with Big Oil money, has been moving for the past 40 years against education.  

    The reason is perverse, but simple.  Educated people tend to be for alternative energy and a future not in thrall to the special interests that derive wealth by pollution.  

    Thus, the polluting interests that stand to make billions want to reduce the power of education.

    The thing is, they just might succeed to some extent, and in some places.  

    They just keep at it.  I have seen many activists wear themselves out over the years, but the potential for profit making from pollution and earth extraction related industries can tempt whole graduating classes from the best schools into the service of this effort.  

    Still, honest people can prevail if they keep their eyes open to what is going on and do not let themselves be bamboozled.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 03:19:00 PM PDT

  •  so far, creationists in the US have lost every (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, argomd, Lujane, Oh Mary Oh

    Federal court case they have ever been involved with.  Every one. Without exception. Over a dozen. Twice at the Supreme Court.

    I look forward eagerly to them losing yet another one.

    •  So the obvious lesson from this is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, Oh Mary Oh

      they must keep trying.  

      cf. House votes 39th time to repeal Obamacare

      cf. Cons re-invent IRS 'scandal' for the nth time

      cf. Hillary must have killed Vince Foster

      cf. One more red state passes unconstitutional legislation against the latest imagined demon believers (women, liberals, humanists, women, minorities, impoverished, uninsured, women)

      (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

      by argomd on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:40:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Home schooling. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      Also the religious right is behind the attack on public education, gov. support for education, teachers' unions, etc.
      They have had a great deal of success.
      They could lose Scotus battles for the next hundred years and win the war.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:10:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I took a stab at this too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and compared it to censorship in the former Soviet Union.  This is part of my lecture series for a library and information science class:

  •  TEAxas religilous-conservative "education" (0+ / 0-)

    a whole religion and a whole branch of science based on the FLINTSTONES,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  •  "The Revisionaries" documentary is quite a scary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    portrayal of these Texas book pickers and how they pretty much flag-wrap and warp every subject they touch (and how they do it).

    The documentary's website.

    The Netflix streaming description:

    This documentary looks at a pitched cultural conflict over school textbook standards in Texas, as determined by the state's Board of Education. For many, the creationist views of the board's chairman run counter to the findings of modern science.
    I've watched it three times now; it becomes more terrifying with each viewing.

    "If you mean time-traveling bunnies, then yes."

    by here4tehbeer on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:34:01 PM PDT

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