No, I’m not talking about voting them out of office (fat chance of that happening in some places). By now, you’ve probably heard about the firing of the Texas Education Agency’s director of science curriculum. There’s not much to add to what others have already said about how stupid this is, so, instead, I want to propose one possible way to strike back at these bozos: federalize the issue.
This latest front in the Republican* War on Science illustrates how this is a political issue that revolves around power, not framing. One way pro-science citizens can influence what local and state governments do is through federal funding. The next time any educational legislation is proposed, a key component should be the release of federal support for educational programs contingent upon the adoption of educational standards that do not accept intelligent design creationism as science and that also support the study of evolution. If phrased properly (and I have to give more thought about how to do that), the Republicans would tie themselves in knots trying to figure out how to stop this legislation. Much legislation begins with ‘findings of facts’ and this would be a perfect opportunity to make the pro-science case.
*You don’t see Democrats doing this shit, do you?
To avoid discrimination accusations, make the wording based on “teaching curriculum approved by the National Academy Of Science” or whatever the federal level science grant vetting organization may be.
Personally, I love to tweak ID advocates by pointing out that real Intelligent Design is perfectly scientific, namely 2001 (the black monolith) and Brin’s Uplift series. The reason scientists don’t support it is that a) it doesn’t explain where the monolith/uplift aliens came from and b) there is no evidence to support it. They get all huffy at that point. Hee hee.
Me I think the state of Texas is going to be on the hook for a wrongful termination suit based on religious discrimination. The reason being is that Chris Comer was essentially fired for failing to equate ‘intelligent design’ is a religious belief and the theory of evolution which is science. Which means she was fired for failing to promote the personal religious beliefs of the board of education. Hell even worse intelligent design isn’t even religion, it’s pure superstition.
Yeah, you really don’t want to set the precedent of Congress making educational policy. Google “Santorum amendment” for one instance where that could have gone wrong.
Alas and alack, state and local control of education are so ingrained that there would be outcry against giving the NAS that sort of power, even though it makes copious sense.