Texas Education Agency Science Expert Fired for Indirectly dissing Intelligent Design

November 30, 2007 | By | 5 Replies More

In brief: Chris Comer, director of science curriculum, was pushed out after she sent an e-mail promoting a local talk by the author of “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design“. Comer merely sent a notice about the talk as an “FYI.”

The School board tried to claim that she was dismissed (after 9 years) for spamming this email. It probably had nothing to do with her testimony in the Dover trial. A quick search of the news shows that both liberals and conservatives are aghast at this development, so close on the heels of the embarrassment in PA.

This National Center for Science Education report contains the “offending” email at the bottom of a concise summary of this shameful (yet somehow predictable) event. I wish the forwards that I regularly receive were as concise and clear as this email.

MensNewsDaily.com who boast: “in the Top 75 Right-of-Center Websites for 2007” reports:

The advocacy group Texas Citizens for Science have released a statement saying, in part, “The real reason [Comer] was forced to resign is because the top TEA administrators and some SBOE members wanted her out of the picture before the state science standards—the science TEKS—were reviewed, revised, and rewritten next year. Plans are underway by some SBOE members and TEA administrators to diminish the requirement to teach about evolutionary biology in the Biology TEKS and to require instead that biology instructors ‘Teach the Controversy’ about the ‘weaknesses’ of evolution, that is, teach the Creationist-inspired and -created bogus controversy about evolution that doesn’t exist within legitimate science.”

It seems that Texas is determined to join Kansas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the contest for most laughable academic standing in science. But we know the caliber of Texas politicians quite well, by now.

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Category: Current Events, Education, Evolution, Law, Politics, Religion

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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  1. “Ex-Texan Returns to Defend Science”

    I was born in Texas in the early 40’s. My family moved to California in 1951. I returned for a visit in 1959, saw signs over two drinking fountains, in a Safeway, that said, “COLORED” and “WHITE.” At my young age I was appalled and remember quite clearly saying to myself, “Texas is the iron- curtain-of-the-mind,” and I vowed never to return. For all these years, I never tell people where I came from. I have always been ashamed of my heritage—being on the wrong side of the civil war, and then blatant—in-your-face segregation. Now, add homophobia, and creationism.

    When I heard that Governor Perry had appointed a creationist to head the state school board, I thought it was time to do my part, to help Texans to be more open-minded, and accept science. I am a doctoral candidate, and I’m developing course material for high school and college classes entitled “Evolution vs. Creationism: Listen to the Scientists.” The idea is to bring some of our country’s top scientists into classrooms in the form of short video mini-lectures. About two months ago. I sent a website link to approximately 50 heads of science education in districts all over Texas. Only two returned an email expressing interest. One was Chris Comer (the one who lost her job over defending science), and the other was Steven Schafersman, Ph.D._President, Texas Citizens for Science. Chris Comer stated that she wanted to see the videos and needed some instructions to get her computer to play them. Stephen Schafersman returned an email saying he very much approved of the scientific relevancy of the videos, and would pass along the email link in his organization news letter.

    Think about it– Chris Comer got fired for passing along an email announcing a lecture to be given by Barbara Forrest (whose testimony at the Dover trial “blew-the-whistle” on the fact that I.D. is simply creationism renamed—therefore religion, and does not belong in schools because of the first amendment—read Judge Jones decision). If what Barbara Forrest is saying to the world is so horrible—enough to get the “Texas Education Agency, Director of Science Curriculum,” fired, then, if I were a citizen of Texas, who uses critical thinking, I would certainly be curious to hear for myself what kinds of things Dr. Forrest is saying that is so blasphemous. If Texans start watching these mini-lectures, with top scientists, they will have a chance to hear what Dr, Forrest said, and be able to judge for them selves. They are available directly through You Tube, or on http://www.evolutionvscreationism.info. If you want to evaluate them as potential classroom material, then go to http://www.scienceteachersandevolution.com. This site contains is a survey where you can evaluate the mini-lectures. These mini-lectures contain considerable footage with Barbara Forrest—probably everything she said at the fateful Texas lecture. It’s time that Texans began listening to credible scientists, and hopefully lifting the “iron-curtain-of-the-mind” that has shackled their thinking all these decades. It’s absolutely essential that all citizens, not just Texans, truly understand the “process” of science, and why keeping the integrity of that process is so important to our survival as a U.S., and world society.

    Allison Hoffman, Qualitative Researcher

    Scientific, Qualitative, Research, and Education, Inc. (S.Q.R.E.)
    http://www.sqreweb.org sqre@roadrunner.com

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Texas may approve Creationist Trained science teachers with online credentials. According to the Dallas Morning News article, "the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas wants to train future science teachers in Texas and elsewhere."

    This just on the heels of the ouster of the pro-science individual on the Texas Board of Education just prior to reviewing the science education curriculum.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: Here's more background on the ridiculous firing of Chris Comer. This post was written by Glenn Branch, who works for the National Center for Science Education. http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2007/12/

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Senator Mike Gravel is one politician who frankly speaks up for evolution and for keeping religion, which he characterizes as sometimes "oppressive" out of politics.

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