Friday, December 7, 2007

Chris Comer in Her Own Words, and Also the Words of Barbara Forrest

Anyone reading the site lately will know I've been following the Chris Comer case (1, 2, 3). In short: Comer, the director of science education in Texas, forwarded an email to her officemates about a talk given by intelligent design investigator and critic Barbara Forrest. Comer runs afoul of Texas' new policy of friendliness towards religious pseudoscience and she is forced to resign.

Well, Barbara Forrest being the powerhouse who not only wrote Creationism's Trojan Horse, the book about the intelligent design wedge strategy (high on my Christmas list), but also provided the Of Pandas and People evidence in Kitzmiller v. Dover, she could not sit idly by while Chris Comer was taking hits on her behalf. Forrest released a statement (PDF) through the NCSE in which she points out that the creationists seem to be making the points in her book for her.

The incident now involving Ms. Comer exemplifies perfectly the reason my co-author Paul R. Gross and I felt that our book, Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, had to be written. ( By forcing Ms. Comer to resign, the [Texas Education Agency] seems to have confirmed our contention that the ID creationist movement—a religious movement with absolutely no standing in the scientific world—is being advanced by means of power politics.
She also isn't shy about letting Texas know exactly what's coming their way.
Texans should now prepare themselves for an attempt by the [cdesign proponentists] (and/or newly recruited supporters) to influence the upcoming review of state science standards. In order to be ready, the good citizens of Texas who value their public schools and the U.S. Constitution must familiarize themselves with the ID code terms they are likely to hear, all of which signal the ID movement’s attack on the teaching of evolution. ID supporters will declare that they certainly do not favor eliminating evolution or teaching intelligent design, but rather that they simply want children to hear “both sides” of the “controversy” and to learn to “critically analyze” evolutionary theory, so that they can understand the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution, and all of this will be for the sake of “fairness” and “academic freedom.”
For further reading, she provides a document explaining those code terms (PDF). I recommend them both, along with anything else written by Forrest.

And, as I teased in the title, we have Chris Comer herself weighing in on the subject...

Tomorrow! Oh, snap! Anyway, she's going to be on Science Friday tomorrow. So even though I don't listen to the show regularly because their podcasts download strangely, I'll be all over this segment like a fat kid on cake.