Texas Science Director Fired for Mentioning Evolution…

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A Texas science education official was forced to resign in October for doing her job. 

The Austin-American Statesman has reported that. Chris Corner, science curriculum director, was fired following an email she circulated announcing an upcoming speech by Barbara Forrest, co-author of Creationism’s  Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design and an expert witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the lawsuit brought in 2005 by Dover, Pennsylvania parents upset with a school board’s decision to teach intelligent design. A federal judge sided with the parents and legally established intelligent design as religion, not science.

However in Texas, we know things run a bit differently.

Hours after Corner used her work email account to forward the announcement to friends, Texas Education Agency adviser Lizzette Reynolds emailed Corner’s bosses and called for her dismissal. A former legislative adviser to President Bush during his Texas governorship and later a Department of Education appointee, Reynolds wrote, “This is highly inappropriate. I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities.

Inappropriate?

Farting in church is inappropriate. Making ‘death jokes’ during a funeral is inappropriate. Hitting on your best friend’s girl is inappropriate. Teaching and promoting ‘science’, and that is exactly what evolution is…’science’, when one is a science teacher, is completely appropriate.

Lizzette Reynolds, and the rest of the legion of Bush loyalist idiots, cannot comprehend or moreover accept the fact that the idea of “Intelligent Design” (I can’t dignify referring to it as a theory), is nothing more than fundamentalist Christian blather, with the goal of squeezing rational scientific thought out of public classrooms, with the end goal of imposing God on those who dare question his existence. Reynolds should be fired, not Corner. Corner was simply performing her duties as a science teacher. Reynolds is trying to peddle a Christian agenda on the back of Corner’s livelihood.   

Education Agency officials mentioned Reynolds’ e-mail in their decision to fire Corner. Informing people about Forrest’s lecture, they said, “directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science … [And] implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker’s position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.”

Neutral? I bet if her email said “We must protest this speaker because God is the almighty creator and his will be done at our hand…”, she would have been promoted. That’s how education works down South…especially in Texas. The problem here is that a science official, supporting evolution isn’t political; it’s scientific! But even if that were not the case, Corner’s views weren’t clear from her email, to which she’d simply added an “FYI” above the lecture’s announcement. Isn’t that “neutral” enough? 

As the Austin-American Statesman editorialized this weekend,

The education agency, of course, portrays the problem as one of insubordination and misconduct. But from all appearances, Comer was pushed out because the agency is enforcing a political doctrine of strict conservatism that allows no criticism of creationism.

This state has struggled for years with the ideological bent of the state school board, but lawmakers took away most of its power to infect education some years ago. Politicizing the Texas Education Agency, which oversees the education of children in public schools, would be a monumental mistake.

This isn’t the space to explore the debate over creationism, intelligent design and evolution. Each approach should be fair game for critical analysis, so terminating someone for just mentioning a critic of intelligent design smacks of the dogma and purges in the Soviet era.

As usual, “neutrality” is now used as the hammer to beat evolutionists over the head. I suppose it is okay to replace intelligent discourse with hearsay, fire anyone who disagrees, then label the hearsay as informed debate. 

All of the radical Christian educational agendas in all states is unsupported by verifiable fact. Government must step in and stop this lunacy or we risk returning to the days of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, where teachers will be tried in court for teaching the truth. With any luck, the Texas Board of Education will be painted as the fools that they are next year when the state reviews the Texas Board of Education’s science curriculum. 

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Posted on December 3, 2007, in Conservatives, Education Policy, George Bush, Law, Politics, Religion, Republican Party, Social Policy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    Sometimes I think when the South tried to break away that the Union should have let them and the same for Texas. The South has already gotten back at us for losing the Civil War by voting in George Bush for 8 years. It’s alright since according to evolution people in the south would seem to be headed for extinction. LOL

  2. MJ “revoltingpawn”

    Great angle! LOL!

  3. Mz Corner probably ought not have relied on a publicly owned computer to advance her personal view should that be what she had done. Hoever, there is no empirical evidennce in science yet that and individual Animate/Inanimate quantum state existing as a function of time, ( a human being ), is NOT a cause of effects in the non-trivial image of a first cause of all effects, nor did Judge John Jones so rule in the Dover case. Nor do I believe that Bush appointess are ‘ idiots ‘ as your article notes. Even Einstien noted that ” Science without Religion is Lame; Religion without Science is dead. THere is NO evidence to support that the founding Fathers separated Church and State dedicating our unique Repiblic’s Constitution to be based upon the ” Laws of Nature, a/k/a the invariant Laws of Physics. ”
    Mz Corner was presumptuous, whether or not she should have been discharged for her presumption without cause/effect evidence as a function of time is a mater of Texas Law, not Media opinion.

    Cordially,

    Dave Walsh
    Annapolis
    4th December, 2007

  4. david walsh,

    As I understand the facts surrounding the article, she was not advancing a “personal view,” she was advancing a “view” generally accepted by most scientists around the globe.

    As for this portion of your comment…

    “However, there is no empirical evidence in science yet that and individual Animate/Inanimate quantum state existing as a function of time, ( a human being ), is NOT a cause of effects in the non-trivial image of a first cause of all effects.”

    This flowery and somewhat non-sensical language does not at all appear to be relevant to this post. What does the quantum state of being, or for that matter, all of quantum physics have to do with educational policy in Texas, or why someone was fired for informing colleagues of a legitimate scientific conference?

    And this…

    There is NO evidence to support that the founding Fathers separated Church and State dedicating our unique Repiblic’s Constitution to be based upon the ” Laws of Nature, a/k/a the invariant Laws of Physics. ”

    I’m sorry to disappoint you sir, but Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the most important and influential of all the founding fathers, was a man very much in touch with his spirituality, however, he patently rejected organized religion and absolutely thought the Church had no place in our, as you refer to it, “unique Republic’s Constitution.”

    Evidence to support this…

    The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800.

    “The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it’s benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801. ME 10:237

    “But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1810. ME 12:345

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813. ME 14:21

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119

    If that isn’t enough for you, I can furnish more.

    Ms. Corner was in no way presumptuous. She was merely performing her duties as a scientist rather than a theologian. If the Texas Board of Education wants to employ theologians, they should hire them or at the very least, make sure that requirement is clearly stated in the job description.

    Thanks for the comment.

  5. Mat 7:16 KJV – Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    The tide of darkness that started shortly after Constantine signed the Edict of Milan in the 4th. century hovers over us like a deadly cloud, poisoning free inquiry and prompting mindless fundamentalist sheep to trample anyone who dares to question the boneheaded interpretations of scripture held forth by their fundamentalist demagogues. The fate of Hypatia is just a few steps away for teachers like Ms. Corner, who has indeed been cornered by the American Taliban. The official sanctioning of these religious sectarians is the real disgrace. This is why those who value their free minds and their free lives must fight the American Taliban with all their might and all their heart to purge this pernicious hegemony from all public discourse and policy. This was the meaning of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This is why voting for Romney or Huckabee would be like installing another Bush Ayatollah clone.

    But, the fact that such thought suppressors get public support suggests we teeter on the verge of a new Dark Age. The fundamentalist mind is a form of addiction guarded closely by denial. Those who descend into this dark cloud know only fear and mindless reaction, and few escape whole.

  6. Gregorio,

    Very lucid comment. Thank you.

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