Texas Chair of the Texas Board of Education Puts Atheist-Conspiracy Book on Recommended Reading List

516zz5rmiel_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_Don McLeroy, controversial Chair of the Texas State Board of Education, has recommended released his top choice of his recommended reading list: “Sowing Atheism” by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. — a book billed by creationists as disproving evolution and exposing the worldwide atheist conspiracy. When combined with the effort to create an advanced degree in “Creation Science” in Texas, the state will soon rival Iran and Saudi Arabia as a bastion of medieval thought.

McLeroy advocated that all board members read the book before its vote on the science curriculum for the state. Johnson, who holds a basic science degree from West Point, wrote the book to challenge the publication by those ill-informed clogs as the National Academy of Science “Science, Evolution, and Creationism.”

Johnson released the following statement: “I’m delighted with Mr. McLeroy’s endorsement of ‘Sowing Atheism,’ and hope all the board members read it thoughtfully before they vote. Our nation cannot progress morally, spiritually, or politically so long as we permit the NAS to teach our children that they are descended by chance from worms.”

McLeroy, a dentist from College Station, Texas, called himself a “young earth creationist” and has led the effort to teach creationism as part of scientific studies in Texas. In supporting an amendment to allow teachers to who challenge evolution with creationist arguments in their public school science classrooms, he noted: “That shocked a lot of people. [But] It’s certainly not a religious standard…. People are probably opposed to [the new language] for ideological reasons.”

It turns out that evolution, according to the Chair of the Texas Board of Education, is just an expression of ideology. My only hope is that McLeroy will next turn to those rabid ideological atheists pushing the theory of gravity on our impressionable children. Gravity is just an atheist conspiracy to suggest that people cannot float to Heaven.

For the full story, click here.

21 thoughts on “Texas Chair of the Texas Board of Education Puts Atheist-Conspiracy Book on Recommended Reading List”

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  2. However, them Texas bible-belts is tougher n’ sneakier than black-belts with god in their corner:

    {Quote: “But Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which fought efforts to water down evolution education, was less satisfied.

    “Although teachers won’t be able to teach the “weaknesses” of the theory, she complained that “the document still has plenty of potential footholds for creationist attacks on evolution to make their way into Texas classrooms.”

    “Through a series of contradictory and convoluted amendments, the board crafted a road map that creationists will use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks,” she said. End Quotes}

  3. Look! Look! Hope for Texas school kids. They will be taught evolution. How revolutionary!!!


    But of course it wasn’t easy:

    “Some board members complained of unspecified threats directed at them from over-zealous partisans.

    Geraldine Miller, R-Dallas, said she received both indirect and direct threats of consequences if she did not oppose the evolution perspective.

    Berlanga, who has been tending to her ailing husband during his intensive care in a Houston hospital, said people “were even rude about that.”

    “I have received many, many threats,” Berlanga said. “I can’t tell you what the stress I have been under.”

    Very Christian of the opponents, indeed.

  4. This is how Gov. Perry, who placed this wingnut Dentist as head of the board, gets re-elected in a 4-way race with 30% of the vote. He coddles religious extremists. Last term he outlawed gay marraige, even though it was against the law anyway. He signed a law regarding parental notification for abortion…in a fundamentalist church. He almost slipped up last term when he fluffed his big drug co. funder Merck by requiring girls to be vaccinated for HPV. With the Texas Sentate approving Voter ID, because redistricting the state into a GOP ghetto wasn’t enough, expect “good hair” to get another term. I hate this place.

  5. I have a theory. It is that there is no intelligent life on planet Earth. Events in Texas give strong support.

  6. FFLEO, great post. I don’t even know what to say about the latest Texas debacle. I think that I have moved beyond the point of outrage and now occupy a state of bemused indifference to the constant litany of idiocy spewing out of boards of education.

  7. I own many of the great Stephen Jay Gould’s books along with others by Richard Dawkins, Ernst Mayr, Daniel Dennett, Darwin et al. I am clearly in Dawkins’ evolutionary theory camp regarding his comments within this following excerpt from


    {Quote: “In his book Rocks of Ages (1999), Gould put forward what he described as “a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to … the supposed conflict between science and religion.”[48] He defines the term magisterium as “a domain where one form of teaching holds the appropriate tools for meaningful discourse and resolution”[48] and the NOMA principle is “the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for example, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty).”[48]

    In his view, “Science and religion do not glower at each other…[but] interdigitate in patterns of complex fingering, and at every fractal scale of self-similarity.”[48] He suggests, with examples, that “NOMA enjoys strong and fully explicit support, even from the primary cultural stereotypes of hard-line traditionalism” and that it is “a sound position of general consensus, established by long struggle among people of goodwill in both magisteria.”[48]

    Also in 1999, the National Academy of Sciences adopted a similar stance. Its publication Science and Creationism stated that “Scientists, like many others, are touched with awe at the order and complexity of nature. Indeed, many scientists are deeply religious. But science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience. Demanding that they be combined detracts from the glory of each.”[49]

    Richard Dawkins has criticized the NOMA principle on the grounds that religion does not, and cannot, steer clear of the material scientific matters that Gould considers outside religion’s scope. Dawkins argues that “[a] universe with a supernatural presence would be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one without. […] Religions make existence claims, and this means scientific claims.” These “existence claims” include miracles such as the Catholic Assumption of Mary: whether Mary’s body decayed when she died or was physically lifted to Heaven is a material fact, and thus outside the moral magisterium to which NOMA would limit religion.” End Quote}

    All reasoned debate is important; however, Mr. Gould perhaps gave the proponents of creationism a bit too much of an opening for legitimizing their pseudoscience with his popularized versions of evolutionary theory, which creationists misinterpreted as supporting their cause and with which they unabashedly misused . Learned scholars simply cannot effectively engage in scientific debate with people steeped in illogical, fundamentalistic religious fanaticism. Religious fanatics simply cannot understand the simplest ground rules of logical debate because their unrelenting faith-first-and-only self-limitations blind their eyes to observable scientific evidence and hamper their logic and self-analyses.

    Regardless, Gould’s books are treasures and the man left us an invaluable legacy that all literate people will recognize and acknowledge. However, his writings—or others in the same vein—are examples of the allowable limits to teaching about ‘creationism’ in public schools. “Junk science” from authors espousing young earth creationism must be available in the school library for reference, but shelved squarely under the Dewey Decimal Classification System pertaining to Fiction.

  8. Hey, if choosing theories based on how well they fit with the state Ideology is good enough for Communist Russia, then it’s good enough for Texas.

  9. Happy Twoday.
    RU up to fighting tooth and nail?
    fwiw, here’s a petition to sign.

    Texas Freedom Network

    “Texas students deserve a 21st-century science education that prepares them for college and the jobs of tomorrow. I call on the Texas State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education to adopt science curriculum standards that:

    1) are based on sound, peer-reviewed scholarship;

    2) do not undermine instruction on evolution, a concept that is critical to the understanding of all the biological sciences; and

    3) leave instruction about religious beliefs to our families and congregations.”

    Pleas: Save Texas

  10. I think it’s high time this man renounces all modern medicine for himself. If the medicine wasn’t mentioned in the bible it may not bible-law be used. I don’t think this man’s faith is very strong. He is employing the fruits picked from the evil tree of science to make himself well and to earn money at his chosen profession, while demanding that everyone else follow the bible. There’s a name for people like that in the bible!

  11. By the way JT, how dare you quibble theology or evolution with a dentist who holds an undergraduate degree in general science. May you suffer a root canal at the hands of the Almighty. This is no laughing gas issue you know.

  12. And our friend, Clint, wonders why there’s animosity and contempt for fundamentalists? I’m reeling from this astounding and alarmingly inane quote:

    “Our nation cannot progress morally, spiritually, or politically so long as we permit the NAS (National Academy of Science) to teach our children…….

    Oh, those rascally, scheming scientists, always studying and trying to find facts. They have to be stopped. I always have a Scooby-Doo moment when I hear folks like Mr. McLeroy maligning and demonizing such folks as scientists and those darned intellectuals. Why would we need scientists and thinkers today, they believe, when everything the world ever needed to know was established by conjecture and word of mouth 2000+ years ago and that settled it?

  13. The Texan majority has totally bought into the myth of their State’s history as exemplifying the “Cowboy Way.” This decrees that the “lone individual” should be free to make her/his own way in life without government interference. There is a strong Calvinist stream running through this mythology which has lead to a high execution rate, draconian drug laws, terrible public school system, mega-church Christianity and the glorification of the wealthy. Conversely Texas helped invent socialism for the rich with fabulous incentives to the oil companies and a legislature and congressional delegation bought and paid for by Big Oil. The tip-off is that any State where the governor is a figurehead at best and the legislature meets infrequently denotes a place where monied interests reign supreme.

    In this instance, as with:


    This is all the “show” put on for the “rubes” to keep them distracted while the “Big Boys” maintain their power. Texas
    is a State, that stands tall among others by the extent to
    which demagoguery distracts the citizenry. Other States of course reward demagogues, but Texas rules the roost in the
    shamelessness of the show, though Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina provide stiff competition.

  14. As the parent of a child who will shortly be seeking admission to college and competing against students, from among other places, the Great State of Texas, I say bring it on!

  15. I’m just waiting for somebody to start to promote the stork theory of reproduction.

  16. Coming Soon to Amazon

    “Sowing Stupidity – How Texas Has Gone Off the Rational Ranch” by Don McLeroy

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