Texas Governor, Rick Perry, who supports teaching Intelligent Design in high school science classes (as I discuss in my book, Doubting Darwin?), recently appointed Don McLeroy from Bryan as Chair of the Texas State Board of Education. Now, we knew from the 2003 textbook hearings that McLeroy is a die hard supporter of pushing ID in the curriculum and we're expecting a fight on our hands as the state science standards get rewritten the Fall. We're certainly expecting a call to teach evolution--and only evolution--"critically," but we also may expect a push for creationism. Forrest Wilder from The Texas Observer (our state's best political magazine) has found a 2005 talk that McLeroy gave at his church on Intelligent Design--look at the entry. It puts creationism in the tent of ID. Here is the absolute gem from McLeroy's talk:
Why is ‘intelligent design’ the big tent? Because we’re all lined up against the fact that naturalism, that nature is all there is. Whether you’re a progressive creationist, recent creationist, young earth, old earth, it’s all in the tent of ‘intelligent design.’
Bryan should be applauded for one explicit intellectual innovation: now creationism is a form of ID and not the other way around. I find this quite plausible. Nevertheless, it will make it more difficult, especially in the courts, for ID proponents to maintain an appropriate distance from the other creationists as they attack the curriculum in Texas.
Dr. McLeroy is apparently a dentist. My advice is: avoid Bryan if you have tooth trouble. Anyone so incompetent in biological matters is not to be trusted in medicine.
The full transcript--and recording--or McLeroy's talk can be found through a page maintained by the Texas Freedom Network. Thanks are due to Ryan Valentine for alerting me to this hilarious development.