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Christine Comer (director of science for Texas Education Agency) attacked, forced to resign by creationists

The week of Nov. 20, 2007, Christine Comer who served for 27 years as a science teacher and 9 years as director of science for the Texas Education Agency was attacked and forced to resign.  Why?  Because she forwarded an email about a lecture by Dr. Barbara Forrest.  Dr. Forrest is co-author of “Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse” and was an expert witness in the Dover, PA trial that ruled against the teaching of “intelligent design” in science classrooms.  Dr. Forrest is also a signatory of the Defend Science statement.  In the dismissal letter received by Comer, it referred to the issue of evolution and creationism as “a subject on which the agency must remain neutral”.  Remember this is talking about the state agency in charge of science education.

This tactic of insisting that science education be "neutral" on the issue of evolution vs. creationism is part of the latest approach pushed by the Discovery Institute and other promoters of "intelligent design" creationism.  Having been rebuffed in the Dover, PA case in their efforts to insert the teaching of "intelligent design" into science classrooms, these forces are now coming back pushing the tactics of insisting on science education "being neutral" and "teaching the controversy" as a way to open the door for creationism.

As Douglas J. Futuyma, president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University put it: "When it comes to science education, we absolutely cannot remain neutral on evolution. Evolution is the unifying principle of modern biology,..."  and "...Within biological science, the reality of evolution is not controversial."

An editorial in the Waco Tribune (December 6, 2007) stated that "Texas parents, teachers and lawmakers should be extremely upset over the recent dismissal of the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum," and warned, "Because the State Board of Education will review the state science curriculum next year and set standards for classroom instruction and textbook selection, Comer's abrupt removal could signal an opening for the insertion of creationism or intelligent design into science classrooms in Texas. Texas parents, teachers and lawmakers should be on guard that the state avoids the mistakes that led to the 2005 Dover, Pa., lawsuit."

Also remember that Texas, along with New York and California are because of their size extremely influential in setting standards for science textbooks across the entire country.  This is a serious attack on science.

read an article from NCSE on this case...

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