Brave Sir Casey

Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot
He was not afraid to die, oh brave Sir Robin
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin

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When there’s something strange in your neighborhood school, who you gonna call? If there’s something weird in your kid’s homework and it don’t look good, who you gonna call? If you’re seeing creationist bills running through your legislature, who you gonna call?

Hopefully, my modest changes to those classic lyrics have you shouting “NCSE!” rather than “Ghostbusters!”

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Don't Mess With TextbooksI'm here in Austin, Texas, waiting for the Texas State Board of Education to finish their morning agenda (at 5:00 p.m.) and move on to science textbooks.

While we wait for the fun to begin, here's the statement I plan to deliver.


Madam Chair, members of the board:

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At the public hearings on textbook adoption at the Texas Board of Education on September 17, there was an exchange that deserves to be noted. I mean, there were plenty of noteworthy exchanges, but most of the rest of them were on the crazy side. But this particular exchange deserves to be noted because at first glance, it might seem easy which side to support.

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Stand on the Congress Avenue Bridge in the evening, and you can watch millions of bats set forth across the Austin, Texas sky, freeing the city of mosquitoes. Walk north, and you’re surrounded by live music. Keep going until you reach the state capitol building, carved from native granite. Ponder the memorial to the Texans who died for the Confederacy. Cowboy hats, boots, and skinny jeans aren’t just for hipsters in this part of Austin. Pass the Chancery of the Diocese of Austin, and the statue of St. Francis commanding “Audite Verbum Dei”—“hear the word of God.” Half a block later, you’ve reached the headquarters of the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

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On September 17, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) held a hearing on new proposed instructional materials/textbooks for science and math classes, and the focus was clearly on the topic of evolution. Almost five dozen people spoke to the board, including NCSE’s Josh Rosenau.

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While listening on Tuesday to the Texas State Board of Education hearings on the adoption of science textbooks, I couldn’t help but think, “There they go again”, as citizens extolled that:

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This is what I told the Texas board of education just minutes ago. As a reminder, NCSE's ability to represent your voice in hearings depends on your donations.


Madame Chair, members of the board,

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Don’t mess with Textbooks!In 2009, when the Texas state board of education revised the state science education standards, creationists led by Don McLeroy (then the board chairman and a dentist, now only a dentist) pushed hard to add a standard requiring students to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerni

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