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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The history of the “intelligent design” creationist textbook Of Pandas and People is probably known in greater detail than the history of just about any other textbook. Pandas was central to 2005’s Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, and was the first publication to lay out the major themes of the “intelligent design” movement.The chart from Barbara Forrest's Kitzmiller testimony showing that references to creation were switched to design in 1987 In the course of the Kitzmiller trial, material from NCSE’s archives led to a subpoena for the early drafts of Pandas, which demonstrated that the textbook started out as an overtly creationist project, and that references to “creationism,” “creationist,” “creator,” and related terms were swapped for “intelligent design,” “design advocates,” “designer,” and so forth. The infamous chart from Barbara Forrest’s testimony in Kitzmiller showed that switcheroo, and featured prominently in Judge Jones’s conclusion that intelligent design is a form of creationism.

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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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