Audio files of the Texas Bd. of Ed. hearings on science standards, Jan. 21, 2009 can be played or downloaded from this post. Live blogging from the event was done by
- Steve Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science
- Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education (His own blog, not an NCSE blog)
- and at the blog of the Texas Freedom Network (TFN) The pre-lunch segments below are cross-referenced with this blog, which can serve as a sort of partial Table of Contents for the audio. (Testifier were given three minutes each, plus sometimes time for questioning by Board members. That could mean up to 20 speakers in an hour. The TFN blog is selective, not attempting to include an item for each speaker.)
Here are the audio files:
- First hour (corresponds with Part I of the TFN blog)
- Second hour (corresponds with Part II of the TFN blog before a 10-min break at 10:30)
- Third hour (corresponds with Part II of the TFN blog after 10:30, through the 11:30 entry in Part III of the TFN blog)
- Fourth hour This one runs about twenty minutes past one hour. McLeroy tried to cut it off as scheduled. A comical scuffle (I’ll write more later) made it look like the creationist “strengths and weaknesses” (Don’t you dare call us “creationists”) members would each get to add one more of their specially hand-picked testifiers. Whatever support they might have gotten from the other additional testifiers was blown away by the final one to speak, who apparently had missed the memo. I can’t do justice to his statement, but will just give the hint that he offered to share the list of 94 “evidences” against evolution. The first 25 minutes of this part are blogged in Part III of the TFN blog, which was interrupted at that point until after the lunch break.
The Board adjourned for lunch at 2:10. They resumed half an hour later with what should have been routine business electing officers and deciding committee assignments. They passed rules for allocating committee assignments, then polled members for their first & second preference for committee memberships. McLeroy then left the room with his fellow executive officers, and returned with a list of committee assignments that ignored the rules they had just decided on, as well as the members’ preferences. The effect was to keep members with seniority who were there before the creationist majority from getting their preferred places on the Instruction Committee (which deals with issues like this). When challenged, McLeroy was very authoritarian in declaring “This is how it will be.” The meeting got very acrimonious. It might affect how much some possibly wavering members on the TEKS might be inclined to go along with McLeroy for the sake of comity.
The squabbling also caused the microphone to be cut in and out, so I don’t have clean starts on some of the following segments, but I don’t think anything of substance is missing. (There was another eruption later when McLeroy said some members would have to miss this hearing to attend a conflicting committee meeting. He backed off on that one, costing only about ten minutes that time, but again causing a slight break in the recording.) Here are the files for the session after lunch:
- Meyer & Skoog
Stephen C. Meyer, Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute
Gerald Skoog, Co-Director, Center for the Integration of Science Education and Research & Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Dean Emeritus, Texas Tech University
Note: Board questioning of Meyer was interrupted for Skoog’s testimony, since Skoog had to leave to catch a plane. Meyer was brought back after Hillis, at the end, to complete the questioning.
- Ralph Seelke, Professor of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Superior
- Ronald K. Wetherington, Professor of Anthropology, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, Southern Methodist University
(Note: The “root canal” quip at the beginning here is alluding to the acrimony among the Board in the flare-ups over committee assignments, etc., that I have not included in these audio files.)
- Charles M. Garner, Professor of Chemistry, Baylor University
- David M. Hillis, Professor Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
- Meyer returns for more questioning by Board members
Later I will post shorter segments, and smaller-sized files, like I did for the November 19 hearings.