As announced at the Austin Chronicle‘s Newsdesk,
Jonathan Saenz of the Free Market Foundation (the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family) will wade into central Austin to make his case for keeping the “strengths and weaknesses” language in the state’s science teaching curriculum, wording that has been used by his group and others to challenge the teaching of evolution in Texas’ public schools.
Saenz is the lawyer/activist that creationists on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) turn to when they want to hear the testimony that they want to hear.
Saenz will be speaking tomorrow (Saturday, March 7, 2009) at the Yarborough Public Library, 2200 Hancock in Austin, from 11:45am to 1:15pm, in the meeting room. The announcement from host John Keohane adds:
As in every meeting at the library, these are open to all. There is no charge; however, respect for the speaker, and the forum, will be maintained. After Mr. Saenz speaks, there will be some time for questions.
Previous posts on Saenz can be found here on curricublog.
Audio of the complete hearings Nov. 19, 2008, and Jan. 21, 2009, including Saenz’ testimony, is linked below. Here are the audio excerpts of only Saenz’ part of the proceedings. You can download these files, or click to play them here. (Note: the audio in these files is a bit better than in the longer files with all the testifiers. I have augmented the audio where the original is weak because, e.g., a Board member was asking questions without speaking into their microphone.):
- November 19, 2008 (15 minutes, 1.7 MB mp3)
- January 21, 2009 (5½ minutes, 650 KB mp3) Note: I’ve included the brief interchange among SBOE members that occurred a few speakers before Saenz during the “overtime” testimony, in which it was determined that Saenz would be permitted to speak despite having spoken at the November hearings (he was the only one permitted to speak at both). “New Rules, everybody!” (as Bill Maher would say).
Right after the November meeting, the Discovery Institute (DI) posted an interview of Saenz by DI’s Casey Luskin. Here’s their description:
Report From the Texas State Board of Education
In this ID the Future podcast, Casey Luskin interviews Jonathan Saenz, Esq., Director of Legislative Affairs & Attorney at the Free Market Foundation in Austin Texas. Mr. Saenz attended this week’s recent meeting of the Texas State Board of Education where members of the public expressed their views on whether Texas public schools should teach students about both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution. Mr. Saenz recounts the predictably false and fallacious arguments made by many Darwinists who tried to convince the Texas State Board of Education to dumb-down evolution education.
Click here for audio of the hearings November 19, 2008.