Don McLeroy, D.D.S.

In the January meeting of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), Board Chairman McLeroy managed to get this amendment added to the Biology standards that had been developed by a writing team of scientists and science teachers:

7(B) "Analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of common descent to explain the sudden appearance, stasis and segmented nature of the fossil record."

On March 27, in the session where the final vote was being taken, Bd. member Lawrence Allen introduced a motion to remove that bad amendment.

McLeroy yielded his chair so that he could make an "impassioned plea" for keeping the amendment, in language that suggested his expectation that he was going to lose on this and other amendments he had managed to get inserted in January.
Lawrence A. Allen, Jr.

Both speeches are so remarkable that I'll just let you hear for yourself, without my trying to characterize them. Here's the audio (in two formats, which you can download or play here) of what he characterized as "my heart speech":
  1. (mp3, 765kb) (right click to download: Chairman Mc's ''Heart Speech''.mp3)
  2. (wma, 227kb) (right click to download: Chairman Mc's ''Heart Speech''.wma)

The speech is 6½ minutes. This YouTube video is 6:09:

After others on the committee weighed in, Chairman Mc gave one final speech, railing against deference to the authority of experts:

  1. (mp3, 809kb) (right click to download: Chairman Mc's Final Plea.mp3)
  2. (wma, 241kb) (right click to download: Chairman Mc's Final Plea.wma)

When Allen's motion passed on a vote of 8-7, I was not the only one to declare victory, expecting McLeroy's other amendments to fall by the same margin.

Alas, things did not turn out so well. To get "the rest of the story," see the live blogging by Dr. Steve Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science (esp. the paragraphs entered at 12:35 & 1:30, and the last four paragraphs).

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