Thursday, January 30, 2014

#896: Gail Lowe

Since “Ira S. Loucks” is, most likely, a pseudonym, and I have been unable to verify the current whereabouts of mad truther Scott Loughrey (of “New York was nuked on 9/11”-fame), we’ll go for a safe one. Gail Lowe is a Texan creationist who assumed the reins of the Texas Board of Education in 2009, following the legendary reign of Don McLeroy (she later yielded them to fellow creationist Barbara Cargill in 2011). Just as her predecessor and successor, Lowe is a young earth creationist and advocate of abstinence-only sex education in a state with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country despite 96% of the school districts in the state teaching abstinence-only. But “testing theories against reality” is not what this is all about of course, and dishonesty is OK if it is done in the name of Jesus, as emphasized by the fact that Lowe appointed none other than professional fraud David Barton to the advisory committee on the social studies curriculum in 2010.

The main bulk of her time as schoolboard leader was spent fighting culture wars, with Lowe in particular trying to combat the perceived anti-Christian stance of current textbooks, and on crusades against science, in particular evolution – Lowe is a rather active and belligerent creationist. Even other conservatives were apparently somewhat unnerved by her consistent choices of anti-scientists and creationists for the various review panels for science textbooks (including Richard White, (Christian school) teacher Pierre G. Velasquez and “consultant” Cherry A, Moore, whose only qualifications seem to have been to be caught urging that that science students be taught creationist-fabricated “weaknesses” of evolution when testifying before the state board in 2009; Daniel Romo, a Texas A&M University chemistry professor and signatory to the Discovery Institute petition “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”, and who demonstrably have no clue about what the theory of evolution is; celebrity creationist Walter L. Bradley, and Baylor chemistry professor and creationist Charles Garner.

Fortunately for sanity, reason and civilization, Lowe was defeated in her 2011 bid for reelection, and is presumably reasonably neutralized by now – though the Board of Education isn’t; their antics are well covered here.

Diagnosis: Another religious fanatic and hardened science denialist at an American school board. Perhaps someone should start realizing that the only way to counter deliberate religious fundamentalist attempts at undermining public education is to reform the school board system. Yeah, right.

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