Pat Hardy turns back creationist challenge in Texas

Attention focused on one usually-obscure race for a seat on the Texas State Board of Education helped Republican Pat Hardy turn back a malicious challenge. Hardy won her primary against secretive Barney Maddox, a urologist who spent a lot of money on specifically-targeted mailings, but who also refused to speak with reporters or anyone else asking questions.

Showing just how odd and treacherous is the situation in Texas, Hardy got assists from science bloggers across the nation, though her position on science is far from what science advocates would like. Hardy’s genial “don’t gut the textbooks” stand was preferred to Maddox’s mad-dog, teach-creationism-in-science position.

Maddox refused to comment on the election, of course.

Hardy’s district includes parts of Ft. Worth and surrounding counties. According to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

State Board of Education

Social conservatives failed in their attempt to take control of the State Board of Education on Tuesday when incumbent Pat Hardy of Fort Worth retained her seat against a challenge from Cleburne’s Barney Maddox.

Hardy, a career educator, has been a moderate voice on the board. The 15-member body still shows a close ideological split, but Hardy has helped keep it on a straight path.

The board’s powers come from its ability to influence the public school curriculum and the selection of textbooks. District 11covers about three-fourths of Tarrant County, plus all of Ellis, Johnson and Parker counties. There is no Democratic nominee for this seat in the November election.

Maddox’s entry in the race had set the stage for debate over the scientific theory of evolution, which he has described as “fairy tales.” Hardy took a better course: Teach kids about all theories, she said, from creation to evolution, and give them enough information to make up their own minds about what to believe.

Spoken like a teacher — and a person who should hold a seat on the State Board of Education

Tip of the old scrub brush to reader Ediacaran. Thanks, Bret.

Update:  News specific to this race from the Fort Worth paper.

5 Responses to Pat Hardy turns back creationist challenge in Texas

  1. […] The Texas Board of Education decides (among other things) what text books to use in Texas public schools. They also decide if creationism should be taught as an alternative to evolution. They are so big that the publishers will put their views into textbooks that go to other states as well. The 15 members of the board are mostly Republicans. And of that group, there is a smaller group of radical Christians who the moderates try to keep in check. The situation is so dire that Board members who want to ‘teach the controversy’ are actually seen as the best champion of reason . […]


  2. Joe says:

    Yeah one less Creationist on the Board. The difference between Darwinism and the Creationists is;
    Darwin might be a Theroy of how it happened. Cretionist should have started with ONCE A UPON A TIME like all Fairy Tales go.


  3. […] to pour hours upon hours into yet another tech-based outlet; Mr. Darrell, to give him a break from bashing creationists; and Ms. Baker, to give her some uncharacteristically needed […]


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    From the view in education, this is a win. A small step is the start of a thousand-mile journey, and all that.

    It shows how bad things really are in Texas; no offense to Pat Hardy. Just getting someone on the SBOE who has the brains to vote correctly most of the time is a huge victory.


  5. Dorid says:

    The lesser of two evils? I’m not so sure I’d call this a victory in Texas… maybe a draw, which is better than a total loss. What we need to see in Texas is people running for the board of education who actually know the difference between education and religious training, and can separate them accordingly.


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