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Warren Chisum: Man of nonsense

SciGuy brings the depressing news of State Rep. Warren Chisum’s bizarre anti-science crusade in the House – see here and here for the letter he distributed to all House members regarding the teaching of evolution. I’m not sure what’s more pathetic – that one of the more powerful members of the Lege could have such ignorant beliefs, or that Chisum did all this without reading the web site his letter directed people to, and thus apparently had no idea just how completely insane it is.

House Appropriations Chairman Warren Chisum said Wednesday that he’s “willing to apologize” for giving colleagues a document that contains what the Anti-Defamation League called “outrageous anti-Semitic material.”

“The stuff that causes conflicts between religious beliefs, you know, I’d never be a party to that,” Mr. Chisum said. “I’m willing to apologize if I’ve offended anyone.”

Mr. Chisum’s comments came after he learned that the Anti-Defamation League, which works against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, was demanding “a repudiation and apology” in a letter to his office. He said he hadn’t seen the letter late Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Pampa Republican distributed a memo written by Georgia GOP Rep. Ben Bridges to Texas House members’ mailboxes. The memo advocated that schools stop teaching evolution and contained links to a Web site that warns of international Jewish conspiracies. It also directed readers to the group that created the Web site – the Atlanta-area Fair Education Foundation.

Mr. Chisum said he hadn’t looked at the Web site and didn’t realize that he was distributing that type of material. He expressed chagrin that he didn’t vet the material more carefully.

The truly sad thing is that the “Jewish conspiracy” stuff isn’t the most bizarre part of it – the same website claims that the universe is geocentric and not heliocentric.

I figure the embarassing revelations about the Fixed Earth website will be more than enough to prevent Chisum’s letter from having any actual policy effect, but you never know. It’d be interesting to hear what Governor Perry thinks about all this. Given the way he’s poked social conservatives in the eye with the HPV vaccine order, he might choose to make some amends here. On the other hand, he’ll never realize his dream of Texas becoming the cancer curing capital of the world if he embraces Chisum’s crusade. You’d think that after the state of Kansas finally got back on the right track, we’d be reluctant to take their place as the official laughingstock in matters scientific, but betting on common sense is seldom with the odds. In the Pink has more.

(DMN link via Dig Deeper Texas.)

UPDATE: The Chron gives Chisum a well-deserved slap.

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3 Comments

  1. Dennis says:

    Chisum says “I’m willing to apologize if I’ve offended anyone.”

    If?

    The dumbass doesn’t even realize how offensive this stuff is. Thank God our Legislature only meets every other year and for just a short period of time. Imagine how much damage these people could do otherwise.

  2. RWB says:

    Well, strictly speaking, the universe isn’t heliocentric either. The universe is not revolving around the sun.

    Chisum represents a disturbing tendency in this country–a lack of comprehension of what science is. It is a startling, almost atavistic worldview. Chisum is a clown and a fool, but he represents a constituency and represents an increasingly common kind of pre-enlightenment belief system–anti-semitism and anti-science go hand in hand here.

  3. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, which Al Gore says is still possible says:

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    The Assault on Reason

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    Book Description

    A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason.

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