Staff Editorial

Documentary reveals Texas revisionists

Any Texan who wants to know why the State Board of Education recently lost much of its control over setting the standards for educational materials for Texas public schools should watch a new documentary titled “The Revisionaries.”

The documentary, which recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, focuses on Don McLeroy’s campaign to insert creationist teaching into public school textbook material requirements. McLeroy, a dentist, was appointed as chair of the State Board of Education by Gov. Rick Perry. The Sunday school teacher was later replaced by fellow conservative Barbara Cargil.

The documentary focuses on McLeroy’s opposition to scientifically sound material that he believed should not be taught to Texas students.

The material that was the main focus of contention for McLeroy and social conservative members of the board were lessons that included sections where students are instructed to compare chimpanzee and human skulls, learn about the fossil record — if only bones could talk — and a section on cell complexity.

According to a reviewer of the contentious material — a reviewer who was appointed by members of the board — the material is the lessons contained some “errors”. By errors it is safe to assume the reviewer meant that the material was not supportive of creationism.

Cargil was willing to compromise with fellow members of the board, even if they were very small compromises.

If one watches the trailer of the documentary they will hear this little gem of a quote from McLeary: “Our religion says that we are all created in the image of God. And because every little child is created in the image of God, I want to see that they have the best opportunity possible.”

It’s no wonder these buffoons have been all but stripped of their power. Now publishers of textbooks will be able to go straight to schools with their materials, instead of having to go through the board first.


  • McLeroy is a perfect representation of people who are ignorant and okay with it. They do not understand something, so they decide the explanation is not plausible. There ARE holes, problems, questions about the theory of human evolution, BUT evolution in other species has been documented and proven. It's good to teach our kids to question beliefs, but not to deny them exposure to research-supported theories.

  • Well I was enjoying this oppinion piece, but the writer just could not help it and ruined with name calling. I do not agree with any of this oppinion, but I always enjoy reading a well written article until it comes to name calling. Why did you have to call out people of faith "Buffoons". That ruined your entire argument and shows your immaturity. If you want to be a serious oppinion writer read Charles Krauthammer who is one of the brightest and most intelligent writers of our time. You do not have to agree with him, but his style and vocabulary are unmatched in my oppinion.
    Let me ask one other question about your last sentence, why do you seen to celebrate the fact that there should not be a review of the publishers texts by a state board? Are you suggesting that publisher's would be the only one's to have control over what is in the texts that are used to teach the school children and that parents and school boards have no input? I contend that having a state and/or local school board reviewing the texts is a good check and balance.

    • I whole-heartily agree that name-calling did nothing for this piece. The DC needs to continue to work on its professionalism.

  • You are correct that a species evolves, but it has not been proven that one species has evolved into another since there have not been any links found. Evolution is still just a theory and not fact though much of the scientific world has accepted it as fact, because they have no other explanation. I would encourage anyone that watches this documentary to watch the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" by Ben Stein.

    • I would not encourage that film, as it uses almost zero scientific discussion and plays up victimization instead of objective analysis. It also tries to be scary by involving Nazi history, which is not a good tactic to prove a point.
      I also don't know how you can say that it hasn't been proven that one species can evolve into another, as it is too blanket of a statement and not unlike saying you can't go out and measure the Sun burning up its fuel so there's a possibility that our star will be unique and last forever unlike every other star in the universe (read: we are not special). Unless you 100% agree that a supreme being created a dozen different species of humanoids that lived in overlapping sequences and then (He) suddenly spawned modern day homo sapien a few thousand years ago, then you have to work off of the theory of evolution, which in that sense can not be proven just because we never observed it work in the 100 + years we have been talking about it? Evolution is a spontaneous mutation, and we have observed that many times, see MSU study on Escherichia coli for a "recent" example. How do you define a separate species? For the record, I am Catholic and believe in what I would call intelligent design, in that God designed evolution and uses it to set His creations in motion. Any doubts I ever had have been erased by the wonder that is science… it is amazing how our universe works, and I include evolution among that wonder.

    • “Just a theory.”

      Just reading that phrase tells me that you have next to know real scientific knowledge.

  • very simple. We have, thankfully, a seperation of chuch and state. Science in school, creationism (religion) in church. Why is this even a discussion?

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