But the argument over evolution in Texas really isn’t much of a surprise. That’s because the creationists have proudly rejected out of hand the overwhelming scientific evidence behind evolution. They have reveled, as former state chairman Don McLeroy infamously said, in “standing up to experts.”

In fact, McLeroy — a self-described “young Earth creationist” who lost his re-election bid in 2010 — continues to do so. Last month he agreed to be interviewed by Steven Novella, who is president of theNew England Skeptical Society (NESS). You can find the posts about that interview on the NESS blog, NeuroLogicalBlog. But if you don’t have time to check out those posts, just look at one to understand that it’s pointless to engage McLeroy in debate here. It’s pointless because, for people like McLeroy, “evidence” is an almost meaningless word. The sources and strength of evidence are irrelevant if they don’t align with their particular ideological point of view. McLeroy writes (to Novella) about their discussion:

“I admit that I do not have the time to read all the technical articles and read all the links you have referred to, but I do not admit that I am unable to judge the adequacy of the evidence evolutionists have presented for evolution. I have read the popular literature of highly acclaimed evolutionists; I have thought about how much evidence is required to demonstrate evolution. And, I have found it unconvincing.”