An advocate of creationism who recently sat on the Texas State Board of Education panel that decided which science textbooks to use in Texas schools has attempted to stop the Houston Museum of Natural Science from offering rental space to area atheist and humanist groups to discuss the scientific basis for evolution.
David Shormann, a Houston-area author who holds a Ph.D. in aquatic science and has self-published a book dedicated to the thesis that evolution is a “lie,” called the Houston Atheists group “religiously intolerant” and condemned what he termed the group’s “bigotry” in demanding that the museum refuse to rent space to the group for today’s event, “Answers In Science: What On Earth Do We Know?”
“It is un-American to support such religious intolerance and false claims that Christians are ‘anti-science,’” wrote Shormann on his personal blog. Some of the topics on the agenda for the event, according to it co-sponsor Humanists of Houston, include, “a scientific counterpoint to some of the radical, pseudo-scientific claims that are out there (e.g. that the universe is less than 7,000 years old, and that dinosaurs co-existed with humanity).”
On his blog, Shormann compared the group’s advocacy of these views to the advocacy of, “scientific” findings that Jewish people were inferior and Hitler was right about wanting to kill them all.”
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The Museum declined to cancel the event, posting a statement in the comments section of Shormann’s blog which asserted, “we do not have a position on any religion, politics or other topics of that nature. We rent space to a variety of groups, and, at times, it’s possible that their objectives may conflict.”
In 2011 Shormann was appointed to a state textbook review panel. He objected to a science textbook from publisher Holt MacDougal which Shormann said contained eight “errors” with regard to the theory of evolution. However, scientists and the publisher reviewed Shormann’s claims and found that the supposedly erroneous factual assertions were in fact correct.