Thursday, December 07, 2006


Teacher, Teacher

The National Science Teacher Association Conference is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah. As might be expected, one topic of some concern is the political attack on science, particularly evolutionary theory:

... Jerry Wheeler, the Executive Director of the National Science Teachers' Association, says kids are being shortchanged if they're not taught evolution.

"It is not fair to students," says Wheeler, who is also a science teacher. "Without evolution biology is not interconnected."

As for intelligent design and its implications, Association President Linda Froshire, an 8th grade science teacher, says that doesn't belong in science class.

"It's a belief. It's not science. And since it's a belief, then probably the role of the family is a better role," says Froshire.

She says intelligent design has no scientific data to back it up.

Sounds like it is the teachers who have been paying attention in class.

I realize that you are mainly interested in the "evolution vs. ID" battle, but science education is more that just teaching evolution. And the NSTA is not as much of a supporter of science as your write-up would lead us to believe.

The NSTA has taken millions of dollars from oil companies - including Exxon Mobil, Shell, and others - and then subsequently served as an uncritical conduit for oil industry 'educational materials'. They have also sponsored, for use by science teachers, a program produced by the oil industry that minimizes global warming issues.

On the other side, the NSTA has categorically refused to distribute Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, even though they were offered the DVDs for free.

Science a la Joe Camel

If we are going to talk about supporting science and rejecting pseudo-science, let's paint the whole picture.
I'm aware of the flap over the NSTA turning down of the chance to distribute An Inconvenient Truth. It, naturally, has its own side to the controversy.

My praise was mostly for the the two persons quoted in the piece. They were right no matter what organization they belong to.
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