Friday, November 21, 2008


Booking the Perpetrators

Just in case there was any doubt about why the creationists on the Texas State Board of Education are so intent on keeping the "strengths and weaknesses" language (or "strengths and limitations" in it latest cosmetic morph) in the state's science standards, there is this report in the friendly confines of the Baptist Press:

[Board Chairman Don] McLeroy has said such statements only add to his desire to put both the pros and cons of evolution into the textbooks for students, allowing high school students to think critically about generally held theories of science and question whether those theories are valid.

After a mention of the hoary example of Haeckel's embryo diagrams, there is this:

Fellow SBOE member Terri Leo, quoted in the Houston Chronicle in 2003, said that the "SBOE received volumes of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that documents textbook problems relating to origin of life research, embryology, the Cambrian Explosion, the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution and peppered moth research."

All that is, of course, drivel straight out of Jonathan Wells' execrable book, Icons of Evolution, the farthest thing from peer-reviewed research imaginable.

Any publisher that would, in the pursuit of mere profit, include such anti-science nonsense in a textbook meant for the hands of innocent children should have its entire catalogue boycotted by serious educators and scientists.

If the ID/creationists are so intent on teaching strengths/weaknesses of theories, then perhaps it would be a heck of a lot better to introduce students to rigorous scientific philosophy instead. After this, students would, after all, be prepared to discuss such matters. What do you reckon, John - one semester of Elliott Sober?
If that don't teach 'em not to mess with scientists, I don't know what would!

Isn't there a principle in some martial arts of using your opponents strength against them? Apply the "strengths and weaknesses" approach to creationism, "creation science" and Intelligent Design and you find a whole bunch of weaknesses but not a strength between the lot of them.
Well motivated and moderately educated teachers could easily demolish creationism, "creation science" and Intelligent Design. Ironically, that would arguably be as violative of the 1st Amendment as teaching them as science would be. The 1st Amendment is a two way street. If it protects us from the government pushing ID, it also protects us from the government pushing anti-ID.

Besides, I suspect such a knock-down, drag out would take up far mor time in the curricula than it's worth.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education