Saturday, November 08, 2008
Ignorance is Strength
Oh, look! Casey Luskin, the Gofer General of the Discovery Institute's anti-science division, has a new title! Now he is "an education policy analyst"! Funny, I knew that Luskin has a law degree and a Masters in "Earth Science," but I can't find where he has any training in education.
Oh, and here's a surprise! The three ringers the creationist members of the Texas State Board of Education installed on a panel that will review proposed new science curriculum standards for the state's public schools have come out in favor of keeping the "strengths and weaknesses" language, previously used by some of the Board members to try to block the purchase of standard biology textbooks. Their recommendations:
~ the TEKS should not only retain the "strengths and weaknesses" language, but strengthen critical thinking skills by explicitly applying this approach to the study of specific scientific theories and hypotheses, including biological and chemical evolution.
~ the TEKS should not include pejorative or inaccurate language in their definition of science, but they should encourage students to understand how scientists think skeptically and critically and engage in scientific debate when solving scientific problems.
~ the TEKS should encourage students to learn about the impact of science on culture and society, providing both positive and negative examples of such impacts.
Science education that does not encourage students to evaluate competing scientific arguments is not teaching students about the way science actually operates.
And, while we're at it, just what "pejorative or inaccurate language" in the definition of science are they talking about? Could it be this, from the proposed standards, by any chance?
Science uses observational evidence to make predictions of natural phenomena and to construct testable explanations. If ideas are based upon purported forces outside of nature, they cannot be tested using scientific methods. (Emphasis added)
Do you suppose we can get something about Godwin's Law into the standards?