Sunday, June 08, 2008


The Dark at Noon

The Houston Chronicle has a nice editorial about the clouds gathering like a 1930s dust storm over Texas education. After explaining that the battle will be fought over implementing already existing "strengths and weaknesses" language in the state standards, the editorial goes on:

It sounds reasonable. Who's against fair and balanced? But critics are alarmed that this is the latest chapter in what has become a national strategy of evolution's foes — a "teach the controversy" approach, whereby religion is propounded under the guise of scientific inquiry.

Given the recent comments of both the chairman and the vice chairman of the board, there is ample reason for alarm. As reported by The New York Times, the chairman, Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist, described the debate as being between two systems of science.

"You've got a creationist system and a naturalist system," he said. ...

Vice Chairman David Bradley, R-Beaumont, told the Chronicle, "Evolution is not a fact. Evolution is a theory and, as such, cannot be proved. Students need to be able to jump to their own conclusions." ...

Creationism is not a "system of science." It is a religious belief and as such has no place in a science curriculum.

Furthermore, evolution is not a theory that "cannot be proved." A scientific theory is not a guess, but a tested explanation of how and why a natural phenomenon occurs. There is no doubt among mainstream scientists that evolution is a well-documented and easily observed phenomenon.

The editorial's conclusion is fully justified:

All people are entitled to their private religious beliefs, but nobody is entitled to use the state's public education system to promote them. What chance do Texas students have of competing in the 21st century if their learning of science is warped and stunted by such benighted leadership?

The children of Texas deserve better than to be left groping in the dark.

"Students need to be able to jump to their own conclusions"? WTF?
Ain't that great? Science is just a bunch of wild guesses to these goobers. And a kid's guess based on a grade school or high school level of understanding is as good as millions of scientists' who have worked a lifetime.
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How to Support Science Education