Skip to comments.Texas State Board of Education Votes To Require Students to Analyze and Evaluate Evolution
Posted on 01/23/2009 9:39:39 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
Texas State Board of Education Votes To Require Students to Analyze and Evaluate Evolution
January 22, 2009
AUSTIN, TX--The Texas State Board of Education today voted to require students to analyze and evaluate common ancestry and natural selection, both key components of modern evolutionary theory. The surprising vote came after the Board failed to reinstate language in the overall science standards explicitly requiring coverage of the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories.
"The Texas Board of Education took one step back and two steps forward today," said Dr. John West of the Discovery Institute. "While we wish they would have retained the strengths and weaknesses language in the overall standards, they did something truly remarkable today. They voted to require students to analyze and evaluate some of the most important and controversial aspects of modern evolutionary theory such as the fossil record, universal common descent and even natural selection."
According to West these changes to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills means that teachers and students will be able to discuss the scientific evidence that is supportive as well as evidence that is not supportive of all scientific theories.
"Analyzing, evaluating, any additional scrutiny of evolution can only help students to learn more about the theory," said West, who is associate director of the Institute's Center for Science & Culture.
But you are missing the point. When you question a scientific theory you need to bring scientific evidence, not religious belief, as creation "science" does.
These "weaknesses" that were discussed, but not included, consist of hundreds of creationists' claims that have long since been refuted by scientific evidence. Why should they continue to be hashed out?
In grad school there was a seminar course titled something like "Problems in Evolution." I took it three times, as the subject matter changed to match current scientific findings and debates. Not a one of the standard creationist talking points was ever discussed, as they are simply "what if" stories with no scientific evidence to support them. They've long since been settled by science, and science has moved on. Creationists haven't kept up.
A good example--upthread is a comment disparaging evolutionary science for the lack of a "missing link." That's a phoney issue, and reflects a belief in creation "science" rather than a knowledge of science. See the chart below--which is the "missing link?"
Talk.Origins has been pretty thoroughly discredited by now, lad.
That's just it, however. To actually believe all of this evolutionist nonsense, one basically has to suspend disbelief and approach the matter from the perspective of simple, blind faith.
For instance, there is no reason - none in the world - to think that the cladogram which you posted has any relevance to anything at all. It's just some palaeontologist arranging a variety of human and primate skulls, in various states of quality, into a structure that he or she thought looked like it fit together, assuming the unproven evolutionist paradigm. The actual dates given, as well as the actual arrangement of supposed evolutionary ancestors and descendants, have no actual, independent relevance. The whole structure is based on circular reasoning.
[[Why should they continue to be hashed out?]]
Why? To expose how phony those ‘descritings’ really are, and how much htey rely on religious propoganda to ‘discredit’ instead of actual science, and to keep exposing the absurdity of claims such as the chart you posted- that’s why- Because the actual science betrays your beleif- that’s why- because hte actual scientific facts and evidences show common design, and discontinuity, and biological impossibilites, manthematical, chemical, and natural impossibilites, not common descent as has been preached for 150 years- that’s why- Because Kids DESERVE the truth- not religious propoganda of Darwinism that preaches faith in nature despite the growing scientific evidence agaisnt it- that’s why.
More precisely, you're an anti-science theocrat, ready to sacrifice civilization and put us back in the dark ages.
And any arguments against it are purely religious apologetics, not *real science*.
Science may not be done by consensus but by gosh, you'd better not question their latest pronouncements. It'll cost you your career.
It’s good enough for Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Faraday, Pasteur, to name a few.
None of them would stand a chance in today’s scientific atmosphere.
Not likely considering the state of public education in this country today. That's why homeschooling is doing so well.
Thinking critically is what science is all about.
Introducing long-since refuted ideas as valid criticism is nonsense.
So just ask yourself, are these standards made to better science or to weaken it by introducing non-scientific and anti-scientific religious beliefs in the guise of critical thinking? The latter is clearly the case. That's what these new standards are all about and everyone knows it.
Claiming that this is pro-science is nonsense.
I think this is a great idea! By letting the students analyze it, instead of memorize it, there might be one genius in the bunch that figures something out someone else missed.
Seriously, we have got to stop with the absolutes in everything. Yes, we are knowing more and more as time goes on, but lets let the up and coming minds explore science. Not just repeat propoganda.
Right. Teaching high-school kids all that so-called "basic" grammar, math, old-white-man-literature, chemistry, biology, and physics is just like teaching them that slavery is good and women are inferior. Everything from the past was invented by bad white men, after all, and we need to let our kids start fresh with clean, unencumbered minds.
The point of letting children question science is to equip them be be analytical in their thinking and not just blindly accept the science or fact coming out of an expert.
Oh, I agree. But why stop with the theory of evolution? I think we should apply this new-found freedom across the board. We should definitely let the children question the periodic table, the principles of velocity and acceleration, the confining oppressiveness of algebraic equations and english grammar, and all those so-called "facts" coming out of so-called "experts." Indeed, I think we should let the children answer test questions in whatever way they "feel" is right, and in the name of "self-esteem," let them know that there are no "wrong" answers. Let freedom reign.
Nobody is making a self-esteem learning argument here, they’re just pointing out that scientists aren’t as smart as they think they are when it comes to understanding our world...and as such, they should understand that their “facts” will be routinely overturned and modified ad infinitum after they publish. 1000 years in the future,the concept of evolution may have been found to be a bigger joke than a flat Earth. The answer may be closer to some science branch that hasn’t even been researched yet. Any claim above ignorance as to an “final picture” of natural processes is just silly and narcissistic. See flat earth, see ether in the atmosphere, see racial disposition science, etc. Nothing wrong with these kids learning that its called the “theory” of evolution and that there exist skeptics who have criticising opinions.
My favorite on the list is
CA112. Many scientists find problems with evolution.
Silly creationists. They know that they don't qulify as scientist unless they accept mud to man evolution as an proven fact.
To doubt it means you are not a scientist.
If the accepted orthodoxy does not approve of your ideas, you're not a scientist.
If peer reviewed journals disagree with your findings, you're not a scientist.
Thus, no scientists doubt. Perfect petitio principii!
I see you and irony are not on speaking terms.
You stated “...pretty effective way of making scientific ‘progress.’” Are you serious? Are you trying to make the statement that American schools have made progress even though the Japanese and Indian high school students have out paced American students in tests and college aptitude by almost 2:1?
Make sure you know what you are talking about before you type on that little keyboard thingy next time!
I like the idea to cover the strengths and weaknesses of all scientific theories. It can only lead to better-educated students.
Singling out evolution shows we yet again have a bunch of creationists with a religious agenda. Take us back 500 years and it would be heliocentrism singled out for scrutiny.
Excepting grammar, all of the above can be demonstrated via direct observation, usually in a science lab of less than an hour, or through infallible mathematical proofs. Modifcation by descent into completely new Genus' cannot, be definition, because of the time frames reqwired. It has NEVER been observed, but is arrived at by conjecture and extrapolation from variation within a genus (or Biblical kind, more accurately), or speciation. Thus, it requires you take the word of the "expert".
You could put together a much mopre convincing one using the skulls of the canis.
Pretty charts with skulls all arranged with connceting lines and time scales proves nothing other that the 3rd grade ability to create mobiles out of coat hangers and magazine pictures.
That is the VERY reason children need to critically evaluate your absurd ToE!!!
Learning the basics in high school and expanding on those basics in college has been a very effective way of making scientific progress.
Your point seems to be that the Japanese and Indian high schools are more effective in teaching the basics (and those well equipped kids then matriculate to American colleges, where they outperform American high school kids).
I fail to see how further undermining the teaching of basics in American high schools serves to correct this problem.
Most fascianting is the gradual evolution of the eye sockets to actually retain the ball within the skull, and the gradual lengthening of the jaw for better catching and holding of prey. Also note the grdual development of more prominent canines. The evolution of the lengthened snout also contributes to improve olfactory funtion, thus giving the modern canis a highly adapted sense of smell.