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Darwin in the Classroom: Ohio allows alternatives.
National Review Online ^ | December 17, 2002 | John G. West Jr.

Posted on 12/17/2002 6:59:43 AM PST by xsysmgr

After months of debate, the Ohio State Board of Education unanimously adopted science standards on Dec. 10 that require Ohio students to know "how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory."

Ohio thus becomes the first state to mandate that students learn not only scientific evidence that supports Darwin's theory but also scientific evidence critical of it. While the new science standards do not compel Ohio's school districts to offer a specific curriculum, Ohio students will need to know about scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory in order to pass graduation tests required for a high-school diploma.

Ohio is not the only place where public officials are broadening the curriculum to include scientific criticisms of evolution. In September the Cobb County School District in Georgia, one of the largest suburban school districts in the nation, adopted a policy encouraging teachers to discuss "disputed views" about evolution as part of a "balanced education." And last year, Congress in the conference report to the landmark No Child Left Behind Act urged schools to inform students of "the full range of scientific views" when covering controversial scientific topics "such as biological evolution."

After years of being marginalized, critics of Darwin's theory seem to be gaining ground. What is going on? And why now?

Two developments have been paramount.

First, there has been growing public recognition of the shoddy way evolution is actually taught in many schools. Thanks to the book Icons of Evolution by biologist Jonathan Wells, more people know about how biology textbooks perpetuate discredited "icons" of evolution that many biologists no longer accept as good science. Embryo drawings purporting to prove Darwin's theory of common ancestry continue to appear in many textbooks despite the embarrassing fact that they have been exposed as fakes originally concocted by 19th-century German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel. Textbooks likewise continue to showcase microevolution in peppered moths as evidence for Darwin's mechanism of natural selection even though the underlying research is now questioned by many biologists.

When not offering students bogus science, the textbooks ignore real and often heated scientific disagreements over evolutionary theory. Few students ever learn, for example, about vigorous debates generated by the Cambrian Explosion, a huge burst in the complexity of living things more than 500 million years ago that seems to outstrip the known capacity of natural selection to produce biological change.

Teachers who do inform students about some of Darwinism's unresolved problems often face persecution by what can only be termed the Darwinian thought police. In Washington state, a well-respected biology teacher who wanted to tell students about scientific debates over things like Haeckel's embryos and the peppered moth was ultimately driven from his school district by local Darwinists.

Science is supposed to prize open minds and critical thinking. Yet the theory of evolution is typically presented today completely uncritically, as a dogma to be accepted rather than as a theory to be explored and questioned. Is it any wonder that policymakers and the public are growing skeptical of such a one-sided approach?

A second development fueling recent gains by Darwin's critics has been the demise of an old stereotype.

For years, Darwinists successfully shut down any public discussion of Darwinian evolution by stigmatizing every critic of Darwin as a Biblical literalist intent on injecting Genesis into biology class. While Darwinists still try that tactic, their charge is becoming increasingly implausible, even ludicrous. Far from being uneducated Bible-thumpers, the new critics of evolution hold doctorates in biology, biochemistry, mathematics and related disciplines from secular universities, and many of them teach or do research at American universities. They are scientists like Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich, and Baylor University philosopher and mathematician William Dembski.

The ranks of these academic critics of Darwin are growing. During the past year, more than 150 scientists — including faculty and researchers at such institutions as Yale, Princeton, MIT, and the Smithsonian — adopted a statement expressing skepticism of neo-Darwinism's central claim that "random mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life."

Deprived of the stock response that all critics of Darwin must be stupid fundamentalists, some of Darwin's public defenders have taken a page from the playbook of power politics: If you can't dismiss your opponents, demonize them.

In Ohio critics of Darwinism were compared to the Taliban, and Ohioans were warned that the effort to allow students to learn about scientific criticisms of Darwin was part of a vast conspiracy to impose nothing less than a theocracy. Happily for good science education (and free inquiry), the Ohio Board of Education saw through such overheated rhetoric. So did 52 Ohio scientists (many on the faculties of Ohio universities) who publicly urged the Ohio Board to require students to learn about scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory.

The renewed debate over how to teach evolution is not likely to stop with Ohio.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, every state must enact statewide science assessments within five years. As other states prepare to fulfill this new federal mandate, one of the looming questions will be what students should learn about evolution. Will they learn only the scientific evidence that favors the theory, or will they be exposed to its scientific criticisms as well?

Ohio has set a standard other states would do well to follow.

— John West is a senior fellow of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and chair of the department of political science at Seattle Pacific University.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution
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1 posted on 12/17/2002 6:59:43 AM PST by xsysmgr
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To: xsysmgr
Bump for Academic Freedom ...
2 posted on 12/17/2002 7:01:19 AM PST by Phaedrus
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: xsysmgr
What they really want to smuggle is creationism. Man, some religionists are such liars. Makes you wonder about their religion.
5 posted on 12/17/2002 7:39:23 AM PST by jlogajan
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To: xsysmgr
Are they also going to teach that while some believe the world to be round, like a ball, that is just one interpretation, because others believe the world to be flat like a pancake?
6 posted on 12/17/2002 7:43:57 AM PST by APBaer
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To: xsysmgr
The should teach Darwinism as a historical part of human history of the 19th and 20th centuries. If they teach the theory itself as fact should they also teach other fairy tales as fact?
7 posted on 12/17/2002 7:46:40 AM PST by HankReardon
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To: APBaer
They'll teach that the earth is flat as a pancake and life once crawled from the slime, only once, never again since and merely by accident. These two things are both incredibly ridiciculous, I agree with you.
8 posted on 12/17/2002 7:55:12 AM PST by HankReardon
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To: xsysmgr
Last spring, state officials and Columbus-level educrats held community-forum meetings in (just about?) every one of Ohio's 88 counties regarding education "reforms," especially the science curriculum (although many different subjects were discussed).

The turnout in our rural county was amazing.

Overwhelmingly, parents articulated that "both" sides of the evolution/creation, er, evolution/intelligent design concept be examined in the classrooms. I made sure I participated in this particular discussion group, and I was a bit skeptical that the outcome was already "predetermined," but perhaps they really were listening.

Bump the good news.

9 posted on 12/17/2002 8:22:50 AM PST by fone
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To: dubyaismypresident; Credo; conspiratoristo; Las Vegas Dave; fone; Pontiac; Commiewatcher; ...
Ohio bump
10 posted on 12/17/2002 8:27:42 AM PST by fone
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To: balrog666; Condorman; *crevo_list; general_re; Gumlegs; jennyp; longshadow; PatrickHenry; ...
Ping.
11 posted on 12/17/2002 8:30:09 AM PST by Junior
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To: VadeRetro; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; LogicWings; Physicist; Doctor Stochastic; ...
Sorry if Junior already pinged some of you.

[This ping list for the evolution -- not creationism -- side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. If you want to be included, or dropped, let me know.]

12 posted on 12/17/2002 9:32:15 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Don't you think the reality of existence needs an explanation---analysis---definition...

not the wave of a magic wish---nothing...accident?
13 posted on 12/17/2002 10:03:01 AM PST by f.Christian
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To: xsysmgr
John West is a senior fellow of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute

That about sums it up.

Think NRO would publish a column in rebuttal?

14 posted on 12/17/2002 10:03:20 AM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
Flat minds/science...evolution!
15 posted on 12/17/2002 10:06:52 AM PST by f.Christian
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To: Heartlander
I hope we see a lot of your #4 on these Evolution vs. Education threads. Many Thanks.
16 posted on 12/17/2002 10:42:09 AM PST by Phaedrus
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To: f.Christian
Don't you think the reality of existence needs an explanation---analysis---definition...

And I think you should develop that curriculum. how much class time does "god created everything. period," take up? Life is so simple for creationists... must be fun.
17 posted on 12/17/2002 10:54:48 AM PST by whattajoke
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To: whattajoke
Life/science 'happens'...very stupid/dumb!
18 posted on 12/17/2002 11:01:10 AM PST by f.Christian
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To: TonyRo76
Thank God! A small step towards the truth...and a huge leap for academic freedom :)

Yep. We'll soon have the children taught that the universe was created last Thursday by a cat named Queen Maeve who lives on Mars.

Hey, they said 'alternatives'. They didn't say which alternatives. Why do so many people think that there is this false dichotomy between either evolution (and by implication 'atheism', even though evolution does not imply atheism) and Biblical creationism? Why don't they realise that nearly every religion has their own creation myth?
19 posted on 12/17/2002 11:34:41 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: HankReardon
If they teach the theory itself as fact should they also teach other fairy tales as fact?

There is a difference between "theory" and "fairy tale". Perhaps if you had an understanding of science you would know this.

Do you think that gravitational theory is a "fairy tale"?
20 posted on 12/17/2002 11:36:10 AM PST by Dimensio
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: TonyRo76
Doesn't ruling out everything but a shaky, unproven theory

Scientific theories, by definition, are unproven and can never be proven.

What is ruled out are non-scientific explanations masquerading as science, either by being pseudoscience, junk science or non-science
22 posted on 12/17/2002 12:19:36 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: whattajoke
how much class time does "god created everything. period," take up?

About as much time as "life originated by accident and therefore has no meaning or purpose."

Just because others hold the view that there is a design inherent in all living things does not mean that there is not a lot of understanding to be developed about that design and how it functions.

23 posted on 12/17/2002 12:21:42 PM PST by CalConservative
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To: Dimensio
We'll soon have the children taught that the universe was created last Thursday by a cat named Queen Maeve who lives on Mars.

I don't see this as much of a problem. What at first seemes to be the victory of a pack of Luddite flim-flam artists, who are determined to produce intellectual Darkness in Ohio, on reflection is really nothing at all to worry about. In those government schools, the kids aren't even taught to read, much less to think. Government teachers are all unionized retards anyway, and they are graduating a generation of savages. So what difference does it make what they babble about in their "creation science" classes? The kids aren't listening anyway.

24 posted on 12/17/2002 12:32:20 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
"That's the case with the Darwinists in the United States. The majority of the people are skeptical of the theory. And if the theory starts to waver a bit, it could all collapse, as Napoleon's army did in a rout."

"They have... lost(link)---a big one."

"They're like Napoleon's army in Moscow. They have occupied a lot of territory, and they think they've won the war. And yet they are very exposed in a hostile climate with a population that's very much unfriendly."

25 posted on 12/17/2002 12:38:26 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: CalConservative
"life originated by accident and therefore has no meaning or purpose."

Quite a large leap, no? Your simplistic view of evolution aside (which actually doesnt address how life originated, just how it has changed over the eons, but I'll let that slide), your assumption that atheists (I'm assuming that's whom you are implicating) lead lives devoid of meaning or purpose is not only insulting, but rather childish. I assure you, my life has just as much real meaning and purpose as yours.

Next you will tell me without the bible/god/jesus, we'd all be raping and pillaging each other, right? And in saying so, you will be telling me that you yourself would be tempted by these evils. So since I don't subscribe to you belief system, and since I have meaning and purpose in my life, and since I have no criminal thoughts, let alone actions, tell me this: Am I therefore a better human being?
26 posted on 12/17/2002 12:42:19 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: whattajoke
What part of evolution do you think/believe/wish is science...

matter/life popping out of nothing---

animal/chemical morphing---hopping??

Abracadabra???
27 posted on 12/17/2002 12:45:55 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: jlogajan
"What they really want to smuggle is creationism. Man, some religionists are such liars. Makes you wonder about their religion."

Well, considering that scientists, one hundred and fifty years after Darwin, are still so flummoxed by the question of how life arose on this planet that one Nobel Laureate--Francis Crick, who isolated DNA--has suggested that aliens planted life on this planet (the "panspermia" theory), perhaps a little more critical inquiry into Darwinism is warranted.

28 posted on 12/17/2002 12:55:06 PM PST by HumanaeVitae
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To: f.Christian
for some reason, I feel compelled to reply to f.nutball.

What part of evolution do you think/believe/wish is science... matter/life popping out of nothing---

Nope. That is called creationism, not evolution.

animal/chemical morphing---hopping??

If I had any idea what this meant, I could better respond.
29 posted on 12/17/2002 1:38:01 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: xsysmgr
Ohio thus becomes the first state to mandate that students learn not only scientific evidence that supports Darwin's theory but also scientific evidence critical of it.

A win for objectivity!

30 posted on 12/17/2002 1:38:42 PM PST by scripter
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To: HumanaeVitae
... a little great deal more critical inquiry into Darwinism is warranted.

Modifying for a better fit to the facts -- IMHO, of course ... ;-}

31 posted on 12/17/2002 1:43:51 PM PST by Phaedrus
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To: whattajoke
matter/life out of nothing...popping---is evolution!

Evolution is a fancy name for a cult---the clueless..."no idea"!

32 posted on 12/17/2002 1:59:19 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: xsysmgr
It is nice to see Ohio is so forward in their thinking and prepared to challenge the conventional wisdom!

I sincerely hope they take this a step further and introduce alternative theories to other areas of the science curriculum

In addition to chemistry they should teach Alchemy theory and in addition to sexual human reproduction they should teach stork theory.

As a parent I am disgusted that the godless Visigoths of science have banished Alchemy and the noble stork from American classrooms, were it not for the stork and the important role it plays in human reproduction we could not continue on as a species.

It is time to fight the teaching of sexual intercourse as the means of human reproduction and teach America’s youth the truth!

How can America expect to compete in the 21st century without our youth understanding the fundamentals of alchemy and stork based reproduction?

33 posted on 12/17/2002 2:10:33 PM PST by ContentiousObjector
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To: f.Christian
matter/life out of nothing...popping---is evolution!

Again, I must disagree. Witness this text from the creationist textbook, page 1:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
34 posted on 12/17/2002 2:19:01 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: whattajoke
I'm sick and tired of "defending" millions of pages of research and study with regards to biology, chemistry, physics, paleontology, geology, etc, etc, etc... it's time the creationists start answering some rigorous questions. From now on, when compelled, I will post my previous post and demand they give me "proof" of any of it. Or ANYTHING, for that matter!
35 posted on 12/17/2002 2:22:04 PM PST by whattajoke
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To: f.Christian
Since you obviously are quoting here (because there is coherent sentence structure as opposed to your inane babble), it is considered polite to provide a citation.
36 posted on 12/17/2002 2:33:35 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: whattajoke
Um, but the words of Genesis are the proof!

You're not calling God a liar, are you?
37 posted on 12/17/2002 2:34:19 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: f.Christian
matter/life out of nothing...popping---is evolution!

I'd say that you are lying, but it's clear that you don't have the sanity to comprehend that the above statement is incorrect.
38 posted on 12/17/2002 2:37:14 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: CalConservative
About as much time as "life originated by accident and therefore has no meaning or purpose."

I don't know what it is that you are addressing, but this is not an implication of evolution.

Anyone who thinks that evolution implies such is either ignorant, stupid or lying.
39 posted on 12/17/2002 2:38:35 PM PST by Dimensio
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: ContentiousObjector
New director of science education in Ohio:


41 posted on 12/17/2002 2:59:16 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
I was thinking more along the lines of William Jennings Bryan's head in a glass jar, ala Futurama
42 posted on 12/17/2002 3:10:29 PM PST by ContentiousObjector
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To: PatrickHenry
LOL, ain't it the truth!!
43 posted on 12/17/2002 3:11:46 PM PST by Aric2000
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To: Dimensio
Anyone who thinks that evolution implies such is either ignorant, stupid or lying.

Why does it have to be either/or?

:-)

44 posted on 12/17/2002 3:17:02 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: Dimensio
matter/life out of nothing...big bang---poppinig is evolution!

no design too!

45 posted on 12/17/2002 3:32:38 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: Alamo-Girl
From the article:

Science is supposed to prize open minds and critical thinking.

As long as open minds are closed to questioning evolution.

What's that quote of yours... hostile resistance to inquiry is prima facie cause for inquiry?

46 posted on 12/17/2002 4:52:16 PM PST by scripter
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To: f.Christian
matter/life out of nothing...big bang---poppinig is evolution!

The big bang theory has absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Only idiot Creationists who know nothing of science attempt to equate the two.
47 posted on 12/17/2002 6:22:00 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
Creation/God...REFORMATION(Judeo-Christianity)---secular-govt.-humanism/SCIENCE---CIVILIZATION!

Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change. These were the Classical liberals...founding fathers-PRINCIPLES---stable/SANE scientific reality/society---industrial progress...moral/social character-values(private/personal) GROWTH(limited NON-intrusive PC Govt/religion---schools)!

Evolution...Atheism-dehumanism---TYRANNY(pc/liberal/govt-religion/rhetoric)...

Then came the SPLIT SCHIZOPHRENIA/ZOMBIE/BRAVE-NWO1984 LIBERAL NEO-Soviet Darwin/ACLU America---the post-modern superstition age of faux science!

48 posted on 12/17/2002 6:31:20 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: xsysmgr
Thanks to the book Icons of Evolution by biologist Jonathan Wells, more people know about how biology textbooks perpetuate discredited "icons" of evolution that many biologists no longer accept as good science. Embryo drawings purporting to prove Darwin's theory of common ancestry continue to appear in many textbooks despite the embarrassing fact that they have been exposed as fakes originally concocted by 19th-century German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel. Textbooks likewise continue to showcase microevolution in peppered moths as evidence for Darwin's mechanism of natural selection even though the underlying research is now questioned by many biologists.

Here are some books rated for those icons.

TEXTBOOK
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
#10
ICON
Miller-Urey
D
D
F
F
D
F
D
F
F
F
Darwin's tree of life
F
D
D
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
Vertebrate limb homology
D
D
D
D
F
F
D
F
D
D
Haeckel's embryos
F
D
F
F
F
D
F
F
F
F
Archaeopteryx
C
B
D
D
D
F
D
F
F
F
Peppered moths
X
N/A
D
F
F
F
F
D
F
F
Darwin's finches
F
D
D
X
D
F
F
D
F
F
OVERALL GRADE
D-
D+
D-
F
F
F
F
F
F
F

List of Textbooks Evaluated
(All have copyright dates of 1998 or later. Books are listed alphabetically by first author's last name.)
1. Alton Biggs, Chris Kapicka & Linda Lundgren, Biology: The Dynamics of Life (Westerville, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1998). ISBN 0-02-825431-7
2. Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reece & Lawrence G. Mitchell, Biology, Fifth Edition (Menlo Park, CA: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, 1999). ISBN 0-8053-6573-7
3. Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, Third Edition (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1998). ISBN 0-87893-189-9
4. Burton S. Guttman, Biology, (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1999). ISBN 0-697-22366-3
5. George B. Johnson, Biology: Visualizing Life, Annotated Teacher's Edition (Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1998). ISBN 0-03-016724-8
6. Sylvia Mader, Biology, Sixth Edition (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1998). ISBN 0-697-34080- 5
7. Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology, Fifth Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000). ISBN 0-13-436265-9
8. Peter H. Raven & George B. Johnson, Biology, Fifth Edition (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1999). ISBN 0-697-35353-2
9. William D. Schraer & Herbert J. Stoltze, Biology: The Study of Life , Seventh Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999). ISBN 0-13-435086-3
10. Cecie Starr & Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, Eighth Edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1998). ISBN 0-534-53001-X.


49 posted on 12/17/2002 6:31:22 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: PatrickHenry; scripter; f.Christian; gore3000; Heartlander; Alamo-Girl; CalConservative
Deprived of the stock response that all critics of Darwin must be stupid fundamentalists, some of Darwin's public defenders have taken a page from the playbook of power politics: If you can't dismiss your opponents, demonize them.

Boy, is he spot on!

To: ContentiousObjector

New director of science education in Ohio:


41 posted on 12/17/2002 4:59 PM CST by PatrickHenry
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50 posted on 12/17/2002 6:42:19 PM PST by AndrewC
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