Monday, January 26, 2009

Texas BOE and science standards

For a long time, public school students in Texas have been forced to hear about evolution's so-called "weaknesses" in their science classes. This is because the Texas State Board of Education has been dominated by christianist wingnuts.

Real scientists and people who live in the real world everywhere are happy as a lark because the Texas BOE just voted to scrap that nonsense. But, it was a merely a preliminary vote and the vote was almost evenly divided, and the final vote will come in March and the christianist wingnuts are marshalling their forces.

Furthermore, the Dallas Morning News reports that while the "weakness" requirement was dropped, an amendment was added "that calls for students to discuss the 'sufficiency or insufficiency' of Charles Darwin's tenet that humans and other living things have common ancestors." In the hands of a real scientist, that would be no problem; in the hands of a christianist wingnut teacher, it could be detrimental to her students.

The outfit behind the "weakness" stuff is the Discovery Institute, an organization devoted to replacing science in public school classrooms with "creationism" or its phony sister, Intelligent Design, both of which are not scientific at all, but religion in disguise.

The Discovery Institute is going to work hard to see that the "weakness" requirement is reinstated.

Meanwhile, the Texas Freedom Network is working to rescind the amendment when the board conducts its final vote in March.

Kathy Miller, TFN president said that the amendment "could provide a small foothold for teaching creationist ideas and dumbing down biology instruction in Texas."

Yup. And the kicker is that whatever the board decides will likely be in effect for 10 years plus!

But the christianists have a different take, naturally. And they lie. Here's what they say about the Texas BOE's decision to scuttle the "weakness" provision:

"Proponents of critical thinking in science classrooms were handed a blow by the Texas State Board of Education." Heh, heh.

Right. It is exactly the opposite! Now, students in Texas public schools will not be subjected to creationist nonsense which is faith-based, and rooted in the notion that the first chapters of Genesis are history not myth.

The truth is that proponents of critical thinking were handed a wonderful and long-overdue victory by the State Board of Education.

No more bible-based mythology parading as science!

1 comment:

Bob Poris said...

How sad again. People with little knowledge have all sorts of theories about many things. It is proper that they have freedom to try to get their point across, but not mandated in the public schools! If it is about religion, there is the church and the family kitchen table. If it is science, there are many venues to debate findings. Once again: any one religion is not to be promoted by law. That has been the position of the Constitution and the Supreme Court since our founding. We are a strong and free nation because we are a diverse people with a wide variety of views. Our freedom to debate our ideas and our free press has helped make us free for all. To change that for some single religious view is wrong and divisive.

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