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  Topic: Ideological Idiocy in Ohio, Comment thread for post on AE< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4966
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,05:51   

This thread is for discussion of the post at AE.

A column by S. Michael Craven at aptly demonstrates how one can come to an entirely inverted view of things starting from false premises and a false inference. The lead paragraph (below) begins with a false premise (that state science standards prohibit concepts from being presented in classes) and proceeds to a wildly false conclusion (that science teachers somehow are prevented from teaching material that is already in their textbooks).


This past February the Ohio State Board of Education voted 11-4 to remove all language that was critical of evolution from its state's science curriculum. Previously, Ohio's public school science guidelines said that students should be free to "describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." The decision by the State Board of Education effectively eliminates that freedom. This means that science teachers and students are no longer authorized to discuss scientific evidence that questions the claims of Darwin's theory.

No, Michael, the board's decision doesn't remove any "freedom" to discuss "scientific evidence that questions the claims of Darwin's theory". What it removed was wording that was specifically being treated as an invitation to discuss a bunch of false, long-refuted arguments which hied from creation science through intelligent design and into the new label of critical analysis. Science standards establish what must be taught; Ohio's teachers can (and I assume often do) teach things that are not specifically mentioned in the educational standards. Popular high school textbooks do incorporate material about the limits of science and in biology discuss non-Darwinian evolutionary processes, such as genetic drift. What you won't find in the textbooks, though, are the patently false arguments that have long served the antievolution movement. There is no good pedagogical reason to teach students falsehoods, though, so much of Craven's screed completely misses the point.

[For the rest of the post, visit the link.]

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker


Posts: 49
Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 28 2006,10:51   

Apropos of Wesley's remark
but rather political parties and industries whose platforms and profit margins are threatened by scientific research into things like global warming, management and recovery of endangered species, health effects of industrial products, and ecology.
Deborah Owens-Fink, a primary pusher of ID Creationism on the Ohio State BOE, mentioned global warming as another topic that deserves (her brand of) "critical analysis" in the Ohio standards.

Not incidentally, she has also tied defending good science to atheism and liberalism.  She's a walking talking source of ammo for any suit that might be filed in Ohio.


"There are only two ways we know of to make extremely complicated things, one is by engineering, and the other is evolution. And of the two, evolution will make the more complex." - Danny Hillis.

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