2015 Anti-Science Legislation

I am not sure how we need to address the problem but there are those who are committed to limiting the K – 12 educational processes by changing the nature of science education.

The National Center for Science Education has just posted a list of various bills from state legislatures that would limit science education in the areas of evolution and climate science. Opponents to evolution and climate science continually seek ways to force teachers to teach creationism and a denial of climate change as part of science.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Because if K – 12 teachers truly understood the processes of science and taught the controversy, creationism and/or intelligent design would be thrown quickly.


5 thoughts on “2015 Anti-Science Legislation

  1. This is not rocket science. Let those aggrieved by legislation they consider restrictive enter into the legislative process. Let them advocate for legislation that they consider will be helpful to advancing the teaching of science in what they consider a legitimate manner. Let them build support among voters and more importantly tax payers for their position. That is the democratic process by which our nation operates.

    • So you are saying or advocating that laws requiring the introduction of pro-creationism/anti-evolution and anti-climate science legislation is a good thing?

      The legislation that was proposed and outlined in this piece would do just that. My only argument would be to make sure that teachers have an understanding of what science is and how it works (which is not often the case). If teachers did, this proposed legislation wouldn’t do anything. As it stands right now, most of the legislation essentially dictates what science will be.

      • The real problem is not just that the legislation is bad but that it reflects a broad distrust among parents and tax payers of those who teach and those who make decisions about what will be taught. This is well illustrated by the broad rejection of Common Core. Only those who support the current administration support CC as it now stands. Possibly CC is not bad, but due the current administrations being far less than transparent makes it impossible to have any confidence in CC as currently advocated.

        It is understandable that those who teach would want to be free to teach as they see fit. In an ideal world, they would be free to do just that. The world is not ideal. At present those who teach and those who decide what will be taught do not have broad support among those who are parents and those who are tax payers. There is the perception that teachers and ciricculum are simply tools used to advance left-wing liberal political and social agendas hostile to the will of parents for their children and tax payers for the money which they pay.

        Those who teach and those who decide what will be taught have two options. They can as suggested earlier enter into the legislative process and advocate for legislation that would be supportive of what they think best for the educational process. Another approach is educators to invest themselves in earning the respect and winning the confidence of parents and tax payers that they are to be trusted by parents to educate their children. Otherwise there will continue to be politicized debate about teaching not just science but math, history, languages, social sciences, etc. This earning the respect of and winning the confidence of parents and taxpayers is absolutely necessary. After all, it is the parents who permit their children to be in the classroom. And it is the taxpayer who pays the costs associated with the process. They are the only ones whose opinions really matter.

      • First, I hope you don’t mind but I deleted what appears to be a second copy of your comment (I also deleted the second copy of another comment).

        As to my thoughts on the Common Core, see “Notes On The Common Core”

        You will get no argument about the lack of respect for teachers but that isn’t the problem. Let’s face it; sometimes what one has to teach goes against what some parents want their children to know and they are not willing to be open-minded.

        Now, to the heart of the matter. Legislators cannot introduce legislation that tells teachers what has to be taught (and that is the core of all these bills that were highlighted in the article). The proof of creation is found in the process of evolution and for legislators to mandate the teaching of non-science as science would be disasterous. History has shown what happens when politicians control what people think.

        I am aware that many parents get upset when the topic of evolution is taught in a high school biology classroom because it goes against what they believe. It is their responsibility to explain to their children, not the teachers, why they believe that way. They also have to show how the two topics of faith and science safely mix in today’s society. A second point about all of the legislation discussed was that it tried to impose a belief system of a few on the many, again not something that works well.

        In the end, if an individual is upset about things which may challenge their faith, they need to examine what it is that they believe, not force others to believe in that way. I wish that our society was more open to exchange and discussion of ideas but that doesn’t always work.

  2. There appears to have been a historical urgency to compare science with religion. In like manner, recent scholars tend to compare history with theology. Can we not keep them completely separate and still practice our religious beliefs – our Christian faith?
    When most people of faith use the term “theory”, they mean an idea, an hypothesis. In science we begin with OBSERVATION, we formulate an HYPOTHESIS, we test the hypothesis against existing evidence. If the hypothesis is found to be consistent with existing evidence, it becomes a THEORY. When a scientist uses the term “theory”, he/she means an established scientific principle. To say, “Evolution is only a theory” is a misuse of the term.
    Archealogists have for centuries searched for evidence of the 600,000 Israelites who wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. None has been found. The history of ancient Egypt is very thorough well back before the time of Moses. There is no mention of Israelites in Egypt and no record of an army being drowned while chasing Moses and the Israelites. The story of Noah and the flood is essentially a copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh from 2000 years earlier, with a different cast of characters. In the first century it was believed that the mother contributed nothing to the body of the child. By having the Virgin Mary impregnated by the Holy Spirit (as described in two conflicting biblical stories), the Baby Jesus was born free from human sin. Now we understand that the genetic makeup of the child is half from the mother and half from the father. Thus, the virgin birth story loses its meaning.
    Does any of this alter my Christian faith? Not in the least. I take the scriptures seriously, but not literally. The Torah – the Five Books of Moses – tells a beautiful story, symbolizing God’s creation of mankind. To try to verify this story using the scientific method leads nowhere and the story loses its theological meaning. The previous paragraph presents several meaningful theological points. However, to try to make any one of them history is to lose its theological meaning.
    Let’s let science be science, history be history, and theology be theology. No comparisons are necessary.

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