Thursday, 16 October 2008

Science education under threat in Texas

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While we seem to have had our fair share of creationism rows in the UK this year (the Michael Reiss affair being the most recent), it's sometimes worth remembering that such nonsense doesn't really make too many inroads into our education system (or the scientific branch, at least).

It's something I was reminded of when reading this story about Texas, where the Board of Education has just set up a committee to review science curriculum standards. Not a bad idea, you might think – get a bunch of experts together to have a look at the way science is taught in your state, then they can make a few recommendations and you'll end up with a better curriculum. But, of course, there's a catch. The only reason this committee has been set up is because an ID/creationist faction on the board is trying to scuttle new standards that would reinforce the importance of teaching evolution.

So who's on this committee? Well, there are three genuine scientists, but they're joined by three creationists/proponents of ID, one of whom is Stephen Meyer, one of the founders of the Discovery Institute. Yes, that's right, the Discovery Institute. That organisation that tries to make ID credible by pretending it's nothing to do with religion per se and producing "peer reviewed" "research".

When you compare that to a Reverend/Scientist suggesting it might be appropriate to discuss creationism in class if pupils ask questions about it, you realise our creationist problem is nothing compared to what people are having to battle with in some parts of the US. And battling against it they are – for any readers in the US, there's a petition you can sign (sorry readers in the UK and elsewhere, you'll have to sit this one out. But you can join me in wishing them good luck).

[Found via Pharyngula]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might want to look at this site: http://www.icea.ox.ac.uk/research/cam/projects/crt/

This research team might be able to explain why some people still believe in creationism.

Oh, and they say on this site that unbelief is unusual and unnatural. !!!

Anonymous said...

This oft-repeated objection from evolutionists implies (always implies in my experience) that "Science" is synonymous with "Darwinian Evolution". Objecting to how origins is taught is not an assualt on science, nobody has ever asked for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Mechanincs to be taught differently, it is ONLY evolution. Evolution is actually of minor merit anyway insofar as science is concerned, stop elevating this minor branch of speculative hypothesizing to the level that is somehow represents "Science" it does't.