"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


fun with science!

The Texas State Board of Education is meeting to consider science curriculum standards today and tonight. Since the SBOE is controlled by far right-wing extremists who believe that facts are opinions, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that they're going to decide on something crazy that forces Texas public schoolchildren to learn religion in the science classroom. (I should add that many of them homeschool their children, however, they still think they should get to decide what your children learn.) But state law requires them to hear a heck of a lot of testimony from anyone who wants to speak before they can make an official decision.

Gotta love democracy.

Anyway, the Texas Freedom Network is live-blogging the hearing, and it's mighty entertaining. If you're bored tonight, I suggest giving it a look-see. And if you care about keeping religious instruction in the hands of churches and parents, think about sending them a buck or two.

And those of you who think this doesn't apply to you since you aren't in Texas, think again. Texas is such a large market for textbooks that what our state does affects what's available for school districts to purchase in smaller markets.


Blogger David McCullars said...

This isn't even an issue of church/state separation for me. Intelligent Design isn't science. Anyone who thinks it is hasn't the first clue about what science is. It's never been a question of whether evolution is "right" or "wrong." Science doesn't deal in those absolute terms. It's the best theory we have to explain the natural world, a theory which has both stood the test of time and provided meaningful insights into our planet. It's a theory which will (forgive the pun) evolve in time to answer the many questions we still have.

If we value teaching science to our children (and for the sake of our country's future I sure hope we do), then please, please can we actually teach them science? Imagine what the world would be like if every child was taught to think for themselves ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:38:00 AM

Blogger David McCullars said...

For the record, I do think we should teach the weaknesses of evolution. We should teach the weaknesses of every branch and theory of science. Because science is all about pushing forward, answering the yet unanswered. How can our future generation of scientists do that unless they know what is still unknown. Teaching the weaknesses is to wet the appetite. Any scientist who wishes to "close up shop" and pretend that we know everything is just as guilty of teaching bad science as ID proponents.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:43:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

I just think we should only teach things that have been peer-reviewed. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:17:00 AM

Blogger euphrony said...

David, you hit at what I think is the biggest problem of this whole debate. It has become so polarized that their is either "teach evolution as infallible" or "teach evolution as a pile of horse manure". This may make good politics and get people on the bandwagons, but it makes horrible science.

I was reading an on-line article in the Houston Chronicle (not the one you linked to, but one from a day earlier) and glanced at some of the 400 comments on it. The people were basically showing themselves to be either uneducated, misinformed, or wearing blinders when it came to this point. Comments like "what will they question next, atomic theory? gravity? Einstein's relativity?" The point is these have all come about in their current form because of people questioning them. And they are debated even today, as they are only convenient pictures of things we have yet to fully understand.

Yes, science has to question everything or else the assumptions become the rule and discovery is lost. Many of the great breakthroughs in various fields have come from people outside the field who come into it unburdened by assumptions that are held as irrefutable. They show these assumptions false and turn the world on it's head.

They way this debate has turned it has driven the general public, even some scientists, to support extremes that are untenable. Meanwhile, the rest of the public begins to simply doubt and disbelieve everything with the stamp of science on it.

(This comment is now submitted for peer review.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:49:00 AM

Blogger euphrony said...

Oh, in peer review, please forgive the grammatical errors, like using "their" instead of "there". I wrote fast and edited little.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:51:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Revise and resubmit. Which in my field means it will probably be published.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:53:00 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home