Here Are the Proposed Texas Science Lessons Freaking Out the Scientific Community

Categories: Politics

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New state ed board chairwoman Barbara Cargill is worried her board isn't conervative enough.
As you've probably heard, the Texas Board of Education is in the process of picking new supplemental science materials that will be used to complement the state's outdated science textbooks. The state hopes you understand that it totally would have bought new textbooks, but it blew all the book money bribing companies to move to Texas. And yes, the state realizes that those companies will soon move back to Detroit and Cleveland once their CEOs realize that all the tax breaks in the world can't overcome a borderline illiterate workforce that thinks humans sprung from the earth's unsoiled vagina in 1924. But by the time that happens, Rick will already be president, so what does it matter?

Anyway, the supplemental stuff. A bunch of publishers have submitted prospective science standards, and a committee made recommendations to the board. But since the board has no obligation to adhere to those recommendations -- and since board chairwoman Barbara Cargill is a noted creationist flanked by five other "true conservative Christians" -- advocates of a more scientific approach to teaching science are worried the board could approve lessons that the committee didn't vouch for and that the public hasn't seen. Like, say, the ones from International Database, LLC.

The company has been tied to New Mexico's creationist community, says Joshua Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education, who will testify at Thursday's board meeting. The lessons submitted by I.D. -- whose initials just happen to also stand for Intelligent Design, as well as Indiscreet Dick-wads -- have the grammar prowess of a fourth-grade book report and the aesthetics of a middle schooler who just learned PowerPoint. And the content is clearly designed to slyly -- and sometimes not so slyly -- inject questions about scientists' findings, not only chipping away at evolution but also raising doubts about the causes of global warming.

But aren't the materials so inept that the board won't give them a second look?

"The creationist board members - there are six of them who are ptetty much straight up creationists -- are likely to do some weird stuff," Rosenau rells Unfair Park.

So, just in case, let's give a few of I.D.'s slides a look. That way, if you see your kids rolling them off the home-office inkjet next semester, you'll be sure to have a lighter handy.


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111 comments
mskat
mskat

PERRY IS ONLY LINING HIS OWN POCKET I'M POOR BUT I CHECK THE STOC KS EV1 FIGHTING. WHATS THE DAMM POINT. THEY ARE GOING TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. . LET SEE WHAT WILL THEY DO FOR THEMSELVESD BECAUSE WITHOUT YOU WHERE WOULD THEY BE

Simon James
Simon James

Female teachers in Texas will now have to wear Burquas in the classroom.

Ldurhamjr
Ldurhamjr

Only if you presume that there cannot exist other intelligent beings in the universe who could have taken an interest in exploiting various lifeforms on earth and manipulating their respective genomes can you preclude "intelligent design." Natural selection occurs, of course, and it too is even employed by those who design new lifeforms in labs, private, public, or even secret, whether such designers be terrestrial humans or perhaps others, more ancient and advanced. But, of course, notwithstanding how utterly obvious and logically compelling this "theory" is, it is a heresy that will never appear in a textbook. So, a pox on both camps: creationists and Darwinists alike.

David Agosta
David Agosta

But doesn't the continued use of Comic Sans disprove both the theories of evolution and intelligent design?

Jeremiah
Jeremiah

Below is a link to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2005 holiday lecture series on evolutionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...Its a great series that helps explain evolution and debunk many of the misconceptions used to combat evolution.  It is meant for the High School demographic, but is great for understanding as an adult if you're not a scientist.  It gives vary detailed examples of evolution through  fossil records(the incomplete fossil record was a problem for darwin in 1859, not an issue now as the fossil record is extensive for many species today), coupled with experimental methods for testing evolution.  Its explains how little genetic change is needed for huge morphological changes, and shows how this is done at the genetic level.  A great example is corn/maise developing from teosinte and experiments decoding the small number of alleles that are required for drastic morphological changes by performing test crosses and gene mapping.  It also shows how allelic frequency can change drastically through only a 1% competitive advantage from a known common mutation(odds of specific mutation also given in lecture) in mice.  If you suffer through the series, evolution will hopefully be a little more comprehensible... enjoy!

Max
Max

This Joe Tone character seems like he evolved from a jackass. Keep your biases to yourself and report the facts, ape man.

Shawn Curtis
Shawn Curtis

So according to the first slide, does that mean that these specimens chose to commute to work rather than live in the urban communities?

bgbs
bgbs

Have anybody actually read the slides or only the bashing above it?

WilliamJohnston
WilliamJohnston

These people are nuts  and should not hold any office or be on any board. God created everything . Now get over it and accept the truth. the scientific community can never replicate the products of building this Earth. All They can do is replicate what is already made and then they can't even do that right most of the time. When they can CURE all ills and not just treat a problem I might just believe in something that they say, But not until that happens.

Bignasty8
Bignasty8

this just made me throw up a little

Garth Milnert
Garth Milnert

This article is the result of giving a libtard (Joe Turd) a keyboard and letting him spew his intolerance for conservatives and hatred for God out all over the place.  No longer will I visit this site.

Bam Stroker
Bam Stroker

This would be kind of amusing if you guys didn't have so many guns as well.

Jef Sof
Jef Sof

belief vs. facts

belief is entirely subjective  ... facts are objective and testable by anyone anywhere

macartisan
macartisan

Dear Texan schoolchildren: The conclusion you should derive from those materials is that you should never trust anyone who uses the Comic Sans font in any supposedly technical discussion.

shivabeach
shivabeach

I am surprised they are not finding a way to teach the kids to live in tents in the desert and ride camels and donkeys while building stone houses.

Mike
Mike

I would settle if most students could just read the sample materials. Let us get real. More than 50 per cent of high school graduates cannot find France on a map or know who were our allies in WW2. Very few can structure a decent paragraph. You are worried about these children knowing the finer points of evolution? What difference does it make? I have had a lot of education since high school and used a lot of tools and principles in school and at work. The one thing locked in my brain that I have never used is an application of the theory of evolution. I can understand it and think it's probably satisfactory, but really do not care. We are making way too much over this item, a carryover I assume of the battle between Light and Darkness in a famous play.

Guest
Guest

Evolution hasn't been a theory for years, it's a proven without a doubt fact. The monkeys are smarter than these bible thumpers.

Mispelit
Mispelit

I did Music Theory at school. Therefore music doesn't exist.

Cory Casciato
Cory Casciato

The fact they used Comic Sans tells me all I need to know. 

Guest
Guest

It's time to declare war on these right wing, bible thumping nutjobs. Or they're going to drag us back to the stone age with that fantasy crap.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

It is amazing how quickly and easily professional journalists degenerate into using this "Evangelical" straw man.  It is as though this author has never met a thoughtful, kind, and intelligent protestant individual in a leadership position. Of course, this is an opinion article on a newspaper's blog section so I don't take it too seriously, but the enraged tone with which Mr. Tone writes is frankly offensive.

Unfortunately, it seems like many leaders who claim an Evangelical mantel do not represent their group of people very well. It is however, the nature of the noisiest people to often be the most uniform in their uninformed opinions and shortsightedness.  Christians as a whole do not deserve the vitriol flowing from articles like this.

If you intend on widening your research and experience with Evangelicals by possibly talking with other Christians in the DFW area, I suggest the leadership of The Village Church. I have found them to be some of the most intelligent critics and thinkers in the Evangelical world as a whole, especially Matt Chandler and Geoff Ashley http://fm.thevillagechurch.net...

Bottom Line: If you are going to attack someone, go ahead and do it specifically. Stop attacking a vague people group which you assume acts a certain way as a whole. It makes you look foolish.  

Dr. GS Hurd
Dr. GS Hurd

What I found strange when I reveiwed these slides a few months ago was that the Global Warming slide set were actually quite good, while the Evolution set were terrible.

TC
TC

Even more evidence of the continued Republican War on Histroy!!

Mosbon
Mosbon

This topic is very interesting, and I would like to learn more.  I have been left wanting more information.  If you feel the same, visit www.Frontlinemobility.com to brush up on the details.

Catbird
Catbird

According to the "Program for International Student Assessment" (PISA) the United States ranked number 1 in the world in math, science and reading through 1962 and then began a long, unexplained decline. 1962 was the year when SCOTUS discovered the constitutional "wall between church and state" and expelled God from the public school system. Is there a link? In 2009, the most recent year available, the famously secular schools of the US ranked 14th in Reading (South Korea is No.1), 25th in Math (South Korea is No.1) and 17th in Science (Finland is No 1 and South Korea is No 3). Today, about one-third of South Koreans are professing Christians. Seoul, the capital, boasts 10 of the 11 largest Christian congregations in the world. And South Korea sends more missionaries abroad to spread the word than any other country except the United States.

In my view, the best way to improve public education in the US is to re-install God...unless you guys think that American kids are just to stupid to learn.

bgbs
bgbs

Can you actually say something more intelligent.  What have religious people been doing before evolutionists, atheists, and agnostics?  They were doing science; making crucial scientific discoveries.  Religion is not an obstacle to science.  Religion is an obstacle to evolution, because as far as many religious people are concerned, science has been hijacked by evolution. They want to extricate evolution from science.  They want evolutionists to stop calling science as its own, like they invented it, like science without evolution is no science.  In fact many religious people believe the evolution is a detriment to science, it is flumsy, ideologically driven and has produced more damage for society than solutions.  

If you did not notice, but both religious folks, and evolutionists use science as the basis of argument to tell each other that they are wrong. 

bgbs
bgbs

yep, when you find out that you've been believing a lie for a long time, it does feel like throwing up.

Old Rockin' Dave
Old Rockin' Dave

You are confusing "conservative" with the intolerant people who want to push their views of religion and their fairytale science on others; true conservatives are accepting of the religious freedoms of others and respectful of facts. As for "hatred of God"? Remind me, this is the Dallas Observer, right? Not the Teheran Daily Ayatollah's Pronouncements? He actually didn't say anything about his own religious beliefs, he just stepped on your personal religious toes, and since you, and every other believer in every religion since the dawn of time, follow the One True Religion, he must hate God. My way or burn at the stake, right?

bgbs
bgbs

Have you read the actual slides where facts are presented debunking evolution? Now what is one called who comments on something without reading the source? A moron.  

You see, evolution is based on the same shakey facts as belief in creationism.  Of course one slide show will not convince a scientific community as a whole that they've been duped; that they've been believing a lie for a very long time.  There is going to be some heavy resistance; no one wants to be wrong.  So it is normal for scientists to look clueless, shocked, or what have you, when they are challenged, especially after their brains have been thoroughly washed in academia in belief in evolution since child hood.  I hope what I said makes sense to some people here.

bgbs
bgbs

Some dude on the internet started the campaign against Comic Sans, and now everybody ran with it and now trying to ban it or extricate it.

But I agree better investment into presentation should have been made.

bgbs
bgbs

a typical liberal, group-think, reply.  You know you need to go back to your sewer think group, and let people with sense argue this issue.   You've just insulted a lot of earlier civilizations that have made many scientific discoveries, and made tremendous contribution in the field of sciences that we all use today, while they believed in gods, slept in tents, and were highly religious.

Rick_K
Rick_K

Whether or not evolution is relevant to daily life, the ability to understand evidence, evaluate the weight of evidence, and to know the difference between cultural beliefs and demonstrable fact IS important.  And, quite frankly, this is about lying.  Many of these slides are obviously, openly deceptive or untrue.  I know enough about evolution to see that immediately - most kids don't.  So why are we considering letting a pack of liars teach our kids?  Mike, I think that IS a relevant and important question.

Singe
Singe

I don't care about "finer details." It's not the point here. I care that they know the basics. It's the fundamental basis behind the entire science of biology. I'm sure that knowing that the earth revolves around the sun rather than vice-versa is likely just as inapplicable to your lifestyle as the theory of evolution, but I think it's a good idea for kids to be taught that as well.

You took a particular path in life that has no need for the knowledge of the theory of evolution, but what if you had decided to become a biologist instead? Kids who might want to would be put at a disadvantage by not having been taught the science properly.

Philip Robar
Philip Robar

Yes, it's the fact(s) of evolution and the theory of evolution via natural selection. Of course most people have no idea what a scientific theory actually is. Hint: It's not a an educated guess.

Singe
Singe

Did you even READ the article? To the best of my understanding he doesn't seem to be attacking all Christians. His beef is specifically with Christians who want to dumb down our public school system by ignoring real science. And even for the people he's "attacking", where is the vitriol? Where's the rage? He's a bit snarky, sure, but I don't think unfairly so. Christians aren't even mentioned in the article except in the phrase "true conservative Christians", which is clearly not ALL Christians.

Jeez, you people and your so-eager persecution complex.

Or maybe this is just copypasta I'm responding to.

Rick_K
Rick_K

This is a dangerous line of reasoning, Catbird.  Because if you're honest and look at the PISA results, you'll find that the top ranks are overwhelmingly dominated by secular countries.  If you want to draw a conclusion about religion and PISA scores, the answer is simple: less God = better performance.  Even your example, South Korea, is mostly secular or Buddhist.

Now the question is - did you knowingly misrepresent the data, or did you unwittingly cut and paste this little gem from someplace else?  Because you have clearly and demonstrably misused the data to draw a misleading conclusion.  Looking at your post, and looking at the actual data, the only conclusion I can draw is that you are being intentionally dishonest or you are parroting false statements out of ignorance.

Which is it?

Singe
Singe

If it's a matter of god-in-school, wouldn't Christian private schools in the US get better test scores than public school in the US? If they did, it's funny Catbird didn't mention it.

Also, in science apparently Finland is doing better than South Korea. Finland isn't very religious, so why's it doing better?

Philip Robar
Philip Robar

I'm guessing that you've never studied research methods, statistics, logic or critical thinking. So let me give you a clue: Correlation does not equal causation.

M.Funkibut
M.Funkibut

Well using logic like that, shouldn't we aim for only one-third of Americans being Christians to improve our schools to the level of South Korea's?

Remember one-third! No more or no less! Cause we want to be just like South Korea,  With an insane communist enemy to our north [Get busy Canada!]. the highest suicide rate in the industrial world [2008 - such good Christians] and a population density 10 times that of the global average and almost half of its people expressing NO religious preference.

Darn that Wikipedia is awesome! :)

Rick_K
Rick_K

"You see, evolution is based on the same shakey facts as belief in creationism."

Actually, evolution is based on multiple independent lines of confirming evidence found in patterns of morphology, co-evolved relationships, convergent evolution, observed speciation, Lenski experiments, shared DNA, inherited ERV markers, molecular biology, vestigial traits, atavisms, genetic mutation, embryology, the fossil record, paleontology, archaeology, transitional species predictions, radiometric dating, dendrochronology, thermoluminescence dating, ice core dating, biostratiography, archaeogenetics, biogeography, plate tectonics, geology, chemistry, and physics.

For example, there's more DNA evidence for common descent (Darwinian concept) than for every criminal trial in history combined.  Shall we open the doors of all the jails because some dishonest religious folks can't tolerate what DNA tells them about their own origins?

The only people without a clue are those who read this Discovery Institute propaganda and think that it is actually true.  Later in life they'll learn that, just like the scientists paid by Big Tobacco to prove that smoking was good for you, the PhDs at the Discovery Institute have sold out - to "Big Religion".

How else do you explain the fact that the top 22 titles on the amazon.com list of the top 25 Intelligent Design books were all written by members of the same right-wing political lobbying organization - the Discovery Institute.  Hello!   Go look it up - prove me wrong.

As Judge Jones essentially said to the Intelligent Design proponents in his 127 page opinion in the Dover trial:  STOP LYING!

bgbs
bgbs

Instead of wasting your time telling us that you immediately see the deceptiveness and lies presented in the slides, why don't you give us an example of such a lie so that we can discuss it.

bgbs
bgbs

You don't need to be taught evolution to be a good biologist.  In fact kids would be better biologists if more time was invested into teaching actual biology, how the cell actually functions, rather than blasting kids with full semester of evolution.  Evolution is useless to the field of biology and in my opinion servers as a stumbling block for kids to come to their own conclusions regarding origins, rather than being indoctrinated to look at things only in a particular way.  There are lots of laws in biology that should be stressed, and taught, but no, the laws are disregarded and countless evolutionary hypotheses and theories are being pumped into educational system, which then evolve into something else.   Your parents, who have been taught evolution in scrools in the 1960's, learned bunch of flimsy lies, because all these theories were later debunked.  What does it mean? It means that evolution was a waste of time in the 60's, they were taught a lie basically.  The same is happening in scrools with today's kids. 

So I say, get rid of evolution, and biology will be better off.

Catbird
Catbird

So a Christian environment infused with traditional Judeo Christian moral teaching and a solid two-parent home life has nothing to do with anything...we just really need to spend more tax money to make the children learn more....or maybe just get all the fine teachers together and have a test score changing party.

You libs crack me up, so very scientific...

   

whowiththewhatnow
whowiththewhatnow

The first use of silicone breast implants by Houston plastic surgeons is in 1962.  Test scores decline.  Is this really the link?

Rick_K
Rick_K

How are these slides dishonest or misleading?  Well, here's a sample:

Evolution is repeatedly defined by Darwin's quotes, ignoring 150 years of progress since Darwin.

Trilobites do not appear "abruptly" in the Cambrian - what appears abruptly is calcified arthropods in general.  But in the very few areas where uncalcified pre-Cambrian fossils can be found, we find a some very trilobite-like specimens.

The second slide asks whether natural selection plus point mutations explain all changes in the fossil record.  But NOBODY claims that natural selection plus point mutations explain all speciation.  Gene swapping, symbiosis, retroviral insertion, chromosomal events, Punctuated Equilibrium, and several other factors contribute to the rich tapestry of life.  So the slide is misleading - is it intentional or out of ignorance?  Since it was likely created by someone with passing interest in "Intelligent Design", I'm going to guess it is intentional.

Slide 3 is a classic - assume intervention by an invisible divine being unless someone can prove otherwise.  This is logically fallacious and sufficiently biased to be labeled a "lie".

I think that's enough for now.

Throughout history people have tried to explain various natural phenomena with supernatural explanations.  Time and time again those explanations have been replaced with plausible (though often amazing) NATURAL explanations.  The reverse has NEVER happened - a natural explanation replaced with supernatural.  

This is why religions have entire branches of study called "apologetics" - to rationalize the beliefs when faced with contradictory facts.  Science embraces and thrives on contradictory facts, altering its concepts until they truly do fit the evidence.

Evolution has no "apologetics" - it has nothing to apologize for.

Gafagea
Gafagea

remove yourself from the gene pool, retard

Rick_K
Rick_K

"So I say, get rid of evolution, and biology will be better off."

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" is a 1973 essay by the evolutionary biologist and Russian Orthodox Christian Theodosius Dobzhansky, criticising anti-evolution creationism and espousing theistic evolution. The essay was first published in the American Biology Teacher, volume 35, pages 125-129.

Next time you're browsing the Kindle store, bgbs, skip the faith section and read some non-fiction.

Eliot van Uytfanghe
Eliot van Uytfanghe

The Evolution theory by Charles Darwin still stands correct so how were they taught a lie? Sounds to me you don't know what you're talking about at all.  Besides Biology doesn't make sense without Evolution. Evolution is a must thing to teach. Some essay: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

s s
s s

If you remove "Judeo" and  "Christian" ( and probably traditional ) from your comment, you might be onto something.  Stable, two parent homes are good for academic performance, and a moral education is critical.  However, the tradition is nearly irrelevant. ( and No, I did not say Christianity is worse, simply that it isn't any better than other tradition )  Even being a woman in an "Islamic tradition" need not be a bad thing ( though it often is ).  One of Mohammad's wives was a general - something that still hasn't happened in our democratic, egalitarian Christian society. Another controlled a merchant empire to rival any in her age.  The oppression of women is not an Islamic tenet - it's derived from old Bedouin and Pashtun ( and other ) tribal traditions that long predate Islam.  Much like Christians have, the converts have painted their own existing cultural biases on top of actual scriptural teachings.  Back to the subject at hand, it's interesting that the Fins and the Koreans that you like so much actually de-emphasize testing.  Instead, they value their teachers highly, and give them broad support and tremendous judgement in how they educate their students.  We treat them like unskilled labor, and our kids like widgets that must be QC tested by standardized test at each station of the assembly line.  It's pretty clear which strategy works better, and that we are doing it wrong.  But you probably don't want to hear that

Rick_K
Rick_K

I love how you post an obvious falsehood, then disparage others.  What sort of moral message does THAT send?  Is that your Judeo Christian morality talking?

You really need to test the honesty of the reflection in your mirror.

There are many things wrong with our educational system, and we are ALL to blame. Look at the average American waistline - does that look like it belongs to somebody who NEEDS to compete, who needs to study and learn to make a better life for themselves?  There are many things contributing to our decline, and there are answers out there to make it better.  But I assure you that the answer will not be found with people who misrepresent data as you just did, or with people who want to teach Genesis as fact or evolution as fiction.

Lying is not the answer, Catbird.

Old Rockin' Dave
Old Rockin' Dave

If a Christian environment is so essential, why are China and India making such great strides in science and technology? Why are Chinese, South Asians and Jews the highest-scoring students in the US so consistently? Why do the Jews (non-Christian and usually pretty liberal) gobble up Nobel Prizes like Pac Man, and why do Jews excel in so many areas (science, art, music, law, medicine, even sports)? Why aren't most scientists more deeply religious?By the way, the "wall of separation" was Roger William's phrase, coined in 1644 (http://www.wallofseparation.us..., and the Supreme Court first used the phrase back in 1878, quoting Jefferson's use of it.

James Davis
James Davis

That was also the year that oral polio vaccines were developed, and were administered to millions of children here in the US. Coincidence? I think not! Nah... your right. It's was probably boobs.

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