Whats at Stake

From Red State Rabble concerning revisions to science teaching:

Here are excerpts from their proposed revisions

“Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building, to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena. Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us. Science does so through the use of observation, experimentation, and logical argument while maintaining strict empirical standards and healthy skepticism.” (Words highlighted in blue are maked for deletion in the revised draft submitted by minority — all supporters of Intelligent Design Theory)

They go on to explain that:

“The principle change here is to replace a naturalistic definition of science with a traditional definition. The current definition of science is intended to reflect a concept called methodological naturalism, which irrefutably assumes that cause-and-effect laws (as of physics and chemistry) are adequate to account for all phenomena and that teleological or design conceptions of nature are invalid.”

What’s all the fuss about? Well, all they want to do is take the science out of science classes. If you read their revisions carefully, you’ll see that they don’t just want an alternative (teleological) explanation for evolution taught in biology. They now challenge the naturalistic explanation for what happens when students add aqueous ammonia to a beaker containing a few drops of aqueous copper sulfate in chemistry class. Maybe, it wasn’t the chemical properties that turned the solution blue, maybe it was God or some unknown designer. The danger is that while they didn’t win over many members of the science standards writing committee, who, by and large, are scientists and educators, they do have a majority on the board.

Why post about Kansas? Consider the following HB 35. The fill text of which is:

To amend chapter 170, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to biology textbooks.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Chapter 170, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 170.032, to read as follows:

170.032. All biology textbooks sold to the public schools of the state of Missouri shall have one or more chapters containing a critical analysis of origins. The chapters shall convey the distinction between data and testable theories of science and philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy, such as biological evolution, the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.

I urge you to write your state representive and recommend they vote against this bill. If you don’t know your rep go Here . As far as I have been able to determine the Missouri Senate does not have a similar bill.

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