Tennessee science
Posted: 11 April 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So sad… LINK

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Posted: 11 April 2012 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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(c) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public- 2 -  00242666
elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist
teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses
scientific controversies.  Toward this end
, teachers shall be permitted to help students
understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths
and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being
taught.

Too bad there is no controversy in the scientific community about evolution or AGW, making this (bolded part) a non sequitur.

(d) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary
school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any
public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any
teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand,
analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific
weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.

I’m not sure how teaching the weaknesses of scientific theories that are accepted by scientific consensus could be done “objectively”, if by “objective” they mean “unbiased”.

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“What people do is they confuse cynicism with skepticism. Cynicism is ‘you can’t change anything, everything sucks, there’s no point to anything.’ Skepticism is, ‘well, I’m not so sure.’” -Bill Nye

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Posted: 25 April 2012 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The anti-science-mobile

“... and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.”

Well, the skeptics realize that this law is in the context of the Creationists’ thinly veiled attempts to teach Creationism, such as “teaching the controversy” which tries to conflate scientific controversy with political controversy.  Luckily, the courts are also skeptical.  smile  Why would we need a law to teach science in the first place?  Are there any laws about teaching social studies, about math, about art?

“... assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies.”

Here I suspect that TN and the Creationists are trying to frame their view-point as scientific, when really they are religious and political controversies and not science.

“e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.”

Finally, the law explicitly divorces itself from not just religious but also non-religious doctrine.  Non-religious doctrine, what could they be referring to there, I wonder?  hmmm  Evolution is not doctrine, it is scientific theory.

Historically, it was in July 1925 that, the ACLU, convinced a part-time teacher, John Thomas Scopes, to do a little civil disobedience against an unconstitutional state law that criminalized the teaching of Evolution in schools.  The ACLU wanted to test the law in court so that the law would be struck down on Constitutional grounds, and during the famous trial called the “Monkey Trial”, the teacher was convicted according to the plan and the TN law.  But the ACLU never got their day in the Supreme Court, Scopes wasn’t willing to take it that far, the pressure that the religious extremists must have imposed on him must have been great. 

The unconstitutional law stood for 42 years.

“May 17, 1967 – Tennessee repeals the Butler Act, the law that banned the teaching of evolution in public schools.”

Good for TN!  smile

PBS: Time-line of the Tennessee v. Scopes in Daton, TN.

I wonder if the repealed Butler act, any of the other cases cited in the time-line, or Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board et al. has any legal bearing here?

Clarence Seward Darrow—University of Missouri-Kansas City

“1967 – John Scopes publishes Center of the Storm, his memoir of the trial.”

“The Story of My Life”—Clarence Darrow

“Clarence Darrow Closing Arguments—On Religion, Law, and Society”

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Posted: 25 April 2012 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Like the car… Creationism and God Bless America. I smell a redneck.  wink

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Posted: 25 April 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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domokato - 11 April 2012 10:48 AM

helping students understand,
analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific
weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.

to teach <12 grade students to judge experts   ????????
What chutzpah


What goes on in the minds/hearts of these people that dream up this crazy stuff ?

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Posted: 26 April 2012 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I can’t believve that Tennessee’s stepping back into 1925 again after Darrow beat the stuffings out of William Jennings Bryan over the whole antievolution law. That’s what the students should be studying, the trial and the issues presented therein. Darrow turned all of Bryan’s arguments back by using biblical quotes: Jonah and the whale as an ex. Maybe the State would like to buy a used creationist museum to display their ignorant, pseudoscientific curriculum. At least the students could get their pictures made riding the dinosaur.

http://www.newser.com/story/143806/tennessees-anti-evolution-bill-to-become-law.html


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 26 April 2012 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree. It’s a reminder that reason has to be continuously fought for. It is never a given. Even among the “reasonable” there creeps godheads and G~O#D&*&!^#@(& and other sillies tongue rolleye

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Posted: 26 April 2012 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I agree. It’s a reminder that reason has to be continuously fought for. It is never a given. Even among the “reasonable” there creeps godheads and G~O#D&*&!^#@(& and other sillies

Which is why I view this site as an island of sanity in a sea of thoughtless ignorance. How can politicians even think that promoting faith over science will benefit their constituents in any way? I hate (and that’s a pretty strong term for me) any curriculum that focuses on teaching kids WHAT to think (i.e. political, religious doctrine) as opposed to HOW to think. We fought book bannig in the 70’s because conservative groups deemed teaching human sexual behavior and even evolution was inappropriate, and now creationism is back to haunt us. When will this end? Intelligent and discerning people live in the south; good people who care about their children’s education; they need to stand up and fight this attack on free thought.


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Posted: 26 April 2012 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 26 April 2012 09:06 AM

I hate (and that’s a pretty strong term for me) any curriculum that focuses on teaching kids WHAT to think (i.e. political, religious doctrine) as opposed to HOW to think.

This becomes more true as we advance more into the information age (or post-information age). Information is easily available to everyone; most teenagers carry around in their pockets access to more information than could have been conceived a few decades ago. The problem of education is not transferring information; it should be teaching the skills necessary to find quality information and apply rational means to decide what is useful and critical thinking skills to integrate the knowledge.

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Posted: 26 April 2012 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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This becomes more true as we advance more into the information age (or post-information age). Information is easily available to everyone; most teenagers carry around in their pockets access to more information than could have been conceived a few decades ago. The problem of education is not transferring information; it should be teaching the skills necessary to find quality information and apply rational means to decide what is useful and critical thinking skills to integrate the knowledge

True but the bottleneck occurs when those in authority either have their hands tied by legislation forcing them to open the doors to restrictive thinking such as equal time for creationism, or from those teachers who are undertrained, conservative and convinced that this is for the “good” of their students. Kids are usually very trusting of authority figures in their community and local churches actively recruit them with promises of activities and atheletics and back the con. view of pseudoscience. Even with the latest electronic devices it’s an uphill fight with some sources completely forbidden or blocked, ex. FFRF. Our site mgr. blocks it out. Incredibly CFI isn’t!


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Posted: 26 April 2012 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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OK, I read it.

It just comes across as a bunch of vague generalisations to me that mention thinking and science.

I would think that any thinking politician would regard it as a waste of paper.

Wait, is “thinking politician” an oxymoron?

psik

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Posted: 30 April 2012 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The best thing Humanists in TN can do is AGREE with them and EXPAND the program.  Here’s a little conversation to illustrate:

Q: Is this legislation designed to force religion on students?
A: Of course not! It’s to present all the possibilities.

Q: Is America the melting pot great because of its diversity?
A: Absolutely, god bless America!

Q: So we should include ALL Creation theories, including Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Wiccan, etc. Wonderful, we’re in agreement!
A: Hold on there a minute.  That’s not what we meant?

Q: So this IS an attempt to foist only YOUR religion on others?
A: Well, uh, um. No.

Q: Great, then you won’t mind including other…. 
ETC…

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Posted: 30 April 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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CuthbertJ, your argument makes perfect sense and is quite logical. Which is why it doesn’t stand a chance. When faced with this line of reasoning, the fundies always fall back on the false “christian nation” doctrine, placing their religion above all others.

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Posted: 30 April 2012 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Actually something like this was done successfully in Indiana I believe. At the very least it exposes them for what they are.

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Posted: 30 April 2012 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The language of the law is relatively innocuous (also unneeded), but of course it is in its application that things will become difficult.

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