I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Name:
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Darwinists cry "wolf" again on evolution education standards

In regard to bad proposed laws or regulations concerning evolution education, the Darwinists have so often cried "wolf" that a lot of people don't believe them when a really bad such proposed law or regulation comes along. The Darwinists cry "wolf" by such tactics as grossly misrepresenting what proposed evolution-education laws or regulations actually say -- as happened with the proposed Ohio and Kansas state standards -- and raising false fears of lawsuits, as happened in Ohio. But this time the wolf is real -- Darwinists are right about a flaw in a New Mexico bill concerning evolution education. The bill says (this is the state Senate bill but there is a companion bill in the state House),

SENATE BILL 371

48th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2007

INTRODUCED BY

Steve Komadina

AN ACT

RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; PROVIDING FOR SCHOOL SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS AND RULES REGARDING THE TEACHING OF THEORIES OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

Section 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:

"[NEW MATERIAL] TEACHING OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS.--

A. The department shall adopt rules that:

(1) give teachers the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory and protect teachers from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so; and

(2) encourage students to critically analyze scientific information, give them the right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins and provide that no student shall be penalized in any way because the student subscribes to a particular position on biological origins.

B. For purposes of this section:

(1) "biological origins" means the origin, history and diversity of life and living organisms; and

(2) "scientific information" means information derived from observation, experimentation and analyses regarding various aspects of the material world conducted to determine the nature of or principles behind the aspects being studied. "Scientific information" does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs or doctrines. Scientific information may have religious or philosophical implications and still be scientific in nature."
(emphasis added)

The bill's section about teachers looks OK -- the problem is with the section about students. The bill specifies that "'scientific information' does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs, or doctrines," but there is no such restriction regarding "biological origins." Thus, under this bill, students' "conclusions about biological origins" and students' "particular position[s] on biological origins" could include religious explanations. So Darwinists are correct in interpreting the bill as meaning that students could write "'because the Bible says so' as an answer on a New Mexico biology test, and they could not be 'penalized in any way.'" But even restricting students to scientific explanations would create problems; for example, this bill would allow a student to state on a test that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a barrier to evolution, but even most creationists now reject that view. Indeed, the student section of this bill could be used to support any answer that a student gives to a test question about biological origins. I think that this section should be scrapped or at least modified. One possibility is the following: requiring that all test questions about biological origins allow two answers -- the answer the teacher wants to see and the answer the student wants to give (if different).

Anyway, this bill is not necessarily unconstitutional just because it is bad. Just as there is no constitutional separation of bad science and state, there is no constitutional separation of bad laws and state (unless a law is unconstitutional, of course).

More information about the controversy over this bill is in this post on Pander's (sic) Thumb.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home