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.

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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.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Evolution education abroad is not what it is cracked up to be

Darwinists in the USA are propagandizing a myth that students in foreign countries are getting thorough educations in evolution and are therefore leaving American students behind in the dust. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A previous article in this blog exploded the myth that American students are not getting a lot of evolution education.

An article about evolution education in Canada said,

In all but one provincial science curriculum, evolution is relegated to a single unit in a Grade 11 or 12 elective course taken by a sliver of each graduating class. It would not be a stretch to say the majority of Canadian high school students graduate without ever encountering Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

Only Quebec, which rolled out a new curriculum in 2004, includes evolution among key concepts in elementary school science classes and mandates a full unit of evolution in a compulsory Grade 7-8 science class. . . . .

Though Canadians have never pitted evolution against creationism in a court of law, we are squeamish about advancing evolution as part of the national education agenda. We look south of the border and want no part of the extremism that a confrontation over evolution inevitably generates.

“The whole discussion has been so tremendously skewed by a whole lot of raving idiots,” says Rev. Paul Fayter, a United Church minister and professor of science and religion at York University in Toronto, who advocates thinking “non-dogmatically” about origins. He’s as comfortable with a copy of the Bible as he is with Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

So is Denis Lamoureux, a devout evangelical Christian and confirmed evolutionist who teaches science and religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta. “So how are we going to teach biology?” he asks. “Teach the science as metaphysically free as possible. In other words, keep God out of it, keep the atheistic world view out of it.”

I wholeheartedly agree. When I first became interested in the evolution controversy, I wanted to keep religion out of the discussion, but the Darwinists insisted on making religion an issue.

Also, the article describes how McGill University professor Brian Alters, who was a plaintiffs' expert witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, got his comeuppance:
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Returning from Dover, Penn., in December 2005, Brian Alters must have felt vindicated. As an expert witness in a widely publicized court case, Alters, a professor of evolution education at McGill University, helped persuade a judge that intelligent design (ID) — the idea that the complexity of certain natural phenomena is proof of a supernatural designer — was not a scientific theory, but “a religious view, a mere relabelling of creationism,” and that it had no place in Dover’s science classrooms . . . . .

Little did Alters know he would return to McGill’s Evolution Education Research Centre to find himself embroiled in a similar dispute. This time, the opposition was not a school board but a federal agency, the second-biggest grant-making institution in Canada, which declined funding for the evolution centre’s proposed study aimed at discovering what inroads ID had made in Canadian schools.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council said the review committee couldn’t find “adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent design theory, was correct.”

LOL. Serves him right, the jerk. What goes around, comes around.

Also, the article says,

In the past decade, a sophisticated and well-funded attack on science curricula induced school boards in at least eight U.S. states to roll back the teaching of evolutionary biology.

On the contrary, this map chart shows that several states added or strengthened coverage of evolution in their science standards in the period 2000-2008 and that no states weakened or eliminated such coverage in that period. The map also shows that in 2008 the science standards of the overwhelming majority of states "treat evolution straightforwardly and/or thoroughly" and that no state science standards do not mention biological evolution at all (Iowa does not count because it does not have its own science standards) -- science standards in the remainder, eight states that are all in the Bible Belt except Illinois, mention biological evolution "briefly, unclearly." It is noteworthy that the sources for this map chart are the National Center for Science Education and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, two organizations which would be expected to be extremely stingy about giving state science standards credit for treating biological evolution "straightforwardly and/or thoroughly." Efforts to add critical analysis of evolution are often misinterpreted as efforts to reduce or eliminate the teaching of evolution.

Articles about evolution education in other foreign countries are listed under the "Evolution controversy abroad" and "Evolution controversy abroad (new #1)" post labels (these post labels are also listed in the sidebar).
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1 Comments:

Blogger William Wallace said...

Outstanding article. The quality of "I'm from Missouri" articles is getting better every day. Keep it up, Larry.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 10:10:00 PM  

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