Reminder: The Great Texas 3-Man Tag-Team Death Match is coming on Jan. 21
"The Mad Scientists" tag-team
The match has also been called the "Great Texas Kangaroo Smackdown" by "Stupid Steven" Schafersman.
And the announcer says,
In this corner we have "The Mad Scientists" tag-team - - - - - - and in this corner we have "The Fabulous Fundies" tag-team.
Information about the hearing -- including information on how to register to speak -- is here. If you have just a dial-up connection instead of broadband and want to listen to the testimony, you should listen to the live broadcast because you may not be able to listen continuously to the archived audio files.
BTW, I was surprised to learn that the Texas death match really did originate in Texas, according to this source. Previously I thought that they just gave it the name "Texas" because Texas has been regarded as the land of showdowns ever since the Alamo.
The big issue is going to be whether to retain the phrase "strengths and weaknesses" that has been in the Texas science standards for about 20 years (or maybe whether to replace it with the phrase "strengths and limitations"). There is no reason to defer to scientists' opinions about that issue -- that is not an issue that requires any scientific expertise.
Again, here is a summary of my positions on the "strengths and weaknesses" issue:
I have proposed changing the phrase "strengths and weaknesses" to "strengths and criticisms." "Criticisms" is a general, neutral term covering limitations, real weaknesses, invalid criticisms, criticisms of whole theories, and criticisms of imperfections in theories. IMO the term "weaknesses" is bad because invalid criticisms are not real weaknesses.
Teaching criticisms of evolution -- even pseudoscientific criticisms -- serves the following purposes: broadening students' education, encouraging critical thinking, increasing student interest, helping students learn the material, helping to prevent or correct misconceptions, and helping to assure that technically sophisticated criticisms of evolution are taught be qualified science teachers.
Omitting the terms "weaknesses," "limitations," "criticisms," and similar terms would not positively prevent the selection of textbooks containing criticisms of evolution.
Labels: Texas controversy (new #1)