There’s an academic freedom bill being debated in Louisiana now too. Apparently, the first draft of the bill had language about suppression of evolution, while the second draft is more aimed at establishing critical thinking skills in students. I couldn’t agree more with the direction this bill has taken. We shouldn’t censor evolution, censorship is what the Dawkinsists do. We need to expand the knowledge base of our students and teach them to think about the pros and cons of scientific theories and not just dogma.
Category Archives: ID/evolution in Education
The academic freedom bill has been debated, and it came out pretty well in spite of the anti-ID sentiment from some members of the Senate.
Florida has pushed the academic freedom bill through both senate committees now. All that remains is for the full senate to vote on it. This is a good thing for the students of Florida!
A legislator in MIssouri is standing up for academic freedom and has put forth a bill to preserve it. The title says it all, in that this legislator is open to debate and willing to discuss the issues instead of simply shouting down the opposition as the Dawkinsists do.
Rep. Wayne Cooper, R-Camdenton, introduced legislation Tuesday that would give teachers academic freedom to offer alternative evidence to Charles Darwin’s 19th century theory of evolution.
“I believe what is packaged and sold under the label of science is not science, but is people’s personal world view,” Cooper said…
And, he’s right. It seems that more and more people are waking up to this realization, and that’s a good thing.
I wanted to highlight the differences between the proponents of academic freedom and the opponents and I found a couple op-eds that illuminate the differences quite nicely. First, the opponents of academic freedom:
The “Academic Freedom Act” is an insult to principals, who will see their autonomy over school functions further diluted if the bill becomes law. Unlike most managers in the private sector, public-school principals are not allowed to exercise authority over their schools and their staffs. They cannot, for example, hire and fire employees – a basic management tool – without bearing sundry red-tape encumbrances.
This bill only adds more of that red tape.
So, we should muzzle our teachers so that principals will be able to more easily fire them if they don’t toe the Dawkinsist line. That doesn’t seem like a compelling reason.
Here’s another disturbing piece of the “Academic Freedom Act”: Students may not be penalized in any way for subscribing “to a particular position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution.” So when little Johnny receives an “F” for an essay in which he has proclaimed the earth was created in a week, little Johnny’s teacher better watch out – the lawyers are coming.
Aside from the obvious fear-mongering that is again on display here, this is a wholly inaccurate protrayal of the bill. If little Johnny can not back up proclamations in his essay using science, the teacher is – even under this bill – more than justified in giving a failing grade. But, if Johnny can back up his proclamations, why should it merit a failing grade? It should perhaps open a door to a deeper discussion of science, which would help the class appreciate science all the more, because it would be interesting and not simply rote recitals of materialist pogroms.
To quote Dr. Francis Grubbs, Ph.D., education consultant to Gibbs Law Firm, from the memorandum he wrote to the FDOE: “There is no attempt to differentiate between what is a validated theory and what is still a hypothesis. However, there seems to be a deliberate attempt to introduce the term and formulate a concept within the developing minds of students so they will never consider the differences between the verifiable concepts of ‘microevolution’ and the unverified understandings of ‘macroevolution.'”
Allowing teachers to dig deeper into the science – as this bill does – would allow us to give the students a better understanding of the delineations between concepts such as micro and macroevolution.
Similarly, one sixth-grade standard begins with, “The scientific theory of the evolution of Earth states …” Evolution of Earth? Where was Darwin on this? I thought evolution had to do changes in living things!
Good point. Evolution has nothing to do with the evolution of the Earth as Darwinists remind us every time the origin of life is brought up, yet they have no trouble with claiming the evolution of the Earth or other things outside of the proper theory when it suits their cause.
I can’t help but wonder what it is that fuels the vitriol when someone challenges the “theory of evolution.”
Decibel levels go up and intellectual pursuit goes down. The clamor to drown out debate of the evolution portion of Florida’s new science standards is typical of political campaigns, not rational discussions of curriculum guidelines.
OK, that’s not a point, but it’s a good observation, and one that follows to the last point:
The sole purpose of the Academic Freedom Act that Storms introduced is to protect teachers and students from persecution if their investigation of evolution leads them to conclusions that differ with the “party line” as it’s stated in the standards.
Yet, those who are using the authority of the Florida Department of Education to impose the religion of evolution are railing against Storms and claiming she is using her position to introduce religious teaching into the classroom when that’s exactly what they are doing!
“Projecting” is the name a psychologist would use for this dissembling by the Darwinists.
It’s sad that we need to protect teachers that don’t observe the Darwinist theology, but it has become necessary. And, make no mistake, a theology it is. The observations of this author are the same observations that many have made, and they point to an irrational defense of a closely held belief, which is what Darwinism has become. This isn’t about science, it’s about a specific theology trying to gain control over the minds of students.
And I think that’s game, set, match to the pro-bill position – the position for academic freedom.
A lot of folks are anticipating that the evolution wars are bound to spring up in Texas next, which is an important battleground since Texas is the state that drives textbook sales. I’m glad that Texas has clear thinkers on their board of education like Cynthia Dunbar.
“What we want is for our students to be taught critical thinking skills, to be taught the scientific method,” Dunbar explained to CBN News. “And what rises to the level of being deemed a theory — teach the strengths and weaknesses of any and every theory.”
Dunbar says evolution needs to be seen for what it largely is — almost a religion of nature — cloaked in science.
“What you have is a belief system that’s based upon faith that’s being taught and mandated to be taught without exception,” she said. “And students are not allowed to even be able to think about these issues.”
Right on. There’s also some from Dembski:
In the future, parents want ID taught fairly unlike current offerings.
“There are some textbooks which give maybe two paragraphs on it,” said Dr. William Dembski. “And they misrepresent it. So they will characterize it as creationism and then trash it.”
Dembski is a Texas parent and an expert on ID. He says evolution maintains its power not because it’s valid, but because it’s an entrenched bureaucracy.
“They can’t afford, as it were, to think outside the box,” he explained. “Because once they allow that intelligent design is a legitimate scientific project they’re sunk, because then they have to consider the evidence for and against evolutionary theory.”
Also, to Berlinski’s point, evolution is a mishmash that is not well defined. Most proponents think that everything is explained by evolution, so whatever happens, they take those results and extrapolate back to somehow include evolution, which is the cart leading the horse. It is exactly what they accuse others of doing in criticizing evolution. As the article points out, “Most scientists say evolution has no weaknesses.” This is because they’ve built their entire worldview around it making it an imperative that it be right and not display weakness. This isn’t science, it’s religion masquerading as science.
I thought this article was interesting and thought you might too.
”The strategy is this: Let’s call Intelligent Design scientific information, and let’s make sure that teachers can teach that scientific information,” Simon said, adding that his organization would sue if the bill became law and teachers began proselytizing in class.
Yes, how dare those ID science proponents do science and want teachers to be allowed to present science in science class instead of dogmatic Darwinian materialism! Boo! Hiss!
But, seriously, I would support Simon if teachers started proselytizing, because I don’t think it has a place in the classroom either. I fail to see what it has to do with the science of ID, except for the usual straw man argument that Dawkinsists always use without even a hint of the irony involved. I guess that’s what happens when you have such a strong attachment to a dogmatic worldview that will admit no dissent.