Space City Skeptics

The Official Blog of the Houston Skeptic Society

Texas Science Education Hearing Set for Tomorrow…..

with 2 comments

Steve Schafersman, who writes for the evolution blog Evo.Sphere on the website for the Houston Chronicle, will be in Austin tomorrow. He plans to cover in real time, beginning at 9AM, the Texas State Board of Education hearing on the Proposed Draft #2 of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for science, particularly the Biology standards. You can read about it on his blog, or follow the links to the audio feed of the actual testimony at the Texas Education Agency’s website. 

It is unfortunately too late for those interested to register to speak but many rational and science-based citizens of Texas, including Steve Schafersman, will be using their allotted three minutes to raise a voice of concern over wording that opens the door for creationism to be taught in our public schools.

Schafersman, who is also a member of Texas Citizens for Science (TCS) , wrote on November 13th in a release from the TCS that,

“As you can see, slight differences in language and terms can make an enormous difference. If the proper terms and phrases aren’t used, anti-science Creationists will exploit the Texas science standards language and try to damage biology textbooks and biology classroom instruction. We must not let this happen. Otherwise, science education in Texas will suffer and we will not be teaching 21st Century science in the 21st Century.”

I couldn’t have said it any better.

For some balance, and a laugh, here is what the Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin has to say on the matter in a November 14th post about imposing dogmatism in the Texas science standards. It’s part one in a series of three posts on the subject in case you need a humorous distraction from the failing American economy. Luskin appears to be very impressed with the number of total pages contained in the science standards reviews submitted by pro-Intelligent Design reviewers compared to those supporting science and reason in the teaching of our youth, seemingly making some kind of argument ad verbosity (argumentum verbosium?). I haven’t read the reviews but I can imagine that something along the lines of “I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, can’t grasp how humans evolved randomly so we must have been created.” was involved.

On a more positive note, and one that frankly suprised me a little bit considering what state this is, yesterday the Texas Freedom Network released the results of a study which revealed that,

“the Texas science community strongly rejects intelligent design and the so-called “weaknesses” of evolution. Further, a majority of Texas science faculty worry that dumbing down science curriculum is harmful to students’ future prospects for college and 21st-century jobs.”

Now if we can just get the students’ parents on board.

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Written by skepticpedi

November 19, 2008 at 4:18 am

Posted in Evolution, Science

2 Responses

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  1. I read the Discovery Institute post about “Darwinists” trying to enforce their “dogmatism” on high school kids…

    I completely agree with Hillis in that the majority of K-12 students are NOT educated enough to be able to critique current scientific hypotheses. It takes years of undergraduate and graduate studies to fully understand the current scientific consensus, and be able to scientifically and accurately critique it. Granted, there are some weaknesses to evolutionary “theory,” but it is one of the most proven theories out there, which means it’s very close to being considered a “law” of the planet if not the entire universe.

    On another note, it’s funny how Luskin (from the Discovery Institute) thinks that critical thinking is being stifled by prohibiting creationism to be taught as science. Maybe he should critically think about his own dogmatism.

    mike D

    November 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm

  2. His head might explode.

    skepticpedi

    November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm


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