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Education Science Politics

South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards 665

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-just,-like,-your-opinion,-man dept.
Toe, The writes "The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee approved new science standards for students except for one clause: the one that involves the use of the phrase 'natural selection.' Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, argued against teaching natural selection as fact, when he believes there are other theories students deserve to learn. Fair argued South Carolina's students are learning the philosophy of natural selection but teachers are not calling it such. He said the best way for students to learn is for the schools to teach the controversy. Hopefully they're going to teach the controversy of gravity and valence bonds too. After all, they're just theories."
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South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:12PM (#46220345)

    Creationism is not a theory. They can discuss any issues with evolution as it currently stands (and any science course worth its salt will teach any student how to think critically)

  • Re: States Rights (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chef Jesse Kmiec (3533883) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:25PM (#46220571)
    James Madison, the father of both the Constitution and the First Amendment, consistently warned against any attempt to blend endorsement of Christianity into the law of the new nation. "Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions," he wrote in his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments in 1785, "may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?" Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution conspicuously omits any reference to God.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:46PM (#46220925)

    Move evolution to the religion classes because you can't test it

    Except you can. Grad students do it all the time.

    Macro-evolution...micro-evolution...

    ...are entirely meaningless distinctions made only by people who don't know what evolution is and are confused by very long time scales.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:57PM (#46221071)

    How Does the U.S. Compare to Other Countries in STEM Education?

            The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education, and 5th (and declining) in overall global competitiveness
            The United States ranks 27th in developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering
            There are more foreign students studying in U.S. graduate schools than the number of U.S. students [vii] and over 2/3 of the engineers who receive Ph.D.’s from United States universities are not United States citizens

    And the government will wonder why?

  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:01PM (#46221147)

    Up until a few decades there was a controversy around gravity. There were some discrepancies between the current model for gravity and observations. 2 leading hypotheses emerged. One proposed to change the model, Modified Newtonian Dynamics (or MOND), and the other proposed to change the observations, the existence of dark matter. In recent years it seems the dark matter hypothesis has the clear advantage.

    The "controversy of gravity" is not *that* gravity exists, but rather with the correctness of the explanation for gravity as demonstrated by the ability to make accurate predictions. The dark matter hypothesis is currently "winning" because it is making better predictions than MOND in circumstances where the predictions of both models diverge (e.g. galaxy collisions).

    I would also like to point out the difference between the two concepts of "evolution" (*that* life evolves), and "the theory of evolution by natural selection", originally proposed by Charles Darwin and later improved by others which is an explanation of *how* life evolved. There really isn't any controversy regarding "evolution" (*that* it happened). Evolution by natural selection is also on very firm ground, although there are lots of holes to fill in, to improve our understanding of the specifics of evolution by natural selection. Maybe there is some controversy somewhere in the study of evolution, but hypotheses that are unfalsifiable (e.g. creationism, and intelligent design, etc) are not valid as opposing hypotheses in any controversy.

    So we should absolutely *not* "teach the controversy" of evolution in regards to intelligent design, because it is just fabricated. However, we should not attempt the reductio ad absurdum of "teaching the controversy of gravity", given that ther actually *was* a controversy regarding gravity in the recent past, and this controversy probably should have been taught given that it was legitimate.

    Also, gravity is the last of the 4 primary forces yet to be made compatible with quantum mechanics. because of this, our understanding of gravity is currently known to be incomplete. There absolutely is controversy in our understanding of gravity, and I think teaching it would be a great way to show the scientific method in action.

  • by Crimey McBiggles (705157) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:07PM (#46221199)
    No one said anything about "provable" above. You seem confused between "provable" and "testable". Evolution as an origin of species is certainly testable, as we have built models from fossil records into which archaeological findings seem to fit nicely. Intelligent Design is a lost cause from the get-go, as it relies on the absence of evidence to insist upon the point that "you gotta believe" that we were created in our present form, and evolution from ape to human never occurred... because you know... some people find it threatening to think their ancestors might have been apes.
  • Re: States Rights (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:12PM (#46221275)

    Not all Christians believe Genesis as fact.

    Sure, the morons pushing their creationist agenda *happen* to be Christians, but they also probably *happen* to be white. That doesn't say anything about Christians any more than it says something about whites.

    If you want to argue that this creation nonsense is pushing "theism" on people then feel free, but back the fuck off of Jesus. He had as much to say about evolution as he did about homosexuality: Exactly nothing.

  • by evandrofisico (933918) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:37PM (#46221609)
    In the case of the big bang theory, you have some properties of the universe that are predicted by the theory, such as the presence of the background radiation and the uniformity of mass distribution, among others, that are predicted to exist in a universe where a "big bang" occurs. It is a lot like observations from particle accelerators such as the LHC. There are no means to directly measure a many subatomic particles, but you can measure the particles resulting from the expected decays with some confidence, therefore testing aspects of the theory.
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @07:27PM (#46223629)
    Some religious schools teach science, catholics and many protestant denominations. They seem to teach science in their science class and religion in their religion class. This includes teaching evolution and cosmology.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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