Wednesday, October 1, 2008

There may be hope for Texas yet...

I'll admit that I've never thought much of Texas. Perhaps that stems from the 6 weeks I spent in San Antonio back in the late summer of '86. Air Force Basic Training...admittedly a joke compared to that of the Army and even more so when compared to a stint on Paris island training to become a US Marine. But the heat and the pure desolation of that region pretty much spoiled the state for me and I was only too happy to leave and I've never returned. Barring a forced professional trip to Houston, I have no desire to revisit the Lone Star State. I am unashamedly of the opinion that we'll never have to worry about Mexico sliding away so long as Texas still sucks.

That opinion has NOT been bettered by the state school board attempt to wedge creationism Intelligent Design, a NON-SCIENCE BASED hare-brained scheme, into the science curriculum. The rest of the civilized world must think Americans are insane!

However, it seems that the more sensible and rational members of the Texas community have finally rallied to oppose those who would dumb-down science education and effectively reduce the scientific literacy of Texas students to the equivalent of a student body from a third world country. The 21st Century Science Coalition writes:
"The 21st-Century Science Coalition is putting politicians on notice that the science community in Texas will accept nothing less than the best education for our kids. We will not allow politics and ideology to handicap the future of our children with a 19th-century education in their 21st-century classrooms."
The battle has been joined! Reason, rationality and common sense may yet prevail in Texas.

If I seem a bit snarky in this rant it is only because this is an issue very close to my conscience.



Anonymous said...

"the science community in Texas will accept nothing less than the best education for our kids."

Which "our" are they talking about? Their own kids? Or their kids AND my kids, if I lived in Texas? If they really mean it, then they'll put their money where there mouth is. They'll start their own private schools to teach what they want, to the kids of the parents that agree with them.

And, BTW, I say the same thing to the other side of this issue, or any issues about public education.

If all schools were private, then all PARENTS would be in charge of their own children's education, instead of turning these decisions over to the state, and then trying to force their particular view of the world on all kids.

ed said...

I am not sure that this debate about teaching ID in science class has focused on the right questions. This may be why the majority of the American public appear to support teaching ID and creationism in science class.

What is Science - it's a process.

What do you teach in science class - theories that will help students learn how this process works. How to subject evidence to test and experiments to determine if it is valid.

It is not important, or perhaps even relevant, that students believe a theory is correct. It is only important to learn how to test theories using the "scientific" process.

I am not aware that any proponent of ID, or creationism, has submitted their supporting evidence for critical peer review. Until the do, and it passes this test, it should not be taught in science class.

The evidence supporting evolution has passed this test. By studying this theory students learn how the process of science works. That is way is can be taught in science class.

Anonymous said...

Go Texas 21st-Century Science Coalition! w00t!

That should stop the rest of the world from thinking that Americans are insane...OK maybe not. :) It's a good start though.