Making sure children are scientifically illiterate

(via Tingilinde)

This just in – some scientists really dislike the way creationists handle the evolution issue.  I mean, what with the attempts to get evolution removed from science books and the push to get His noodly appendagecreationism-is-science put in science books under the guise of intelligent design, some scientists get rather bothered by the whole fight and the wrongheadedness they feel the creationists show.  Take for example, this writing by Lawrence M. Krauss about the recent school board elections and evolution vs. creationism/intelligent design debate.

Voters in Kansas ensured this month that noncreationist moderates will once again have a majority (6 to 4) on the state school board, keeping new standards inspired by intelligent design from taking effect.

This is a victory for public education and sends a message nationwide about the public’s ability to see through efforts by groups like the Discovery Institute to misrepresent science in the schools. But for those of us who are interested in improving science education, any celebration should be muted.

. . .

But perhaps more worrisome than a political movement against science is plain old ignorance. The people determining the curriculum of our children in many states remain scientifically illiterate. And Kansas is a good case in point.

The chairman of the school board, Dr. Steve Abrams, a veterinarian, is not merely a strict creationist. He has openly stated that he believes that God created the universe 6,500 years ago, although he was quoted in The New York Times this month as saying that his personal faith “doesn’t have anything to do with science.”

“I can separate them,” he continued, adding, “My personal views of Scripture have no room in the science classroom.”

A key concern should not be whether Dr. Abrams’s religious views have a place in the classroom, but rather how someone whose religious views require a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge can be chairman of a state school board.

I have recently been criticized by some for strenuously objecting in print to what I believe are scientifically inappropriate attempts by some scientists to discredit the religious faith of others. However, the age of the earth, and the universe, is no more a matter of religious faith than is the question of whether or not the earth is flat.

Read the whole thing to see if you pick up just a bit of the hostility I think is there.  And join the debate – which is right, creationism/intelligent design or evolution?  Or maybe it’s something else, like Pastafarianism.

[tags]Creationism vs. Evolution, Intelligent design hackery?, His noodly appendage, Some scientists dislike creationists[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Making sure children are scientifically illiterate”

  1. I think that all options should be taught to children but not necessarily in the “science” room. Kids in school have the right to learn about all of the options available for them to learn about. I believe that they should be able to take in as much knowledge as possible. Even though they are in pulbic schools and arent supposed to be learning about religion, intelligent design isnt talking about a specific religion or a specific god so i dont see a problem in it being taught. Kids should know what is going on in the world and what people are exploring and in order to keep them that way they should be taught everything.

  2. My problem is not that Intelligent Design is religion but rather that Intelligent Design is taught as science. And I just don’t see ID as valid science any more than Pastafarianism is science.


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