Tag Archives: National Center for Science Education

What Jim West has really been doing today

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Science gets Jim grumpy…

Tennessee’s House Bill 368 was passed on a 9-4 vote, with no testimony or discussion, at the House General Subcommittee of Education meeting on March 16, 2011. A version of the “academic freedom” antievolution bill, HB 368 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” The only examples provided of “controversial” theories are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” (here)

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Robert P. Jones – Science, Religion and Progress

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But will Obama’s call to renewed public investment in scientific research and technology run aground in the choppy seas of religion and science conflicts? Historically, religious and scientific leaders alike have seen these realms in conflict, particularly in modern times. Many observers have thought the rise of science presents religious believers an unavoidable, stark choice: intellectual integrity or intellectual sacrifice. So can America, exceptional still among industrialized nations for its high levels of religiosity, also remain exceptional in the sphere of science?

via Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.: Will Religious Conflicts Threaten the President’s New Science Initiatives?.

He notes that

The data suggests that the new science initiatives should find strong general support among religious Americans as long as they steer clear of the issue of evolution.

Is that possible? We have high profile speakers which regularly dismiss the ‘intellectual elite’ and science, factoring them into those things destroying America.

A while ago, years, I had this discussion on why the teaching of evolution was so important, especially to the lower grades. His reply was that evolution was the foundation of modern thought and that everyone used it as a basis of thinking. I through out a few examples, none of which really answered by his thesis.

That is not to say that evolution shouldn’t be taught (and no, not along side of Creationism), but Jones is correct – if people can be fooled into thinking that no one believes in science anymore, maybe we can use science to progress our nation forward by using science or not science or something.

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