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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Creationists Notch Win in Texas Showdown
27 March 2009 6:04 pm
A seesaw battle between creationists and their opponents in Texas ended this afternoon on a dismal note for scientists and educators. The Texas State Board of Education voted 13–2 to adopt new science standards containing a number of last-minute amendments aimed at weakening the teaching of evolution. The only silver lining for scientists is that the new document does not require teachers to teach the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolutionary theory as was stipulated by the old standards.
Creationists on the board "amended and amended and amended" the draft standards until "they got what they wanted," Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education told ScienceInsider.
The "strengths and weaknesses" language was substituted by a guideline to teach students to
analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations in all fields of science by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.
Creationists also inserted the statement that students be taught to
analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell
Analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life.
That language, Scott points out, comes straight from the intelligent design literature and is aimed at promoting skepticism about evolution.
"What the creationists got was a bunch of heavily compromised standards that will allow them to go to textbook publishers and ask for content for teaching of intelligent design," Scott says. The state is due to consider adopting new textbooks 2 years from now.