Critical thinking, teaching the controversy, and unproven belief roundup

Louisiana: On January 13, 2009, Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education passed a policy that gives teachers more leeway to use materials outside of the science textbooks. Supporters say this would foster critical thinking in students, critics says that this is merely a guise for permitting creationism in classrooms.
Crack the code: how “critical thinking” is used to support creationism.

On the futility of knowledge

Doonesbury: On the futility of knowledge

Oklahoma: The National Center for Science Education reports on a proposed OK bill which “would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to ‘assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies’.” You can read the bill here (scroll after article).
Crack the code
: how “teaching the controversy” is used to support creationism.

Mississippi: A House bill in Mississippi was proposed on January 6, 2009 which would require a warning sticker on any books with any information about evolution. The complete text of the proposed warning label follows*:

The word “theory” has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered a theory.

Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

Study hard and keep an open mind.

Crack the code: how “unproven belief” is used to support creationism.

* Who could resist?

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