Texas education board approves science standards (Update)

Mar 27, 2009 By APRIL CASTRO , Associated Press Writer
Member Ray Nunez, left, from El Paso, talks with Rick Agosto, right, from San Antonio, during a meeting of the State Board of Education Thursday, March 26, 2009, in Austin, Texas. Texas science teachers will no longer be required to teach weaknesses of scientific theory, including evolution, under new curriculum standards tentatively adopted by the Board Thursday. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

(AP) -- Texas will no longer require educators to teach weaknesses of all scientific theories, including evolution.

The requirements were approved Friday by the State Board of Education in a 13-2 vote adopting new state science curriculum standards that will be in place for the next decade.

In a compromise plan, teachers will be required to have students scrutinze "all sides" of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents.

The vote caps a week of impassioned debate that had scientists, teachers and textbook publishers from around the country focused on Texas.

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Texas science teachers will no longer be required to teach weaknesses of scientific theory, including evolution, under new curriculum standards tentatively adopted by the State Board of Education on Thursday.

Supporters of evolution hailed the vote but were critical of amendments adopted by the board that they said could create new paths to teaching creationism and the similar theory of in public schools.

If given final approval in a vote expected Friday, the new standards will drop a 20-year-old rule that requires both "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories to be taught. Critics say the requirement is used to undermine the in favor of religious teachings.

The new standards, which would be in place for the next decade, govern what appears on standardized tests and material published in textbooks. As one of the largest textbook purchasers in the nation, has significant influence over the content of books marketed across the country.

"Publishers are waiting to hear what to put in their textbooks," said Dan Quinn, a spokesman for the watchdog group Texas Freedom Network.

In approving a handful of amendments Thursday, the board "slammed the door on creationism, then ran around the house opening up all the windows to let it in another way," Quinn said. "We hope the vote tomorrow will reverse a lot of that."

In one amendment, the board agreed to require high school biology students to "analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of to explain the complexity of the cell."

Board member Don McLeroy said his amendment was intended "to account for that amazing complexity. I think it's a standard that makes it honest with our children."

Federal courts have ruled against teaching public schools teaching creationism and intelligent design, which holds that life is so complex that it must have come from an intelligent higher power.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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vlam67
3 / 5 (6) Mar 27, 2009
I don't see anything wrong with it. In the spirit of equality, the Muslim world is pushing the Qranic world view, and the US won't do anything important without invoking their [Christian] God, I say let these fundamentally theocratic states their full reign, and let see how true their religious beliefs fare in shaping or destroying the world. Personally, I think religions are crutches that cavemen used to get out of the...caves, and has reached theirs use by date a long time ago.
LariAnn
2.1 / 5 (13) Mar 27, 2009
This seems like a step in the direction of elevating scientific theories to sacred belief systems that cannot be questioned. True scientists should always question the strengths and weaknesses of any theory, and science students, likewise, should be taught this as part of their education in critical scientific thinking. To teach children to accept a theory blindly just because it is the prevailing or accepted paradigm is tantamount to scientific totalitarianism.
GrayMouser
4.3 / 5 (11) Mar 27, 2009
"Intelligent Design" is not a theory, its a dogma. Theories are testable and falsifiable.
Hatguy
4.3 / 5 (8) Mar 27, 2009
I have no prblem with including the criteria as long as they also ask them to "analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of god, to explain the complexity of his/her existance."
thales
4.1 / 5 (9) Mar 27, 2009
True scientists should always question the strengths and weaknesses of any theory


These are students, not scientists. There is too much information to teach in just a few years to get bogged down in second-guessing every theory. Are we going to have them test the Plum-Pudding model of the atom and then test the modern one? Of course not - it would be a very poor use of their time. They should be taught, "This model is wrong. Who can tell me which poor assumptions led to this faulty conclusion?"



...science students, likewise, should be taught this as part of their education in critical scientific thinking.
As above, "this is wrong, and this is why." I agree that it's good to teach them critical thinking, as long as it is made explicitly clear which is the GOOD thinking and which the BAD. Otherwise they only learn to be uneasy, distrustful, and indecisive. Critical thinking skills are only useful inasmuch as they lead to better decisions.



To teach children to accept a theory blindly just because it is the prevailing or accepted paradigm is tantamount to scientific totalitarianism.




Who suggested teaching blind acceptance? Silly strawman.

Truth
2.2 / 5 (5) Mar 27, 2009
There is nothing inherently wrong with religion. It has a psychological and emotional value primarily in treating "spiritual" wounds. That's why every civilization in history has had some sort of supernatural belief, whether it be Thor the Thunder God, Zeus, Quetzalcoatl or The Great White Spirit in the Sky. To each and every civilization, this was a means to ensure better compliance with the laws of the land. Otherwise, chaos would quite possibly ensue. But that's as far as religion can go. It's root is magical thinking, and hence not quite "real"....but its value as a generally positive force is real. Science is not an emotional or psychological discipline, and hence the two disciplines will always be at odds. And I fervently believe that only when the churches allow an evolutionist to preach Darwin from the pulpit will the public schools be required to teach creationism in the science class. That's the only fair way to do it.
nilbud
2.8 / 5 (4) Mar 27, 2009
Real religions in the real world have no problem with evolution it's just the inbred crazy fundamentalist uneducated religions of the USA which preach the blasphemy that the world is 6000 years old. Even by their own crazy stupid notions they are wrong. Apparently according to their made up nonsense story there is some guy called god who magically shazamed the whole universe out of his sacred nostril. Then there is a book which the god figment magically made by excreting it from the minds of madmen. Apparently there is a contradiction between reality and the book of nonsense and these chuckleheads prefer to believe in a typo than reality. The god botherers seem to think it'll please their imaginary friend if they deny the reality of the entire universe (which magic boy made) in favour of their own misinterpretation of some book. Ha ha ha ha. It'd nearly be fun if this god notion were real to see the special part of Hell he reserves for the idiots who turn their backs on the universe in favour of their own bogus misreading of the bible. They should all be put down.
Szkeptik
4 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2009
Let's hope Texas will slowly inch out of the 18th century and join rhe rest of the developed world in the 21th.
Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2009
The Obamination will slip back into an earlier Century. Let us hope that it's later than the 18 Century.

If an advocate can't argue falsifiability, pro or con, then they should remain silent.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2009
Again atheists (on this board, not in refrence to the article) prove that they would resort to the force of the state to enforce their beliefs on others rather than let all ideas be heard and judged on their own merits in a free and open debate.



Pappa Joe, and Mao would be so proud of all you good little totalitarian robots.



So when do the firing squads and marching people to camps and ovens come...next year? No matter, I'm sure you'll all be there with your marshmallows patting each other on the back at the next book burning party until then.
thales
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2009
Again atheists (on this board, not in refrence to the article) prove that they would resort to the force of the state to enforce their beliefs on others rather than let all ideas be heard and judged on their own merits in a free and open debate.

Pappa Joe, and Mao would be so proud of all you good little totalitarian robots.

So when do the firing squads and marching people to camps and ovens come...next year? No matter, I'm sure you'll all be there with your marshmallows patting each other on the back at the next book burning party until then.


Does this article have something to do with atheists or is it that you can't help exercise your bigot fetish and troll like a moron on every thread you post on?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2009
Actually I was trying to prove a point to you and fell for it in SPADES. After reading your comment on another post I thought you might like to see how it feels to have idiotic bigoted drivel spewed all over the board about your personal beliefs...check the times on each post if you don't believe me.



Quite hysterical that you took the bait too...you're just too easy.



Moron.

El_Nexus
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2009
Think you can tune down the hyperbole and deliberate baiting, Modernmystic? This is a serious science discussion forum. Grow up.
El_Nexus
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2009
I will not dignify that dribble with a response.
Modernmystic
1.1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2009
I will not dignify that dribble with a response.




Good, because this page is filled with enough of that already from you.



Oh and it's DRIVEL genius...not dribble. Dribble is what the teachers had to wipe off the corner of your mouth when you were busy in the corner with the rest of the kids who couldn't manage to color in the lines either.
El_Nexus
3 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2009
Oh yeah, well done on finding every post I ever made and rating it 1. Real mature.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2009
NP thanks for giving me another...

Now run back to wiping that dribble off your mouth *snicker*
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2009
"Intelligent Design" is not a theory, its a dogma. Theories are testable and falsifiable.


What if someone was talking about a race of aliens instead of "God"? Presto, you have a falsifiable theory.

Sorry you're bias is clear, it's quite safe to disregard anything you have to say on the subject from here on out...
thorn
4 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2009
American education is becoming a real joke thanks to politics and adult meddling. Here in Canada we're right behind you. However would we really want kids growing up smart enough to know just how much we're screwing them. They might just ask or force all of the rest of us jackasses to leave.
Suzu
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2009
"Intelligent Design" is not a theory, its a dogma. Theories are testable and falsifiable.








What if someone was talking about a race of aliens instead of "God"? Presto, you have a falsifiable theory.







Sorry you're bias is clear, it's quite safe to disregard anything you have to say on the subject from here on out...






You are a brain dead moron.
theEXxman
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2009
The problem is basically that since the renaissance religion(christianity) has had to modify it's beliefs in order to be in line with science and not the other way around. ID and creationism is an attempt by religious leaders to draw us, the public, back into their fold and back into their elaborate "con game". They seem to forget about the real reason this country was created in the first place, and the real reason why we have the first admendment in the first place. Why we have seperation of church and state. "* First Amendment %u2013 Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, Freedom of Religion, and of assembly; right to petition

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "

It's a con game, an elaborate myth created by old diseased men to keep us permantly believing if we make the slightest mistake we're going to hell. To keep our noses permantly implanted on the altar bench. They want us to believe even in our own history that every founding father was a tried and true believer believed in god and gave 10% of there income on Sunday's and didn't drink or smoke tobacco. It's revisionist history and I'm sick of it. Our founding father's had a wide range of diverse beliefs and some didn't even believe in god at all. That's why this country was created and why we have the first admendment "FIRST" Like I said anything different is an attempt by the religious right to write(pun can be intended if you will) revisionist history. "I say let these fundamentally theocratic states their full reign, and let see how true their religious beliefs fare in shaping or destroying the world." This has already happened in history why Rome fell and why we had the crusades and inquistions and why the founding fathers fled europe and england because of religious persecution.
DonR
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2009
"...In a compromise plan, teachers will be required to have students scrutinze "all sides" of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents..."



That's awesome. Now, whenever I submit an essay at any school in Texas, regarding evolution and its scientific rigour, I can wax poetic about it for as long as I like and make the last sentence of the essay;



"The creationist proposition supplies no evidence and thus does not deserve scrutiny".
k_m
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2009
... the real reason why we have the first admendment in the first place. Why we have seperation of church and state. "* First Amendment %u2013 Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, Freedom of Religion, and of assembly; right to petition

And for the record, I am not a religious man. You can believe what you want, as can everyone else.













Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. " ....




I thought the Constitution of the United States of America applied to the Federal Government and its operation? Perhaps you should read it again and then contemplate, compare and contrast the meanings of the words and phrases "Congress", "School Board", "law", "establishment of religion" and "curriculum standards".



austux
not rated yet Apr 02, 2009
The practical reality of such amendments would be to force all education consideration to bow to one religion -- Atheism -- which is unique in _requiring_ believers to have invariant faith in being an unending chain of accidents shaped by some mysterious cunning intrinsic to nature but expressly forbidden from being labelled "intelligent."

Never mind enormous quantities of "impossible" evidence to the contrary like quantised extra-galactic red-shifts or the polarity-sensitive UV vision of the Mantis Shrimp.
bmcghie
not rated yet Apr 05, 2009
^ I like how you added the quotations around your use of impossible. Saves us the time of pointing that out. Just because YOU can't see a series of small changes that might give rise to a structure does NOT mean that it must have been created by an all-mighty being. Sheesh, the arrogance of you people, to assume that an all-powerful being would even give the slightest bit of crap about you blips.
nilbud
1 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2009
Maybe once they accept jebus into their hearts the real problem is it prevents any further education of any kind. Their cults are based on not going anywhere near any kind of knowledge. Independent thought is condemned again and again throughout their fairytales book. Believing a pack of lies must be exhausting and the guilt of all the lies they tell to themselves and others must get to them even if they are a bunch of psychotics. Still there's no telling with these silly magical thinking types.
They must think by attacking knowledge and truth they can get rid of it and return to the ideal gullible moronic state where figments of the imagination are as real as anything else and spirits and spells and sacrifices to their jesus god are all the rage.
These twisted lying freaks have to be stopped, they've wasted resources and generations for too long. They are the enemies of truth and pedlars of lies and deception.
zilqarneyn
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2009
Actually, evolutionism is a religion, accordingly, we need not discuss evolution in science classes, at all.

Appropriately discussable in the religious context,
http://www.i-slam...nsky.htm
http://www.i-slam...nsky.htm
nilbud
1 / 5 (1) Apr 21, 2009
Actually, evolutionism is a religion, accordingly, we need not discuss evolution in science classes, at all.


Actually evolution is the process of adaptation to change which is seen in the world all around us. It's not a religion for the following reasons
a) It's true

Religion is a massive waste of time perpetrated by liars and morons.

I hope your tax returns aren't as false as your beliefs, can you add?
zilqarneyn
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2009
@nilbud subscribes to the evolutionist faith, which looks to him/her as if fact? Omnipotent evolution?

The links that I have just listed, suffice to point out that evolution would count in the lieful category.

Evolutionists fool their followers, with pretenses of facticity. Fallacies abound.
http://www.i-slam...nsky.htm
http://www.i-slam...nsky.htm

(BTW, while I'm to publish another article (next time, to debunk NAS/Ayala propaganda), a teaser is that, they take the fossils in the rock strata, as evidence for evolution. They neglect that, there is no continuity there, exactly in that rock records. Have species taken a leave, to do their punctuation-there-to-find-the-equilibrium-from-elsewhere? :-)) That was their "best evidence?" So far about evolutionism.)

Besides, after all that, the question will return to debunk the NAS point. That is, if evolution is so baseless, then how could they be so insistent to have that "understood" as if the sine-qua-non of the science class. If that were so, then upon debunking the evolutionism, are we to get rid of all of their scientific findings, too?

(Hint: They were lieful with their habit of appending evolutionistic stories, to scientific findings. Thus, trimming will suffice. Science will be better, without evolutionism.)
nilbud
1 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
Look some kind of ape is making up it's own lines. Oh aren't you brave. You can barely grasp language and there you are trying to construct sentences and tell a lie big enough to summon christ wearing a magic hat. This is so good we'll put it on the refrigirator so everyone can see.

BTW
Lieful, not a word
Facticity, not a word
"exactly in that rock records", not a valid construction
"sine-qua-non", has been deemed an unsafe sexual practice by the surgeon general


You, by your very existence, cast more doubt over Evolution than any argument I've ever encountered. Keep up the workageitude.
zilqarneyn
not rated yet Jun 05, 2009
In what sense "lieful" or "facticity" would not count as "word?" That is your pickiness to oppose people's grammar, to escape the case. Valid, widely known suffixes, after valid, widely known words. If you fail to understand such, how do you talk? Are you a bot driven by pure vocabulary look-up?



What is the construction rule for your new word "workageitude" ? Trying to be funny? You are there.





I love Jesus (a.s.), but as a muslim. (I'm not christian.)

http://www.imame....esus.htm







By the way, the profanity of nilbud is his/her trouble.

In response, though, maybe I should not have written that word "lieful" because that is the faith of evolutionists. Maybe, they truly believe in what they fancy. (But I'm justifiable (if I would like to), because evolutionists commit such an array of fallacies (in the name of (supposedly) "fact"), that, how might I know whether they truly lie constantly or stupid somehow?)