2017 Texas Streamlining Science Standards Verdict

Removed or Kept? Kept!

2009 Science Standards

7 (B) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record;

7 (G) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.

9 (D) 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.

2016 Streamlining Committee Recommendations

(Complete Removal)

7 (B) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record; 

7 (G) analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell. 

9 (D) 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.

2017 Science Standards

7 (B) examine scientific explanations of abrupt appearance and stasis in the fossil record;

4 (A) “compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including their complexity, and compare and contrast scientific explanations for cellular complexity.”

6 (A) “identify components of DNA, identify how information for specifying the traits of an organism is carried in the DNA, and examine scientific explanations for the origin of DNA;

The verdict?

Scientific Explanations for

  • Sudden appearance
  • Stasis
  • Cell Complexity
  • Origin of DNA

are still required!

Do they still require testing of evolutionary Explanations? Yes!

These three new standards are the only ones out of all the other 42 specific biology concept standards that ask for explanations.

Fortunately in Texas, not only may evolutionary explanations be taught, they are required to be taught. Why is this distinction so important? Since they are required, our children get the opportunity to actually see if these explanations are compelling or not. This is a big deal. Since you can’t teach theistic explanations in our schools, the only way for the theist to engage with materialistic evolution is to show the evolutionist explanations are weak. But now, evolutionists want state protection from even having to provide explanations.

At least they are consistent; they didn’t want them passed to begin with. Back in 2009, when they were first adopted, the evolution community was shocked. Eugenie Scott of the National Center of Science Education (NCSE) stated: “Let’s be clear about this. This is a setback for science education in Texas, not a draw, not a victory.”

Steve Newton, also of NCSE, claimed “the board’s actions are the most specific assault I’ve seen against the teaching of evolution and modern science.” Science, the prestigious journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported that “new science standards for Texas schools strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution.” Remember: All that the standards did was to require evolutionary explanations to be taught.

Please note, the standards did not insert creationism or intelligent design into the curriculum. Had that been the case, they would have been immediately challenged in court and thrown out. This is also confirmed in the committee’s rationale for dropping the standards. They don’t argue the standards are creationist; they argue instead that they are redundant, cognitively inappropriate or take too much time. They are not redundant; these two standards are the only ones out of all the other 42 specific biology concept standards that ask for explanations. And the cognitively inappropriate standard in question can be illustrated by a simple line chart; this doesn’t take too much time.

The key word in this debate is “explanations.” The board should keep them. Remember: If they are deleted, one removes the only line of engagement with evolution for those of us who do not accept materialist ideas that we are only molecules and that the universe popped into existence out of nothing. Deleting them would allow the teaching of evolutionary dogma in Texas to go unchallenged.

The Verdict?

Scientufic Explanations of evolutionn are still there!

 

Is the requirement to “Examine” scientifically sound? Yes!

Definition of examine

  • to inspect closely
  • to test the condition of
  • to inquire into carefully
  • to investigate

 

And, to examine is to test; to test is to do science. Check out these definitions of science.

 

The National Acadamy of Sciences

Science is as “the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomenon as well as the knowledge generated through this process.”

 

 

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

In the opening episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Neil deGrasse Tyson presents an incredibly clear and powerful description of the scientific process. He claims that if you “accept these terms, the Cosmos is yours.” I accept!

These terms, Tyson explains, are just a “simple set of rules.

  • Test ideas by experiment and observation.
  • Build on those ideas that pass the test.
  • Reject the ones that fail.
  • Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and
  • Question everything.”

 

The Verdict?

The streamlined standards are scientifically very sound!

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