from 2009 –New Science Standards for Texas Schools Strike a Major Blow to the Teaching of Evolution

AAAS News Story 1 April 2009

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Books Read on Evolution

Books Read on Evolution

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2009 Texas Controversial Evolution standards rated “Exemplary”

McLeroy: Texas’ evolution teaching meets science standards

Don McLeroy, Special Contributor

Updated: 7:09 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

Published: 6:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

The big story concerning the release of the Fordham Institute’s “State of the State Science Standards 2012” is not the overall grade that Texas received but that the controversial high school evolution standards were described as “exemplary.”

How can this be? These are the standards that the State Board of Education’s religious conservatives successfully amended to challenge some of evolution’s most glaring weaknesses in explaining the fossil record and the complexity of the cell.

Three years ago, Eugenie Scott, the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, an organization that promotes the teaching of evolution, stated that those “amendments were intelligent design talking points.”

Steve Newton, also with the NCSE, claimed “the board’s actions are the most specific assault I’ve seen against the teaching of evolution and modern science.”

“Let’s be clear about this,” cautioned Scott. “This is a setback for science education in Texas, not a draw, not a victory.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s ScienceInsider even noted “Creationists Notch Win in Texas Showdown.”

Again, how can this be?

Is the Fordham Institute soft on evolution? No.

Their report claims the greatest problem in standards across the country is the undermining of evolution. Also, it liberally criticizes Texas’ coverage of evolution before high school.

However, concerning the high school biology standards that were the focus of the controversy three years ago, the report states: “There are no concessions to ‘controversies’ or ‘alternative theories.’ In fact, the high school biology course is exemplary in its choice and presentation of topics, including its thorough consideration of biological evolution.”

Back in 2009, the controversy over evolution focused only on the high school course. The State Board of Education did not change, delete or add any evolution standards in the earlier grades. Those standards were adopted exactly as the review committees had written them. If they are weak, then all involved, including the board, share responsibility.

Interestingly, in the section where the conservatives did take an active role and added the evolution-challenging amendments, Fordham describes the standards as exemplary. It states, “the standards handle the subject straightforwardly.”

Thus, their report vindicates the board’s religious conservatives. While most of the credit for the standards is thanks to the review committees that wrote the majority of the section, the point here is that the board amendments added rigor to the standards.

Why not judge the amendments for yourself?

Here are the changes that drew such ridicule at the time, but not this week. The board added two standards: “Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the sudden appearance, stasis and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record,” and “Analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.”

The board also strengthened the other evolution standards by substituting the more rigorous scientific language “analyze and evaluate” for the verbs “identify,” “describe” and “recognize.”

Any insertion of intelligent design or creationism in school standards is quickly challenged in court — and successfully.

The fact that, after three years, these standards have not even been challenged, supports the findings of the Fordham report and not the hysterical statements made at the time of their adoption by some evolutionists.

Thus, Texas high school evolution standards have passed the test of time and have been proven to represent sound scientific reasoning and legitimate science.

Semi-amusingly, this allows for a final observation. Because Texas evolution standards represent legitimate science, and because, according to Eugenie Scott, they include “intelligent design talking points,” does this mean she would now argue that “intelligent design talking points” represent legitimate science?

McLeroy, a Republican, is a former chairman of the State Board of Education. He is a dentist in Bryan.

 

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What does SMU’s Ron Wetherington and Don McLeroy both praise?

From Texas Freedom Network’s Friday, April 21, 2017 press release:

‘Southern Methodist University professor Ron Wetherington, who served on the state-appointed panel, praised today’s outcome.

“For the first time in decades, the science standards contain no controversial student expectations and represent mainstream science,…”’

What does he support?

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;

Thank you Professor Wetherington! We agree; these are fine standards!

 

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Texas Freedom Networks’ Strange Press Release

Fact Checking the TFN

Texas Freedom Networks’ press release last Friday, April 21, 2017, stated “Other anti-evolution standards are also removed or gutted.”  Here are the “other standards.”

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;

You decide; have they been removed or gutted?

 

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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!

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New science standards for Texas schools strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution 2017

Hardline evolutionist’s attempt to hijack the Texas science standards crashed and burned as the Texas State Board of Education, not only kept all of the previous evolution challenging standards of 2009, but made them clearer and stronger.

 
The new standards have the students “compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including their complexity, and compare and contrast scientific explanations for cellular complexity,” “examine scientific explanations for the origin of DNA,” and “examine scientific explanations of abrupt appearance and stasis in the fossil record.”
 
Send your thanks to the Texas State Board and especially board member Barbara Cargill.
 
As a reminder, Science reported back in April 2009 “New science standards for Texas schools strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution…” These 2017 standards strike and even bigger blow!
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