During this 2008 school year, there has been and will be interesting debates over the science standards in Texas. Many have a vested interest, such as this science teacher in his blog where he claims, the standards are not only for Texas but a pattern for the rest of the nation as well…
“This is a big deal, because the standards Texas sets determine how textbooks are written not just for the Texas market, but for the rest of the nation.”
It’s a similar argument about the science standards in Louisiana when they passed a law allowing “critical thinking” in the public schools. Gov Jindal came under fire from liberal groups, and even some special interest who tried to have him recalled, but to no avail. The passage of the bill has had no major impact with the general population towards Governor Jindal in a negative sense.
So what is all the fuss, what is “critical thinking” about evolution mean? It states and I quote, “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.”
Is this a violation of the Dover trial as some have suggested? While it’s true that creationism and intelligent design have a critical view of evolution, but by knows means is critical thinking exclusive to only creationism or intelligent design. The definition of critical thinking in Texas is not teaching intelligent design nor is it teaching creationism in particular.
Those who make the argument are only using it to promote evolution in a dogmatic way to the students. Dogma degrees by the Pope are considered infallible in Roman Catholicism. This is something secular science should not be taught as or viewed as such. One more thing, the personal beliefs of people on the educational board in Texas, who endorse “critical thinking,” has no barring on the law’s practice itself.
Evolution should not be packaged as dogma, nor sold to students like in this case…“secular science is widely accepted or has strong evidence for it’s theory.” We know there are debates every so often that are published between high profile evolutionists themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of a particular evolutionary hypothesis or theory. Some of these debates need a subscription to review, but they are certainly public knowledge.
There are those who would argue, “well they still believe in evolution.” Yes, that is true, but students shouldn’t be required to believe in evolution in order to learn the much needed critical thinking skills in public education!
The new Texas Science Standards will soon be revealed online in a few days when they are I will add a link to this post so you can review them. Those who want to comment on those standards either positive or negative or have any suggestions, are encouraged to do so!