Emboldening Students With Critical Thinking In Science

How do mainstream science publications and special interests treat teaching critical thinking skills to students in science? A critical thinking skill lesson which doesn’t allow creationism or intelligent design to be taught. If you follow what happened in Louisiana while passing the “academic freedom” about two years or the Texas science standards. Much of what was said back then is once again being used by opponents who are in opposition to the majority of the State of Tennessee legisture which overwhelmingly voted to approve HR 368, the Teacher Protection Act!

They say, The Teacher Protection Act is going to allow creationism or intelligent design in the public schools with this typical claim often used…

“Alan I. Leshner, the chief executive officer of AAAS (which publishes ScienceInsider), said, “There is virtually no scientific controversy among the overwhelming majority of researchers on the core facts of global warming and evolution. Asserting that there are significant scientific controversies about the overall nature of these concepts when there are none will only confuse students, not enlighten them.”

This bill has nothing to do with whether or not evolution is a valid scientific theory or how many scientists agree with evolution who are government funded which by the way only pays for the promotion of evolution.

The bill states the following…

“This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.”

Do these same scientists believe they have every aspect of evolution solved based on observable data with their assumptions and predictions? This has to do with variants in evolution, not all theories or hypothesis within the framework of evolution are settled. In fact, many of them get falsified. We have observed this from what was found on Titan, for example. Where you have a couple of papers challenging other papers from an viewpoint based on the moon evolving, this would indicate things are far from settled on what is going on in Titan because they are only beginning to learn what is going on this amazingly designed moon. Of course what they are discovering there agrees more with the creationist model.

So what is it? It’s a question of what do scientists really know about reality. This is what the bill is all about. Yet, we see a bunch of crazy accusations which have no merit whatsoever!  In fact, they admit they don’t even know what the effects of the “academic freedom” in Louisiana after two years. It’s not that they couldn’t come up with one but so far it’s been a mute point after all that fuss they put up many months before the bill was passed.

Darwinists of the 19th century struggled to get academic freedom for their views; Darwin himself appealed to allowing both sides of a controversy to be heard but once they seized power, they took away the same principle in which they once fought for, just like communists or any other totalitarian government, religious or not. The only way to respond to their craziness and anti-christian position is to stand up to it with resolute firmness and courage, boldly speaking the truth with equanimity and without compromise!

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9 thoughts on “Emboldening Students With Critical Thinking In Science

  1. Michael: “How do mainstream science publications and special interests treat teaching critical thinking skills to students in science?”

    Science = critical thinking. If you do not think critically, forget about becoming a scientist. That is my experience, and what I see around me.

    Michael: “A critical thinking skill lesson which doesn’t allow creationism or intelligent design to be taught.”

    Scientist HAVE thought about creationisms and intelligent design (lots of books on my shelves about this), and found it not to be science at all, but religion. So it can be taught in religion class, not in science class, as it is not science. Obvious, I’d say.

  2. Eelco,

    You say, “Science = critical thinking. If you do not think critically, forget about becoming a scientist. That is my experience, and what I see around me.”As I quoted in the main post, why would the likes of science magazine be alarmed by this bill?

    You can’t get much more mainstream than science magazine. Live science, I also quoted in the post. Why have you asked a question that has been already answered in the post?

    The bill also says in regards…

    “Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”

    Why would the likes of Robert Roy Britt of live science dispute this as creationism? Why does a state have to make critical thinking laws to protect a teacher if its such a common practice? Why would science magazine question this if evolution is already being challenged? The craziness of accusations they come up with is not logical. Isn’t science based on logic?

    Why wouldn’t special interests like the NSCE endorse such statements in a bill? Here is their take on the bill…

    “The Tennessean (in its editorial of March 29, 2011), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee have all expressed their opposition to HB 368, with the Tennessee Science Teachers Association — representing the supposed beneficiaries of the bill — characterizing it as “unnecessary, anti-scientific, and very likely unconstitutional.”

    Anti-evolution bill??? Are they out of their minds or lying or both? So explain to me your position on these questions!

  3. Michael, I am just reacting on what YOU write, not about some bill in a far-away country (for me, that is !).

    Also, I do not care what specific individuals say about specific bills in some american state somewhere: I reacted to what YOU say here. So again, critical thinking is part of science anyway, but creationism and ID (which are religious viewpoints) are not.

    I am encouraged that you reply to me, which you normally do not do … so do you still remember our questions about you science credentials ? I would like to get an answer to that, please, after asking so many times.

  4. The first clue that all is not what it seems with “critical thinking” bills is that they single out only certain “theories” for critical thinking: evolution, global warming, human cloning, stem-cell research.

    Michael, pleasae explain why no other theories deserve critical thinking. Why should chemistry students not need to hear the strengths and weaknesses of chemical bonding theory? Just last year some of it was falsified when scientists discovered a new form of water. Water! Why should high-school students not crituically analyze quantum theory? There is rampant controversy about quantum theory.

    Eelco reminds us that we know nothing of Michael’s qualifications to judge any form of science, and in fact have reason to suspect that he has none at all.. So I proposes a short quiz.

    Michael, namea weakness of chemical bonding theory. (Hint: look at chamical reactions at low densities, such as in space.) Name a great big fat weakness of quantum theory, one that makes it contradict another bedrock theory of the physics world.

    Here’s another test. The bills require teaching the “strengths” of hte named theories, as well as their “weaknesses.” Michael, name three major strengths of Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. Name three major pieces of evidence supporting the 14 billion year age of the univwerse. (Remember that “consensus among scintists” is not a sceintific strength.)

    .

    The second clue that “critical-thinking” bills are an outright frauds is that many of the “theories” that they name specicifically are not scientific theories at sall. What is the “theory” of human cloning? This is a purely social issue, and should not be discussed in science classes at all. What is the “theory” of embryonic stem-cell research? What does it state?

    So here’s another short quiz for Michael. Pleas describe the scientific content of the “theories” of human cloninjg and embryonic stem cells. What specific physcical mechanisms do they propose, and what experiments or other observations would you conduct to falsify them?

    .

    The third clue that critical-thinking bills have nothing at all to do with science is that all scientists and scientific bodies oppose them. Doesn’t it seem just a little peculiar that scientists would oppose measures that supposedly would strengthen the teaching of their own subject? Recall that these scientists are, as Eelco notes, in the business of thinking critically about their own theories, and have been overthrowing their predecessors’ theories for four centuries, without any help whatsoever from Stae legislatures..

    Is it not even stranger that the people who advocate these bills are religious leaders? That they are the ones who claim that scientific controversies exist, when the scientists deny the controversies? One might smell a weasel in the woodpile, and suspect the bills’ proponents of being somewhat less than honest in their advocacy. Religious leaders dishonest? Kent Hovind dishonest? Jim Haggarty dishonest? Say it ain’t so.

    So our final mini-quiz for Michael is actually a challenge. Michael, please go tho the leaders of yiour True Bioble Believers Church and demand that they incorporate an article into the by-laws that every Sunday-school class shall include a critical analysis of their faith, that no teacher shall be disciplined or punished for discussing the strengths and weaknesses of a literal rerading of the Bible, paying specific attention to the Genesis narratives and the Noachian Flood..

    Go ahead. I dare you. The tar is hot, and the feathers are ready

  5. Eeclo,

    When you take bits out of someone’s writing, you failed to grasp the point in your response. There is a difference between professional opinions and personal opinions. Take this bit as an example…

    “This bill has nothing to do with whether or not evolution is a valid scientific theory or how many scientists agree with evolution who are government funded which by the way only pays for the promotion of evolution.”

    The point I made in regards to consensus, they are relying on opinions of scientists who get paid to promote evolution otherwise the funding stops. Evolutionary scientists are not allowed to research creationism in the lab on government time. So we are not talking about professional research about creationism rather it’s personal opinion. Just like you mentioned books on your shelves, which is not lab work.

    You have repeatly misused the word “science” often which creates a different type of religious tone to its meaning that I will expand upon more at a later time. Have you ever heard of a tv-show called, “Ghost Hunters”? I’m not sure if that particular tv-program is in your country, but here is a brief summary of it. A group of people investigate supernatural phenomena in abandon buildings. They set up specialized cameras, and high tech audio for detection purposes. Regardless on whether you believe or not in such phenomena lets say for the sake of argument, what you view on tape and hear on audio is compelling evidence. Does this mean ghosts are now “science?” No! What it means is, science has proven its existence.

    As far as your question, remember what you said? It wasn’t that important one way or the other which made it pointless to answer.

  6. Again, Michael, I reacted to what YOU wrote here, which was pretty clear to me. I did not take out bits of your writing, I quoted your complete first two sentences. No quote mining. And I did not react to the bit you now quote, so it beats me why you point to that.

    Could you just answer the questions ? Including those about your science qualifications ? It looks like you keep on ducking those …

  7. The point I made in regards to consensus, they are relying on opinions of scientists who get paid to promote evolution otherwise the funding stops.

    So Michaeal not only knows no science, he knows no scientists. If he did, he would not even be able to imagine syaing what he did.

    .

    Here’s a recent example. This month’s Scientific American has a cover article by a world-reknowned cosmologist who doubts the validity of the inflation model of the univeerse—something that has beena consensus view for 30 years. Princeton Universdity funds his work.

    Michael would benefit from reading this article, because it does a superb job of laying out the “strengths and weaknesses” of the inflation model, in terms of the EVIDENCE and the LOGIC behind it.

    No wonder scientists laugh at creationists!

  8. MICHAEL IS A NO-SHOW AT HIS OWN PARTY.

    He can’t seem to name a single weakness of the most6 controversial theory in all of physics.

    He can’t name any scientific content of human cloning theory.

    He can’t name a single strength of the one theory that he most wishes to have teachers discuss.

    .

    Even hard-core creationist readers ought by now to be skeptical that Michael knows anything at all.

    So i repeat my fervent request: PLease, Michael, please do not help your children with their homework! They deserve better.

  9. Texas Board of Education chairman Don McLeroy is a strong advocate of “strengths & weaknesses” bills. Every scientist is Texas—and there are a great many, including many Nobel; prioze winners—have opposed these bills.

    Sio what is McLeroy’s rebuttal to all these world-famous scientists?

    “I disagree with these experts. Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts that are… I don’t know why they’re doing it.”

    Right. Who needs scientists to tell Texas about science? Don McLeroy knows it all.

    No wonder people laugh at creationists.

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