Centralizing Science In Public Education

Back in March 2012,  Tennessee State Senate voted 25-8,  which passed an academic freedom bill, SB 893.  This trend was not isolated, other states like Texas in 2009, which 15 member panel omitted the language of students being able to critiquestrengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, such as evolution, inserted into the science standards a requisite for students to critically analyze and evaluate “all sides of scientific evidence” which was even better language to have the students follow than before!

Texas Science Standards since 2009, go by this philosophy…

“In all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental observation and testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the students.”

Opponents for academic freedom were shocked and dismayed because they are very concerned about how creationists and intelligent design proponents expose Darwinian evolution’s weaknesses. But isn’t analyzing and evaluating what science is all about? Yes, in most other theories this is a common practice, but not Darwinian evolution nor climate change as we will get into further detail in just a moment.

Other states like Mississippi and Louisiana, have passed their versions of the academic freedom bill for teachers and students to discuss scientific evidence critical to Darwinism.  Seven states in total, so with these major loses (but not for science) the opposition has embraced centralizing science into their fold of standards rather than leaving up to the states to decide.

In world magazine, James Devine writes…

“As kindergartners and high-school students return to public schools this fall, a team of 41 writers will be busy editing national curriculum standards that, as early as next year, could change how science teachers instruct their classes. The so-called “Next Generation Science Standards,” which all 50 states will have the option of adopting or not, are intended to provide a universal framework for science education. They explicitly emphasize Darwinism and climate change.”

So not only do opponents of academic freedom want teachers to indoctrinate evolution to the students but also have teachers indoctrinate students with the view that man is solely responsible for any warming trend that is currently happened or happening on the planet in modern times.

However, there has been interesting publications about climate change in the last couple of years, even last week. For example, in the Journal of Science, Luke Skinner in his article, “A Long View on Climate Change” writes about political ramifications using short-term graphs, he draws his reader’s attention using evolution’s time frame that several major climate swings over long periods before humans appeared in the standard geological timeline.  He then questions scientists’ ability for understanding all what goes on like the mechanisms and the uncertainties in proxy estimates; for instance, what factors are nonlinear?

He writes…

“If the goal of climate science is not just to predict the next 50 to 100 years of climate change, but also ‘to tackle the more general question of climate maintenance and sensitivity’, then arguably we must do so within a conceptual framework that augments the notion of climate sensitivity as a straightforward linear calibration of climate gain, with the possibility of nonlinear feedbacks and irreversible transitions in the climate system,” he explained.”  

“An exclusive consideration of the highest (e.g., decadal) register of climate variability might be adequate for most political time frames and may suit the urgency of immediate mitigation and adaptation challenges,” he ended. “However, it falls short of the wider scientific challenge that faces humanity, as well as a moral horizon that extends much farther into the future.”

A few days ago in Nature,  five scientists were critical of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which is where the opponents of academic freedom rely on to make a case for centralizing a certain viewpoint about climate change to the students.

“This IPCC-like focus might be attractive to ‘elite actors’, from natural scientists to national governments, but it omits many other important stakeholders and knowledge-holders, including indigenous people, businesses, farmers, community partnerships and fishers,” they said.  “What counts as legitimate knowledge, and how it is generated, influences its practical effectiveness.”

Switching gears now to Darwinian evolution, where not even other natural causes cannot be considered under this “Next Generation Science Standards” because they fear it might lead them to creationism or intelligent design. Which is interesting considering, in a 2008 poll where it discovered only a quarter of public high-school biology teachers claim to be strong advocates of Darwinism. This is another reason opponents of academic freedom want centralization of science standards. If these centralized science standards get passed by the states it will then supercede existing state laws on science standards.

Totalitarianism in the form of centralization of public school science standards would be disastrous! Rather these things belong on the local level where has been for so many years. The proposed national standards reflect another push by leftist elitists to squelch independent thinking and force the unwashed masses into uncritical acceptance or in another words, blind faith.

The states who refuse to pass such standards may be pressured into it by federal money being withheld, perhaps some Universities will not accept students from those states.  A requisite for students to critically analyze and evaluate “all sides of scientific evidence” is what science is all about!