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Science Education Without God? Inconceivable!

Science Education Without God? Inconceivable!

Kansas is gearing up for another evolution debate.

Oh good. For a second there I thought people were forgetting how crazy my state is. I’m glad someone is on top of it.

You see, Kansas is one of 26 states involved in drafting the Next Generation Science Standards, the goal of which is to create national standards for science education. OK, cool. I mean, Kansas isn’t the first state that springs to mind when I think of quality science education, but, whatever. I’m glad we’re getting a say in this. Maybe then the standards, which are due to be completed at the end of the year, will be taken a little more seriously by the locals. Maybe.

Oh, but look! A conservative Republican isn’t happy! What a shock.

State Board of Education member Ken Willard has called the draft science standards “very problematic” because — get ready for it — there isn’t enough God in them.

Everyone knows God needs to be in everything all the time! (Unless you’re a brown person, then no thank you.)

According to the Topeka Capitol-Journal, Willard has supported science standards in Kansas that question evolution. Furthermore, Willard believes that the draft science standards supports naturalism and secular humanism, which means that schools wouldn’t be able to consider the roll a deity plays in how the universe works.

Correct. That is how science works. It looks for plausible explanations to how the world works. Supernatural forces don’t really factor into it. That’s why it’s called “science” and not “religion.”

But wait! Don’t smash your head into the wall just yet. You’ll miss my favorite quote:

“They are preferring one religious position over another.”

He said that! Out loud! In front of people! Evidently, this guy thinks that naturalism and secular humanism are religions. I can only think that this is because he cannot conceive of a person who has the ability to answer big questions about the origin of life and the beginnings of the universe using observable phenomena and not on blind faith. That is the only way it makes sense for someone to say that naturalism and secular humanism are “religious position[s].”

It seems like a no-brainer to me that school science standards should include actual science. If the scientific method comes to an incorrect conclusion, it corrects itself. Over centuries we have come to understand the world in ways previously unimaginable — or worse — blasphemous, and we are undeniably better off because of it. To deny valid science because it isn’t consistent with your religious beliefs (which, by the way, are not subject to peer review) is a foolish step backward.

Luckily, not everyone on the Kansas Board of Education has lost their marbles. Sally Cauble, a moderate Republican on the board who ousted an evolution denier in 2006, says that she is comfortable with the draft standards. She wants to defer to scientists, science educators and business leaders. Cauble says, “If we don’t listen to them, then we’re not doing our job.”

I wish I could give this lady a high five. Hopefully, reason will defeat faith when it comes to K-12 science education.

Related posts:

Louisiana Lawmaker Wants Evolution Taught in Science Classes

Indiana Republicans Push Creationism in Public Schools

Creationism Back on the Curriculum in Tennessee Public Schools

 

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259 comments

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12:16PM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

"valid science" is a stretch. The focus for schools SHOULD be how our children are taught to think, and that they are encouraged to do it themselves; not on accepting any standards.

2:45AM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Lolz, this is so stupid I'll just laugh!

3:07PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

What the heck is the matter with these people? Half the time they have no idea what they are talking about and the rest of the time they are spouting religious nonsense. There is ABSOLUTELY no place for religion in scientific education, and in throwing their little tantrums the only ones they are hurting are children and their future education. That and they are embarrassing the hell out of their states.

3:02PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

And don't get us started on errors in textbooks. Pulleeeze! The pace of learning now makes it impossible and inordinately expensive to keep up regardless of the field you choose.

2:56PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

Oh jeez, I just had to jump in when I came across the stuff of JH M. What a hoot. Especially the part "Science isn't always evolving--it makes mistakes, and doesn't even always automatically upwardly evolve" etc. This my friend is how life works. Nature via evolution makes small, incremental changes (usually). Some are successful, some are not. All might be classified as mistakes, depending on ones definition or point of view. Nevertheless, the successes are what one would typically call progress. 3 million or so years ago, you were a little hairy thing with a little brain, a short life span worshipping the god of fire. Most of us have moved on.

6:54AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

JH L People have put their "faith" in illogical, incredible myths since the beginning of time because they need to feel SPECIAL and PROTECTED and to have a great big BUDDY IN THE SKY!

Who cares if it's totally unreasonable? They cling to the belief because it's better (for them, anyway) to spin myths than face the fact that we are alone.

12:33AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

An invisible God is not amenable to scientific study. Such a God belongs in a world religion class which wouldn't be a bad idea at least not in high school.

2:13PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Religious people don't change their beliefs, because science, and life in general is scary. Also "god ordained it" gives them a good excuse for everything, they are merely passengers of their own lifeboat.

1:59PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

JH M, and yet, you claim to know everything, through 1 book.

You're just not going to win the religion vs science debate - religion is just not logical.

1:32PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Pat,
If you had read my post, you'd see that I certainly agree that scientists don't know everything. Of course, their methodology, where they constantly "re-research" as part of their trade, is a given. That was not my point.
What should be "scary" to those who cling to science (for whatever reasons) is that for all the shifts in scientific theories, few have been credible enough to convince the religionists that they need to change anything.
Why would they feel the need to change their beliefs, for just vascillating theories??
Again, this is not about any religion being preferable--it is about science being admittedly fallable, and dogmatically relying on them knowing that.

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