Texas Bill on “Science” Teaching

A bill has been introduced in the lower house of the Texas legislature that would mandate and protect anti-science teaching and learning in the state’s science classes.

Instead of elaborating, I’ve just added the emphasis in the text below:

.
By: Christian H.B. No. 4224
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the teaching of science in public schools.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 28, Education Code, is
amended by adding Section 28.0027 to read as follows:
Sec. 28.0027. STUDY OF SCIENCE. (a) As part of the
essential knowledge and skills of the science curriculum under
Section 28.002(a)(1)(C), the State Board of Education by rule shall
establish elements relating to instruction on the scientific
hypotheses and theories for grades 6-12.
(b) Instructional elements for scientific processes: the
student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to
make informed decisions. The student is expected to analyze,
review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses
and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific
evidence and information;
(c) Students may be evaluated based upon their
understanding of course materials, but no student in any public
school or institution shall be penalized in any way because he or
she subscribes to a particular position on scientific theories or
hypotheses;
(d) No governmental entity shall prohibit any teacher in a
public school system of this state from helping students to
understand, analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations,
including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and
weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.
SECTION 2.  This Act applies beginning with the 2009-2010
school year.
SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
.

.

8 Comments

  1. Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Really, you think this “mandate and protect anti-science teaching”? How? Oh, is it the fact that the kids are being asked to think for themselves that you are scared that your idea wont be able to be forced on them?

    which of the specific phrases above says that anti-science instructions have to be included in school curriculum?

  2. Scott
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Tony, I couldn’t find your e-mail address so am posting this here in the hopes you will see it and highlight it.

    Best wishes,

    http://www.send2press.com/newswire/2009-03-0316-006.shtml

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. and AUSTIN, Texas, March 16 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Solving Light Books announced today that Don McLeroy, controversial Chair of the Texas State Board of Education, has recommended “Sowing Atheism” (ISBN: 978-0-9705438-5-1) by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., to other board members and to the general public. McLeroy’s timely recommendation could influence the board’s final decision on the science curriculum scheduled for March 27. The Texas decision will determine what is printed in science textbooks nationwide.

    McLeroy extols Johnson’s succinct demonstration that natural selection, the vaunted lynchpin of evolutionist reasoning, is not a scientific principle at all, but rather a mere figure of speech that adds nothing to our understanding of nature. McLeroy has said he plans to raise this issue in the March 26-27 meetings.

    Johnson, who holds a general science degree from West Point, wrote “Sowing Atheism” in response to the propagandistic book, “Science, Evolution, and Creationism” published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2008. According to Johnson, McLeroy expects that “Sowing Atheism” will focus the Texas board’s attention on the “theft of true science” by the atheist-dominated NAS hierarchy.

    “I’m delighted with Mr. McLeroy’s endorsement of ‘Sowing Atheism,’ and hope all the board members read it thoughtfully before they vote. Our nation cannot progress morally, spiritually, or politically so long as we permit the NAS to teach our children that they are descended by chance from worms,” Mr. Johnson said.

    In his book, Johnson shows that the NAS cannot pick any one of the two million or so living species and identify the species from which it allegedly evolved, nor can the NAS produce any evidence for the alleged evolution of the sexes. Further, Johnson points out, the NAS admits it lacks a “plausible hypothesis” for the origin of life.

    How, then, does the NAS sustain its “evolution is a fact” charade? Johnson answers: “The NAS resorts to intimidation and outright seductions which include repetitive false affirmations, disguised tautologies, authoritative obfuscations, and slapping ‘sciency’ lipstick on their no-evidence pig.”

    “Sowing Atheism” is available on Amazon and at http://www.solvinglight.com where it is also available as a free PDF download.

    A chapter-by-chapter summary, and Don McLeroy’s recommendation, below it, may be found at:
    http://www.solvinglight.com/blog/2009/03/.

  3. Horton
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    One problem I see with this is that any student can use this to defend intentionally not studying the curriculum by saying that it goes against their religious beliefs because :no student in any public school or institution shall be penalized in any way because he or
    she subscribes to a particular position on scientific theories or hypotheses; –Worse yet , while allowing theology to override science at the discretion of the student, this also allows that any teacher who holds the same beliefs is free to lead their classes to accept the same set of beliefs, and what will be left of “science” then? Hell, why not just substitute any good science fiction book for curriculum, why limit this to the biblical account of how we came to be here? And while we are at it, I still don’t believe that 2+2 =4, so can we vote on an act that will prevent me from being penalized for injecting what I “subscribe” to as my personal mathamatical beliefs on exams?

  4. Posted March 18, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Horton: “this also allows that any teacher who holds the same beliefs is free to lead their classes to accept the same set of beliefs,”, we already have this. Evolutionist teachers push their beliefs on students everyday, why shouldn’t a child be left to think for themselves?

  5. Horton
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    mcoville– In public schools we don’t have “Evolutionist teachers”, we have science teachers who teach, among other things, the science that supports the theory of evolution. Evolution is not a religion. Those who wish to teach religious beliefs should do so in theology classes or churches. the science of evolution is backed by extensive research. the latest issue of the National Geographic has an excellent article on the subject that makes it very easy for non-experts, like you and I, to understand how species have and are evolving, sometimes in the span of just a couple generations, and how this evolution is researhed. It isn’t voo-do, it is real. I suggest that people who are concerned with this issue get past the rhetoric that fanatics “subscribe” to, and do some studying of the facts on their own. After all, if people just want to sit by and accept what other people preach about this, or any other issue, they have only themselves to blame for being lead like blind sheep. I am a student in the SOE (not in Texas), and I have two children in public schools, so I have a genuine concern that science stays in the hands of scientist, math with mathmeticians, etc.

  6. Posted March 19, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Horton: What is wrong with teaching students not to believe everything they read and to research the facts for themselves? Who would you feel better that they are led like sheep before the alter of Darwin and are told to accept everything that is in their science text book as fact?

  7. Horton
    Posted March 20, 2009 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    mcoville- “research the facts for themselves” is exactly what they should be doing and are doing in todays science classes. This is how science is taught. No teacher instructs stidents to read, memorize, and be able to recite any chapter of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”
    That is how religions are taught because of the lack of facts to research, especially in regard to creationism. If you think schools are brainwashing students by just telling them they have to accept theories without allowing them to analyze and test theories on their own, then you don’t understand education. You should educate yourself on the facts of how science is taught, then form your opinion. That is exactly what you are saying the students should be able to do. (and they are allowed to do so).

  8. Posted March 20, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    But there are students reporting just that kind of teaching. Here is a link to an article from a student at the University of Tennessee.

    I have read other stories from students still in school that face prejudice for not believing everything a teacher tries to force feed them. You may not mind it because you stand on the side of the oppressor but do not the oppressed deserve to hold their point of view without the threat of reprisal?


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] endorsement of creationist nonsence book In a comment on an earlier post here, Scott calls attention to a press release on a new book attacking “evo-atheists” (such […]

  2. […] — including, for example, legislation introduced in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Texas — I was particularly interested in the bills introduced in the California and New Mexico […]

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