Category Archives: Science

TCS: Politicization of Science Education Continues in Texas

In a press release, Texas Citizens for Science reports: The recent adoption of new supplemental science instructional materials by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) was largely a victory for science. Although the biology curriculum standards were unfortunately damaged in 2009 by a politically radicalized majority of SBOE members who inserted four new standards […]

Defending science, history, etc.: A promising precedent?

It seems to me that the case of David Rudovsky and Leonard Sosnov v. West Publishing Corporation (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 2010), provides an intruiging suggestion for defending genuine science and social studies materials for school curriculum. A December 21 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the outcome of this case. In […]

A “ray of sunlight” for Louisiana science education

On the decision by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approving the purchase of Biology textbooks for the sate: “The board’s decision is a ray of sunlight,” commented NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott, “especially because the creationist opponents of these textbooks were claiming — wrongly — that the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act […]

Texas bill to politicize curricula

A new bill in the Texas legislature would politicize curricula by reversing legislative action which had previously vested authority over selection of supplementary materials to the Texas Education Agency, removing that authority from the Texas State Board of Education [SBOE].

Kentucky anti-science act

It’s that time of year again, when legislatures throughout these united states are opening new sessions after the elections, and fundamentalist legislators renew their campaigns against teaching science in the public schools. One of the first out of the gate this year is Kentucky, where this “Kentucky Science Education and Intellectual Freedom Act” has been […]

Louisiana Panel Endorses Textbooks, Despite Evolution Critics

Louisiana Panel Endorses Textbooks, Despite Evolution Critics.

New book on teaching evolution or creationism in US classrooms

This post is simply to call attention to Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms, an important new book by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer. As described at Who should decide what children are taught in school? This question lies at the heart of the evolution-creation wars that have become a regular feature […]

Russian schools to teach creationism?

The Reuters news agency reports that The Russian Orthodox Church called Wednesday for an end to the “monopoly of Darwinism” in Russian schools, saying religious explanations of creation should be taught alongside evolution. Reuters reports senior Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion saying at a lecture in Moscow that The time has come for the monopoly of […]

TN Biology textbook challenged (with videos)

Knoxville parent Kurt Zimmermann (often misspelled “Zimmerman”) has generated a lot of buzz over his challenge to a high school biology text, because of its reference to creationism as a “myth.” After Zimmermann’s request to have the book thrown out was reviewed and rejected by Knoxville’s Farragut High School, he appealed their decision to the […]

Charles Darwin and the Chilean earthquake

On NPR’s Science Friday, March 5 2010, host Ira Flatow had a remarkable interview with geophysicist Ross Stein on Darwin’s observations as he witnessed the 1835 earthquake that struck close to the same place in Chile as the quake that struck a week ago: FLATOW: Wow, wow. Let’s talk about Charles Darwin, and I don’t […]

Ruse on Fodor, Nagel, Plantinga

This week’s Chronicle [of Higher Education] Review features a long piece by Michael Ruse with the title, “Philosophers Rip Darwin.” The occasion for Ruse’s article is  “the publication of a new book by Jerry A. Fodor, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, a professor of cognitive science at the University of […]

Texas outdone by South Dakota (climate change)

After so many posts here on Texas lunacy, it’s something of a relief to post on another state outdoing Texas in dictating political nonsense for teaching in the public schools. State of South Dakota EIGHTY-FIFTH SESSION LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, 2010 363R0643 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1009 A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Calling for balanced teaching of global warming in […]

Richard Dawkins this weekend on BookTV

Richard Dawkins will be on BookTV (C-SPAN2) this weekend. Click here to find the book at a library near you. Click here for the Web page at BookTV. Here’s the preliminary information (but note: Last weekend the daytime schedule was pre-empted by the unusual weekend proceedings of the U.S. Senate. C-SPAN2 was created to cablecast […]

Mass., Va., etc. “students’ religious freedom” bills

There’s “An Act Relative to Protecting the Religious Freedom of Students” pending in the Massachusetts legislature which, according to Antoinette Pizzi reporting in the Cape Cod Times, “has bipartisan support and is expected to pass favorably through the Joint Committee on Education.” Folks at the National Center for Science Education have taken particular notice of […]

Louisiana procedures for disputes over anti-science materials in biology classes

WILL SENTELL of the [Baton Rouge] Advocate Capitol News Bureau reports that “Procedure [have now been] crafted for handling evolution-materials complaints“:

“neutrality” strikes again: banned band shirts in MO (evolution/religion dispute)

A story by Tonya Fennell for the Sedalia (MO) Democrat reports on the action taken by Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt in response to complaints from some parents about T-shirts designed for the school marching band’s program, “Brass Evolutions 2009.” Pollitt says he “made the decision to have the band members turn the shirts in after […]

TCS report on new Texas science standards

A report by Texas Citizens for Science on the Science Standards adopted by TSBOE in March is now posted on the TCS website. Dr. Steven Schafersman, President of TCS, tweets: New TCS report on Texas science standards just posted on the website. The new standards can be used to improve evolution education if the science […]