Tuesday, November 30, 2004

When it all began

I stumbled across a USAToday article about the "long-simmering battle over how evolution is taught in high school"

Personally, I find just as many flaws in an evolutional theory as I do in a theory that purports everything just poofed here about 6,000 years ago. In fact, I have always said that there isn't an real inconsistency between evolution and creation if one is a realist. What is to say that the 'intelligent design' was an evolutionary process. The tools from which the higher power worked to hone the creations. The article raises the following question:
How should evolution be taught in schools?
Teaching Charles Darwin's findings as fact
Teaching Darwin's findings as theory
Promote 'intelligent design'
Do not teach evolution or creationism
In an educational environment, especially High School, all popular theories should be presented in an equal way, supported by the information presented. In fact, we should even encourage the students to come up with other options or alternative, modifications, and theories of their own. Isn’t the whole idea of education to stimulate interest, creativity, and open minds. I thought so.

Going around the horn, we see where some of the battles will be fought on this front.:
• In western Wisconsin, the small Grantsburg School District now requires that alternative theories of evolution be taught.

• In Ohio, the state school board passed a measure that encourages the teaching of evolution and "intelligent design," a hypothesis that says life is so complex that some intelligent force was responsible.

• In Kansas, the defeat this month of a "pro-science" incumbent on the state school board by a candidate who had questioned evolution has shifted the balance of power on the 10-member board and ensures that the issue will come up again. The board ended the teaching of evolution in 1999, then reversed that decision after a subsequent election. It has been deadlocked since.

• The Dover, Pa., school district recently became the first in the nation to require teaching intelligent design. Two school board members, Jeffrey Brown and his wife, Carol, resigned in protest.

• A lawsuit in Georgia was filed on behalf of six parents who objected to a disclaimer sticker the Cobb County school board placed on ninth-grade biology textbooks. The case was tried earlier this month in federal court in Atlanta. The judge's ruling is expected soon. The disclaimer sticker states: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."
A recent Poll concluded that 48% said religion has too much political influence in American life, and 40% said it has too little influence. Seven percent said religion has about the right amount of political influence. An interesting finding since the GOP meme post election was that it was a moralistic, religious movement that made the difference this year.

So teach it al, and teach it fairly, and encourage thinking and creativity. Skill and drill may make students good test takers, but in the broader picture, there isn’t a whole lot of jobs out there for good test takers. Of course, there isn't a whole lot of jobs out there anyway, but that is a different post!


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