In Teaching, Should We Try to be Objective?

In teaching, should we try to be objective? If you are a teacher, or if you have taught school, you most likely dealt with  this question at one time or another.  As you will see, it’s not as easy to answer as we might think. It’s Not Settled Today, there are groups who are calling for […]

In Science Teaching, What Does it Mean to Teach Evolution Objectively?

In a comment about the earlier post on this blog, Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas are Important, Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education, raised an important idea about science teaching.  When evolution is taught in our schools, it should be taught objectively. In context, here is what Dr. […]

What Would the Russian Scientist, V.I. Vernadsky Say To Deepen the Debate Between Bill Nye & Ken Ham?

Note: I didn’t lead three lives, but I did go to the Soviet Union more than 25 times!   From 1981 – 2000,  I was part of group of students, teachers and researchers who participated in reciprocal trips to the former Soviet Union as part of the Global Thinking Project (GTP).  During this period I […]

What Would the Russian Scientist, V.I. Vernadsky Say To Deepen the Debate Between Bill Nye & Ken Ham?

Note: I didn’t lead three lives, but I did go to the Soviet Union more than 25 times!   From 1981 – 2000,  I was part of group of students, teachers and researchers who participated in reciprocal trips to the former Soviet Union as part of the Global Thinking Project (GTP).  During this period I […]

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Debates Ken Ham, The Creationism Guy

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Debates Ken Ham, The Creationism Guy tonight at 7:00 PM which you can watch live on the FORA.tv website. You can visit the site now and participate in a live twitter chat.

Messing with Georgia’s Social Studies Curriculum

According to the Governor of Georgia, now is the time to write a new social studies curriculum. Why now? Well, Mr. Deal has signed on to the Common Core, but rumblings from his own political party, especially the right-wing Tea Party have caused him to possibly reconsider the Common Core. But why the social studies […]

Messing with Georgia's Social Studies Curriculum

According to the Governor of Georgia, now is the time to write a new social studies curriculum. Why now? Well, Mr. Deal has signed on to the Common Core, but rumblings from his own political party, especially the right-wing Tea Party have caused him to possibly reconsider the Common Core. But why the social studies […]

Governor of Louisiana Speaks about the Facts of Science

According is Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana we should teach the facts of science.  In an interview, NBC’s Hoda Kotb asked Governor Jindal if creationism should be taught in our schools. The obvious answer is yes.  In 2008, Jindal signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which modeled after a bill written by the American Legislative Exchange […]

Bill Moyers Interviews “Activist” Zack Kopplin About Science Teaching

Zack Kopplin is an American science education activist.  While he was a high school student at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, the Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Science Education Act  signed by Governor Bobby Jindal.  Zack Kopplin, who is now a history major at Rice University was very surprised that Governor Jindal signed this anti-science […]

Bill Moyers Interviews "Activist" Zack Kopplin About Science Teaching

Zack Kopplin is an American science education activist.  While he was a high school student at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, the Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Science Education Act  signed by Governor Bobby Jindal.  Zack Kopplin, who is now a history major at Rice University was very surprised that Governor Jindal signed this anti-science […]

Why Are We Surprised About Senator Rubio’s Concept of Geological History?

You would think that a United States Senator would have at least a rudimentary knowledge of geology.  Presumably the Senator, who is on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, must use knowledge of science to deal with some of the issues this committee tackles, especially the subcommittee of Science & Space, of […]

Why Are We Surprised About Senator Rubio's Concept of Geological History?

You would think that a United States Senator would have at least a rudimentary knowledge of geology.  Presumably the Senator, who is on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, must use knowledge of science to deal with some of the issues this committee tackles, especially the subcommittee of Science & Space, of […]

Evolution as Design

The world is flat; astronauts did not go to the moon; and the Earth is 10,000 years old. A recent poll reported that very few people in the US accept the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the creation of life on Earth. According to the National Center for Science Education, in a […]

Part II: Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

We introduced this topic yesterday and referred to an Associated Press story, in which Richard Leakey suggests that the debate over evolution will end sometime over the next 15 to 30 years.  Leakey’s thesis was: If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it’s solid, that we are all African, […]

Part I. Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

  Richard Leakey says that looking at the past the way paleontologists and anthropologist do can teach us much about the future.  He points out that extinction is one of the most common types of phenomena observed in nature, and that extinctions are related to environmental change.  He suggests that environmental change is controlled by […]

Creationism and Intelligent Design make Stealth Appearances in Louisiana and Tennessee Science Classrooms

Over the past four years, two states have passed laws that protect teachers if they present scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical evolution in applicable curricula or in a course of learning.  Protecting teachers?  Have these legislators heard of VAM?  No protection of teachers here. What is […]

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America is the title of a new book by Shawn Lawrence Otto, c0- founder of Science Debate 2008, one of the largest online (125 million) science sites that featured a “debate” between the 2008 Presidential candidates on science. In Science Debate 2008, Presidential candidates (even during […]

Science and Religion, The FaradaySchools.com

A recent poll reported that very few people in the US accept the theory of evolution as a valid explanation for the creation of life on Earth.  According to the National Center for Science Education, in a 24-country poll, 41% of the respondents identified themselves as “evolutionists” and 28% as “creationists”, and 31% indicating they […]

Darwin Day: February 12

On Michael Barton’s blog, The Dispersal of Darwin, there is a post informing us of a movement by the American Humanist Association to get the President to officially name February 12 as Darwin Day.  You can link here to read about the International Darwin Day Foundation, and indeed you can sign a petition urging the […]

Creation: A New Film About Charles Darwin

Earlier this week, I had a pingback  from Michael Barton’s very interesting website entitled The Dispersal of Darwin.  On his site I read about Michael’s recent trip to Cambridge, England, and on one of his posts from England he mentioned a new film that is coming out in September about Charles Darwin. The new film […]

The Invention of Air and Science Teaching

Several months ago I purchased Steven Johnson’s new book The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America.  I started reading it, but for some reason put it away, only to return to it this weekend.  I finished reading it this morning, and have been thinking about making a […]

Further Thoughts on Evolutionary Teaching in Texas from Georgia!

I’ve returned to Georgia, and I wanted to look back over the most recent posts that focused on the actions of the Texas Board of Education on the teaching of theory (of evolution, expansion of the Universe, and all others) in science class.  A good review of the events in Texas are contained in an […]

Science-Free Zones

In an interesting commentary in the Austin American-Statesman, Jim Marston (director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund) wonders out-loud that citizens of Texas can not let Texas become a science-free zone. He was prompted to do so because of recent shenanigans of the State Board of Education. At last weeks’ board meeting, the […]

Science-Free Zones

In an interesting commentary in the Austin American-Statesman, Jim Marston (director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund) wonders out-loud that citizens of Texas can not let Texas become a science-free zone. He was prompted to do so because of recent shenanigans of the State Board of Education. At last weeks’ board meeting, the […]

Science Teachers Best Friend: The Austin American-Statesman

There was an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper today entitled Put education board under a microscope. If you are a science teacher or scientist in Texas, or for that matter throughout the USA, you have to love this editorial. The editorial announces a little known Texas House Bill 722 which will require that board […]

Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution May Be Out of Texas Science Standards

UPDATE: The Texas Board of Education approved the science standards BUT teachers will be required to have students “scrutinize” all sides of the theories. Read more here for more details. We are in the Round Top Texas area for two weeks participating in a very large collection of antiques shows held twice a year in […]

Florida Legislators: "Teach Critical Thinking in Science, but Just the Facts, Man in History"

Can you insist on critical thinking in one content area, and then demand that another be taught only as a factual pursuit? Well, that’s what some legislators in the Florida Senate believe. A bill was introduced on February 27, 2009 into the Florida Senate relating to educational instruction. It is a comprehensive bill that will […]

Florida Legislators: “Teach Critical Thinking in Science, but Just the Facts, Man in History”

Can you insist on critical thinking in one content area, and then demand that another be taught only as a factual pursuit? Well, that’s what some legislators in the Florida Senate believe. A bill was introduced on February 27, 2009 into the Florida Senate relating to educational instruction. It is a comprehensive bill that will […]

If You Teach Evolution, You May Be Required to Teach It Critically!

Legislators in several states believe that laws need to be passed to ensure that students are engaged in critical thinking activities. However, the legislators have limited their own thinking, and have selected specific scientific theories that should be examined critically, one of course, is evolution. Around the country, this trend is on the move. Here […]

What Would Darwin Say About Intelligent Design?

In this month’s Scientific American there is a very interesting article written by Glenn Branch & Eugenie C. Scott entitled The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom. There are three key ideas in the article, and they highlight the controversies that have surrounded the teaching of evolution in American public schools.  Here are the […]

Why Do Politicians & Other Elected Ones Spend So Much Time Worrying About Evolution?

In June 2008, the Governor of Louisiana signed the Louisiana Science Education Act into law which supports the Trojan Horse of using critical thinking as a way to creak open the door for the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design as part of science teaching. And now the State of Texas is having at it. […]

Why Do Politicians & Other Elected Ones Spend So Much Time Worrying About Evolution?

In June 2008, the Governor of Louisiana signed the Louisiana Science Education Act into law which supports the Trojan Horse of using critical thinking as a way to creak open the door for the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design as part of science teaching. And now the State of Texas is having at it. […]

Time to Teach Evolution?

I’ve written several posts over the past several years about the teaching of and opposition to teaching evolution.  Right now, there is evidence that the resistance to teach evolution is fading, although, if history is helpful, this lack of resistance will not last very long. In the article cited below there is a very interesting […]

Theory as Art and Science

The other day I was at my favorite book store, and purchased two books with the following titles.  Book 1: Only a Theory by Kenneth R. Miller; and Book 2: Final Theory by Mark Alpert.  I wasn’t looking for either book.  Alpert’s book was sitting on the display table as you walked into the store, […]

Kansas Reverses Science Standards on Evolution

Science education is in the news again in Kansas. The Kansas State Board of Education has changed the language in the science standards suggesting that basic evolutionary concepts were controversial and being challenged by new research. Now this statement is out, and the definition of science has reverted to its earlier version limiting science to […]

The Grand Canyon and Noah’s Flood

Huh? I was listening to a local radio show today, when I heard the show’s host claim that rangers at the Grand Canyon National Park can not tell visitors the age of the Grand Canyon because it might offend creationists. And in the Canyon bookstore is a book for sale that claims that the Grand […]

The Grand Canyon and Noah's Flood

Huh? I was listening to a local radio show today, when I heard the show’s host claim that rangers at the Grand Canyon National Park can not tell visitors the age of the Grand Canyon because it might offend creationists. And in the Canyon bookstore is a book for sale that claims that the Grand […]

God and Science, Part II

In July I wrote a post entitled God and Science which was prompted by Francis Collins book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief. Collins, a Christian, outlines how a scientist-believer can integrate science and faith. Now Time Magazine has interviewed Dr. Collins and Richard Dawkins. Collins is Director of the National […]

Evolution Enters The November Ballot Box

Evolution is an election issue in Ohio this year. Ninety percent of the science faculty at Case Western Reserve signed a letter endorsing the candidacy of Tom Sawyer for Ohio School Board. Sawyer is running against the incumbent Dr. D. Owens Fink, a professor of Marketing at the University of Akron. Fink supports I.D. and […]

Evolution of Kansas?

Tuesday’s vote in the State School Board elections in Kansas resulted in the ouster of the conservative majority which favored putting evolution under review (and only evolution—no other science concepts and ideas need such critical reveiw). According to observers of this election, and the ongoing debate between evolution and intelligent design, this was another major […]

Toto: I Think We ARE in Kansas!

Yes, Kansas is back in the news again regarding the nature of science, evolution, and the Kansas State School Board. Elections for half of the seats on the board are next Tuesday. In a New York Times article, Evolution’s Backers in Kansas Start Counterattack, a contentious election is being played out among the 16 candidates […]

God and Science

Francis Collins, Director of National Human Genome Research Institute has just published a new book entitled The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. The book was featured in an article in this week’s issue of Time Magazine entitled Reconciling God and Science. Collins, not only is a scientist but is a Christian […]

Teaching Evolution: A Case Study of a Courageous Science Teacher

There was an article (Evolution’s Lonely Battle in a Georgia Classroom) in the New York Times online edition on June 29 about a middle school teacher by the name of Pat New. She stood alone in her small north Georgia school district of Lumpkin County, which is located in the mountains, and decided not to […]

Dodo’s, Evolution and Intelligent Design

A former evolutionary-biologist turned filmaker has created a new film entitled Flock of Dodos-The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus. According to the New York Times article, “the biologist, Randy Olson, accepts that there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity and complexity of life on earth. He agrees […]

Dodo's, Evolution and Intelligent Design

A former evolutionary-biologist turned filmaker has created a new film entitled Flock of Dodos-The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus. According to the New York Times article, “the biologist, Randy Olson, accepts that there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity and complexity of life on earth. He agrees […]

Clergy’s Views on Teaching Evolution

As I reported in the previous posting, a recent study entitled Clergy views on evolution, creationism, science, and religion published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Volume: 43, Issue: 4, Pages: 419-442 reported very interesting findings that science teachers, parents, and students might benefit from. The authors used qualitative (indepth interviews) and quantitative […]

Clergy's Views on Teaching Evolution

As I reported in the previous posting, a recent study entitled Clergy views on evolution, creationism, science, and religion published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Volume: 43, Issue: 4, Pages: 419-442 reported very interesting findings that science teachers, parents, and students might benefit from. The authors used qualitative (indepth interviews) and quantitative […]

Teaching Evolution & Creationism

A recent study, published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (Vol. 43, 2006) reports findings relevant to this blog’s discussion and comments on evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. The abstract is as follows: “Spurred by students who felt conflicted accepting evolution and the tenets of their faiths, yet knowing their faiths supported science […]

Teaching Evolution & Creationism

A recent study, published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (Vol. 43, 2006) reports findings relevant to this blog’s discussion and comments on evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. The abstract is as follows: “Spurred by students who felt conflicted accepting evolution and the tenets of their faiths, yet knowing their faiths supported science […]

Intelligent Design Again in the News

Last Sunday (3/12/06), the Rev. Nelson Price of Marietta, GA wrote in his Sunday column in the Marietta Daily Journal, “Intelligent design infers there was a designer.” He brought up old arguments related to the issue: scientists are stifling free speech by not allowing intelligent design into the classroom of science; our youth are being […]

Why ID Should Not Be Taught in a Science Course

Intelligent Design (ID) advocates are clever folks. They know that a religious belief (like the creation story) can not be taught in a science course because it is not science, although for years “creation science” proponents tried in just about every state to get school districts to demand equal time with evolution by natural selection. […]

The Year that Evolved by Design

In science education, the year 2005, 100 years after Einstein’s “Annus Mirabilis,” had its own miracles, and that was the decision rendered by the Federal Judge, John Jones in the case brought to his court by parents in the Dover, PA school district challenging the school board’s decision to insist that science teachers read a […]

The Decision on Intelligent Design: What did Judge Jones Really Say?

As I indicated in the previous post on this Blog, Judge John Jones, a federal judge (a Republican, and appointed by George W. Bush, in his first term, not only rejected the teaching of intelligent design in science classes, but rebuked the Dover, PA school board, and the perpetuators of Intelligent Design, especially the law […]

Judge Rules Against Intelligent Design in Dover, PA Case

In what might become a landmark case in the cultural wars in science education, Judge John Jones ruled that teaching “intelligent design” would violate the Constitutional separation of church and state. In this Blog, I have written about this case, and other’s that impinge of the teaching of evolution in the public schools. In the […]

Evolution back in court in Georgia!

“Evolution” stickers are back in court, and I am back online. I had been on trip to England. And there in England, on every £10 (pound) note was a picture of Charles Darwin (replacing the other Charles, Charles Dickens). All I could think of was what would happen in the USA if we put Darwin’s […]

Using the Phoniness of “Intelligent Design” to Improve Science Teaching

Charles Krauthammer, in his piece in the Washington Post, Phoney Theory, False Conflict points out how intelligent design foolishly pits evolution against faith. As I have discussed here, intelligent design—by its own nature—is not science. Science involves asking questions. Science involves seeking answers to questions unknown. Science involves inquiry. Intelligent design—by its own nature—is a […]

Using the Phoniness of "Intelligent Design" to Improve Science Teaching

Charles Krauthammer, in his piece in the Washington Post, Phoney Theory, False Conflict points out how intelligent design foolishly pits evolution against faith. As I have discussed here, intelligent design—by its own nature—is not science. Science involves asking questions. Science involves seeking answers to questions unknown. Science involves inquiry. Intelligent design—by its own nature—is a […]

Closing Arguments (in the Dover Case)

On November 4, the closing arguments were presented to the Judge in the Dover, PA case which was brought to court by a group of parents in Dover against the Dover School District and Board. You can read the transcripts of this 21 day trial and learn a great deal about science education, evolutionary theory, […]

The People Have Spoken

Whew! What a day. First, the court case in Dover, PA came to a close on last Friday, and then yesterday all of the school board members that supported the inclusion of Intelligent Design into the science curriculum were swept out of office. That’s right they all lost their bid for re-election. Is the Judge […]

Galileo’s Mistake

Galileo’s Mistake. That title of a book caught my attention. I have always been interested in Galileo’s life and the contributions that he made to science, thus, the title was intriguing. Written by Wade Rowland, Ethics in Communication professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, the book is extremely timely in light the culture war going […]

Galileo's Mistake

Galileo’s Mistake. That title of a book caught my attention. I have always been interested in Galileo’s life and the contributions that he made to science, thus, the title was intriguing. Written by Wade Rowland, Ethics in Communication professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, the book is extremely timely in light the culture war going […]

Kansas Science Standards Under Scrutiny

The Kansas Board of Education is publishing its new Science Standards, but two leading science organizations, The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association have denied the Board use of any of its copyrighted materials in its Standards. Using the same arguments as are being used in the Dover, PA court case, […]

The Natural Selector and The Intelligent Designer: A Continuing Debate

A great dialog is going on right now in the midst of the Dover, PA school district’s defense of insisting that teachers read a statement in biology classes that upgrades Intelligent Design to the level of Darwin’s and Wallace’s concept of natural selection and the theory of evolution. The trial also demonstrated the legal power […]

Weekend Reading on the Evolution/Creationism/Intelligent Design Issue!

This blog has devoted considerable space to the cultural war that is raging primarily in school districts across the country. The issue is whether creation science, presently disquised as “intelligent design” should be taught along side evolution. Intelligent design folks think that some parts of the world (like the human eye) are too complicated for […]

Evolution is a Theory, Not a Fact?…Dover, PA

Even People Magazine is reporting on the controversy taking place in the Dover, PA school district where 11 Dover parents have sued the district to have the reading of this statement stopped: “Darwin’s theory of evolution is a theory….not a fact…keep an open mind.” I came across Alonzo Fyfe’s blog entry on science vs religion, […]

The Law of Evolution

I just purchased a new book by James Watson, Nobel Prize Laureate and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Its title is Darwin, The Indelible Stamp: The Evolution of an Idea. Watson includes in this one volume, four of the most important books by Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of […]

Intelligent Design Goes to Court

A group of parents in the Dover, PA school district have taken the school board to court to challenge the board’s decision that requires high school biology teachers to read a four-paragraph statement that notes that intelligent design offers an alternative theory for the origin and evolution of life — namely, that life in all […]

Teaching Evolution in Church

Several weeks ago, I read an article in the Washington Post, entitled Darwin goes to Church, written by Henry G. Brinton, pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church. In the adult Sunday school classes, David Bush, a member of the church, and a retired government worker is offering a course, “Evolution for Christians.” Being a Christian myself, […]

Evolution Stickers Become Extinct From Science Textbooks in Georgia

In today’s Marietta Daily Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was reported that the Cobb County School District (one of the largest districts in Georgia) was in the process of removing stickers from more than 34,000 science textbooks that included the topic of evolutionary theory. The stickers were placed in the books some two years […]