September 19, 2008
In yesterday’s post, I described Science Debate 2008, and efforts to engage the two major candidates for President to answer 14 important questions about science. The one question that focused on science education was as follows:
A comparison of 15-year-olds in 30 wealthy nations found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 17th, while average U.S. math scores ranked 24th. What role do you think the federal government should play in preparing K-12 students for the science and technology driven 21st Century?
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September 18, 2008
You can find the answers to 14 science questions that were submitted to Barack Obama and John McCain at the Science Debate website.
Starting in 2007, a small group of individuals began working on the possibility of having a debate between the two candidates focusing on the importance of science in American society. The original group of 6 has grown to more than 40,000 people and through collaboration, more than 3,800 questions were generated, and reduced finally to 14 questions, one for the each of the following categories.… Read more
July 28, 2008
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, the title intrigued me, and after a quick review, I decided to buy it. Miller’s book was on a shelf in the science section, and the subtitle “evolution and the battle for America’s soul” and the fact that I had read other books by Miller caused me to buy this one. But here on this one visit to the bookstore, I found two books with the word theory in them. Later, I’ll tell you a bit about each book—they are very very different from each other—but first I have to tell you where my mind went when I thought about the word theory.… Read more
March 23, 2006
There has recently been a flurry of letters to editor in the Marietta Daily Journal (Georgia) that were promted by a editorial two weeks ago by a Rev. Price concerning intelligent design. There has also been another subset of letters prompted by a Jeffrey Selman who has for years challenged Cobb County officials (schools and government) on First Amendment issues. For instance, he organized a legal fight against the school district which had authorized placing “evolution is only a theory” stickers on all middle and high school life science and biology texts.… Read more
December 21, 2005
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 Dover, PA case, which was heard last fall in Jones’ court, the advocates of “intelligent design” challenged the teaching of evolution in the Dover schools, and suggested that science teachers read a statement questioning evolution, and directly inserting the teaching of intelligent design in biology classes.… Read more
November 19, 2005
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 dead end because it claims that some things simply are too complicated to be investigated further.… Read more