By now most of you are probably aware of the news from Texas and the new science standards there. Apparently, the new standards don’t sit well with Dr. Eugenie Scott and her friends at the NCSE, (National Center for Saving Evolution).
“The final vote was a triumph of ideology and politics over science,” says Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). “The board majority chose to satisfy creationist constituents and ignore the expertise of highly qualified Texas scientists and scientists across the country.” NCSE presented the board with a petition from 54 scientific and educational societies, urging the board to reject language that misrepresents or undermines the teaching of evolution, which the board likewise ignored.
Although the “strengths and weaknesses” wording that has been part of the standards for over a decade was finally excised–wording that has been used to pressure science textbook publishers to include creationist arguments–a number of amendments put the creationist-inspired wording back in.
One can almost see Dr. Scott wringing her hands as she says this.
It is worth noting that according to Scott, only a “creationist” would have any real doubts or questions about the fact of evolution. One has to wonder why she is so upset that students might actually have to learn how to ‘analyze and evaluate all sides of scientific evidence’ . How horrid! Imagine, students learning how to analyze and evaluate scientific evidence in a science classroom.
But, isn’t that what real scientist do? Someone ought to alert Dr. Scott et.al. about this study to be released in PNAS later this week. These researchers analyzed and evaluated all sides of certain scientific evidence for natural selection and found it, well, wanting. They are even willing to state that their analysis and evaluation poses a challenge to ‘hundreds’ of other research studies.
Something is clearly amiss here. Real scientists analyzing and evaluating actual scientific evidence and as a result challenge hundreds of other studies doesn’t seem to be a problem. I wonder what Dr. Scott and the NCSE might have said if the challenge had come, not from Ph.D. researchers at Penn State, but a group of thoughtful students in Texas learning how to ‘analyze and evaluate all sides of scientific evidence’. Would the cry of ‘Creationists!’ been far behind?