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Darwin’s followers worry about “increasingly generic language” in intellectual freedom bills

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Increasingly generic language = there is less and less of a fit between Darwin’s followers views and the realities of biology, as known today. So it would not take much to offend them.

From an Ars Technica roundup :

As tracked by the National Center for Science Education, four states are considering a total of five bills; Missouri has the honor of having two bills going at once, while Virginia and Oklahoma have one. The Virginia bill is fairly typical of these. It would prevent local school boards and administrations from punishing teachers who help students “analyze, critique, and review” scientific theories in their classrooms. In the past, these bills have singled out evolution as a topic that’s meant to be critiqued—one Missouri bill still does—but lately that’s often been dropped in favor of generic language like “scientific controversies” (see, for example, the Oklahoma bill).

Based on the evolutionary history of these bills, it’s clear that they were originally intended to encourage teachers who wished to introduce spurious criticisms of evolution, many of which have been published by the creationist and intelligent design movements. However, in an attempt to avoid legal scrutiny, the bills’ authors have been turning to increasingly generic language.

The thing is, there is so much flimflam going on in science education today that generic language creates lots more opportunities.

No one expects criticism of Darwinism from Darwinists. Especially when they make it so abundantly clear that their theory functions as an unfalsifiable metaphysic for them as well as an organizer for biology class curricula. But anyone surveying actual science literature today will find abundant materials to help students get past “education” to grasp, in some part, the reality: Just a couple that whistled through recently (no time for more):

Paper dates origin of life at 9.7 billion years ago (way before Earth)—only way seen to even try to address complexity issues

Life originated only fifteen million years after the Big Bang? (ditto)

Tree of intelligence now matchsticks?: Plants communicate? (Darwinism hindered serious work on this question.)

Science mag admits, DNA studies shake tree of animal life Deep complexity appeared early, did not evolve by slow Darwinian process that we know of.

Epigenetics: A look at a pioneer and his field The light goes on, and the selfish gene’s corpse is lying there.

And that’s only stuff that whistled past the News desk here in the last few days. There is a world out there, and it isn’t Darwin’s. But it is the world of the cash cow school system: the big three textbook publishers, the teachers’ unions, and the people who locate jails depending on the public school population. So many prudent people just pay their property taxes as a ransom for the right to stay out of the sinkhole—and send their own offspring elsewhere if by any chance they can afford to.

So what Darwin’s friends in the legislature must now do is make laws against uttering or alluding to anything not written in a textbook they approve.

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F/N 2: Compare Dawkins' site, here:
Contrary to the religious claims, teaching your kid that evolution is a scientific fact is not indoctrination, no more than teaching that 2+2=4. Explain the big bang, how stars and planets formed, and compare those to stories from world religions. Do not shy away from calling these stories myths, especially if they are, as in creationism. Again, teaching your child the scientific truth to the origins of life is not indoctrination, it’s education.
1 --> Terming "evolution" a fact is so loaded and begs so many questions it isn't funny. 2 --> Just what is the scientific TRUTH to the origins of LIFE? As in, has it been demonstrated that cell based life originated spontaneously from chemicals in some warm pond or the like? Or, would it be fairer to say that there is no established "truth" on a spontaneous undirected origin of life. 3 --> The big bang points to a contingent observed cosmos with a finitely remote beginning, which is also well known to be fine tuned for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life. It is a serious argument that this indicates intelligent design of the cosmos, but we can hardly expect the likes of the ilk at Dawkins' site to point out this option. 4 --> Much more likely is this, from Lewontin's notorious NYRB article of January 1997:
. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people's heads we must first get an incorrect view out . . . the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen. [[--> Perhaps the second saddest thing is that some actually believe that these last three sentences that express hostility to God and then back it up with a loaded strawman caricature of theism and theists JUSTIFY what has gone on before. As a first correction, accurate history -- as opposed to the commonly promoted rationalist myth of the longstanding war of religion against science -- documents that the Judaeo-Christian worldview nurtured and gave crucial impetus to the rise of modern science through its view that God as creator made and sustains an orderly world. Similarly, for miracles -- e.g. the resurrection of Jesus -- to stand out as signs pointing beyond the ordinary course of the world, there must first be such an ordinary course, one plainly amenable to scientific study. The saddest thing is that many are now so blinded and hostile that, having been corrected, they will STILL think that this justifies the above. But, nothing can excuse the imposition of a priori materialist censorship on science, which distorts its ability to seek the empirically warranted truth about our world.] [From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997.]
See the problem? Let's spell it out, when science becomes a priori materialist scientism dressed up in the lab coat and presented as the sole begetter of truth, those enmeshed lose all ability to think outside the materialist box. And if those who are teaching are int eh box too, the problem just gets passed on down as presumed Truth. Oopsie. KF kairosfocus
Cantor, I see your point, but I tend to think of the distinction as classical/modern Physics (a fairly typical way of looking at it), with both quantum and relativity being involved. On that, we are looking at a revo from about 1880 to 1930, starting with Michelson Morley and ether drift, then on tot he cavity rqadiation UV catastrophe and Planck's solution then Einstein in those 1905 papers in Annalen Der Physik that did so many things between Brownian motion [atoms], photo effect [quantum], and electrodynamics of moving bodies [relativity]. General relativity was about 1916, and the Copenhagen conference was about 1926 IIRC. By about 1930 things had settled down. 1939, Hahn discovered fission. KF kairosfocus
F/N: Here is an interesting discussion, in Journal of Educational Controversy: >>Ideological indoctrination and teacher education William Hare Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS, Canada Philosophers who have been concerned with the problem of indoctrination have focused attention chiefly on teaching, textbooks, and the curriculum in elementary and secondary schools where the age of the students and the fact that they have yet to fully develop their own critical judgment suggests a certain vulnerability and susceptibility to non-rational persuasion. On the one hand, teachers may abuse their power and authority and seek to impose certain beliefs and values, actively discouraging their students from raising problems or objections; on the other hand, certain views may simply escape scrutiny and pass unchallenged in education because they have become part of what Karl Popper (1975) labels uncritical common sense. In either case, the real danger is that young students will become incapable of assessing such views for themselves. Indoctrination results when students lose the ability to assess the merits of the ideas they are studying or coming to acquire and find themselves locked into certain beliefs and assumptions in such a way that they cannot seriously consider alternative views because their minds have been closed. To counter any tendency towards indoctrination in schools and to prepare students to recognize and resist indoctrination, a conception of education is needed that involves teachers having an open-minded attitude and a commitment to critical questioning in classrooms. In Israel Scheffler’s words (1989), the manner of teaching should respect the student’s intellectual integrity and capacity for independent judgment. This means that students must be encouraged to develop skills and attitudes that will enable them to assess the reasons and evidence that are thought to support various ideas, to evaluate the credibility of the sources where such ideas originate, and to resist the efforts of those who wish to control their thinking. Students need to keep in mind that new ways of thinking may emerge in the future that will require them to revise the views they have come to hold. They need to recognize that they may fail to notice the controversial character of certain beliefs, and that they may be unconsciously learning to accept without question a general framework of ideas that is closing off alternative ways of thinking. Philosophy of education, with its emphasis on critical thinking, consciousness-raising, and open-mindedness, has done much to remind us of the need to remain vigilant about the danger of indoctrination and authoritarianism in schooling. Less attention, however, has been paid to the question of whether teachers themselves might be subject to indoctrination in their professional preparation, undermining their own development as critical, open-minded persons. The relative neglect of this question may itself be an example of the power of uncritical common sense if it results from assuming too quickly that teacher education programs, now centred in universities rather than in separate teacher training colleges, necessarily reflect the ideal of disinterested inquiry and critical judgment traditionally associated with universities. Chris Arthur (2004) reminds us that universities are concerned to provide students with the ability to make wise choices, not to promote allegiance to particular positions; skepticism has emerged, however, about how far universities in general, and schools of education in particular, recognize and respect this central ideal in practice . . . >> Food for thought. KF kairosfocus
KF @ 1 wrote:
two major revolutions in less than 300 years
Two major revolutions in less than 25 years (early 1900's). cantor
News Wiki gives us a very interesting comment on education vs indoctrination (especially in light of its notorious biases and agendas):
Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine).[1] It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.[2] As such the term may be used pejoratively, often in the context of education, political opinions, theology or religious dogma. The term is closely linked to socialization; in common discourse, indoctrination is often associated with negative connotations, while socialization refers to cultural or educational learning.
Wiki's progressivist, secularist biases come out in its chosen examples. But indoctrination in secularist humanist evolutionary materialism dressed up in a lab coat and presented as fact, Fact, FACT beyond dispute, is exactly a case of ideological indoctrination. My suggestion for a long time now has been that here is need to give students an historically anchored appreciation of strengths and limitations of science, reasoning and basic worldview level thinking. (For instance the Eugenics movement is a capital example of how science can err badly while thinking itself in the vanguard of knowledge.) In that context there can be a much more reasonable discussion of current and past thought, issues and trends, with from the worldviews level, ethics brought to bear. KF kairosfocus
Paper dates origin of life at 9.7 billion years ago (way before Earth)—only way seen to even try to address complexity issues Can I humbling suggest that someone who thinks that 7 points (which dont' actually represent what they say they do...) and extrapoloating it back many orders of magnitude constitutes good science is not in a position to offer opinions on how science should be critqued. wd400
PS: And as for ethics of science and science and society . . . kairosfocus
News, The objections to academic freedom bills -- in a contexct where there is reason for teachers to fear for their careers if they fail to toe the current partyline -- sound more and more like a failure to accept the history of science and its implications as stated by philosophers of science, multiplied by a determination to enforce a failing orthodoxy by abuse of state power. No finding or theory of science of consequence is free from critique or is established beyond possibility of correction. Scientific knowledge claims, in general are provisional and open ended, as the history of my home discipline, physics shows: two major revolutions in less than 300 years. So, what is needed is an exposure to the strengths and limitations of scientific reasoning and knowledge that lead to an ongoing need for research and critique, rather than indoctrination in an orthodoxy that happens to hold the halls of power today. KF kairosfocus

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