In the Florida Times-Union, Abel Harding tells us, “Florida Legislature poised to battle over teaching evolution in schools”:
Critics say that Wise’s legislation could open the door for teachers and students to challenge evolution, which they say is settled science.”You can have critical analysis of everything, but the idea that you should single out evolution for critical analysis is problematic,” said Joshua Rosenau, programs and policy director at California-based National Center for Science Education [the Darwin lobby]. “It’s recognized by the scientific community as the foundation of modern biology.”
Hold it right there, Rosenau. Which parts, exactly, are settled science? Junk DNA?
And does anyone really believe that Rosenau would be satisfied if critical thinking was also permitted on other issues? As if?
He also allows us to know,
“To prepare people to be educated citizens … they need to have an understanding of evolution,” he said. “To undermine that is a problem. I think it could hurt students.”
Actually, one thing that undermines teaching is the use of the school system for Rosenau’s cause, and the resulting backlash.
What students need to be educated citizens is basic literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, and research skills, civics, health knowledge, and a broad outline of relevant history and geography (the latter so that they can interpret what they read in the newspaper). There is considerable evidence that schools are failing in these areas, probably because too much time is spent on other stuff.
One thing to consider: We face a tsunami of information these days, and learning how to find out what one needs to know and analyze it critically is usually much more important than learning individual bits of information.