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Darwin fans: We censor in order to oppose censorship

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Of course. What other motive could there be? Re the South Dakota academic freedom bill, David Klinghoffer offers at Evolution News & Views :

In a surreal move, a group called the National Coalition Against Censorship has plunged into the South Dakota situation to demand continued restraints on teachers and their academic freedom — in other words, censorship.

They complain that SB 55 would “remov[e] accountability in science education.” “Accountability” there would seem to mean instructors being vulnerable to career retaliation for teaching critical thinking skills to science students. These “anti-censorship” proponents advocate retaining the option of punishing biology teachers for going off message on Darwinism.

They go on: “Essentially, [the bill] removes the restraints on teachers that prevents them from straying from professionally-developed science standards adopted by state educators.” The National Coalition Against Censorship favors keeping “restraints” on teachers firmly in place.More.

Oh wow. You mean, school boards don’t hire adults with good professional judgement? Teachers must be kept from “straying,” like prisoners on parole?

Darwinism is problem, but if anything like what we just heard is true, the system has bigger problems.

Actually, George (“1984”) Orwell explained it. These people form part of the outer party, dedicated to enforcing the government’s view in the name of intellectual freedom.

The group sounds like a treat. Here is their Kids’ Right to Read project.

The Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) is a signature aspect of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program. KRRP offers support, education, and direct advocacy to people facing book challenges or bans in schools and libraries and engages local activists in promoting the freedom to read. It was co-founded with the American Booksellers for Free Expression and is supported in part by the Association of American Publishers and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

So the smart high schooler can read Michael Behe’s Edge of Evolution at school if she wants? Wait, what was that smashing noise out in the hall? (muffled high-pitched screams… )

One wonders how many of the Coalition members are supported in whole or in part by the taxpayer. Just a question.

One possible response: Teachers should start talking about the work of non-Darwinian biologists and wait for local chuckleheads to jump up and down and scream that to even mention any other view than Darwin’ is censorship of Darwin.

See also: Gravy train wreck: No Free Lunch for Darwinism in Texas?

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2 Replies to “Darwin fans: We censor in order to oppose censorship

  1. 1
    redwave says:

    “Teach critical thinking. Teach how it is the cognitive processes of judging or deciding between and among thoughts, propositions, explanations, and data could yield understanding and advance knowledge. Teach how the scientific methodologies approach critical thinking in treating knowledge of physical phenomena and our understanding of reality. When teaching science, teach the primary criteria for approaching scientific methodologies … for example, that evidence (that which is obvious) entails observable (measurable), testable (experimental, predictable), experiential (empirical), verifiable (repeatable, falsifiable), and rational (mathematical) criteria. Teach what to do when a scientific theory does not obtain each and every criterion, how to proceed, where to go from here. Teach the uncertainties and certainties in complete honesty and transparency. And in teaching become that honesty and cultivate humility … admit not knowing, not knowing entirely nor in toto.

    “Teach the possible and probable consequences arising from critical thinking. And examine one’s own critical thinking with at least as much fervor as examining another’s thinking.

    “Critical thinking, including scientific methodologies, invites understanding from the full array of human experiencing, exempli gratia (e.g.), language, history, philosophy, logic, culture, religion, the arts, politics. One might not be able to know with certainty about all the variables that influence knowledge, but the search, inquiry, and critical thinking which includes familiarity with the available information will disclose new avenues of learning and open the mind to possibilities.

    “Teach critical thinking to oneself and then share with others what has been discovered through one’s learning.”

    [Thoughts shared from a research scientist and theologian.]

  2. 2
    critical rationalist says:

    From the original Washington Post article….

    The bill has been blasted by scientific and education organizations, including the South Dakota Department of Education, the School Administrators of South Dakota, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the National Center for Science Education, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Council Against Censorship, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota and the South Dakota Education Association.

    From the NCAS site

    S.B. 55, termed “an An Act to Protect the Teaching of Certain Scientific Information,” is, according to the bill, intended so “no teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information.” Critics of the legislation highlight its vague wording, which has the effect of removing accountability in science education.

    Essentially, it removes the restraints on teachers that prevents them from straying from professionally-developed science standards adopted by state educators. The bill, which was introduced by a senator who previously supported legislation designed to promote the teaching of creationism, may encourage teachers who object to the scientific consensus on evolution and climate change to bring their opinions into the classroom.

    Proponents of the legislation incorrectly argue that the legislation is necessary to protect free speech and academic freedom. The groups underline that there is no First Amendment justification for legislation that undermines the integrity of science education in the state.

    The groups, however, maintain that the Constitution protects professional educators and disciplinary experts who develop curricular materials in order to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to progress academically and to function as informed citizens. The First Amendment does not require the teaching of every opinion on a subject, because not all ideas are equally valid. A person who denies the Holocaust, for example, is entitled to have that belief but not to teach it in a public school history lesson.

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