It’s the first week of classes. I’ve given the first lecture to my first year introductory biology course and my second year cell biology course, and the theme of both lectures was that science isn’t a body of facts, but a process for learning — and I’m emphasizing to them all that the conclusion is less important than how we come to that conclusion. And what do idiot politicians in Ohio do? They try to pass a law denying school kids knowledge of the process.
The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.
So you’re not allowed to teach how we know what we know, and you’re not allowed to make any inferences from what we know, but can only have the students memorize collections of “facts”. Facts that float in a void of meaninglessness, coming from nowhere and lacking in all implications. That’s just weird.
The politician pushing this inanity, Republican (of course) Andy Thompson, clearly has an agenda of his own, to shut down discussion of evolution and climate change, as they always do. I don’t see how this enforced limitation will help him do that. If I were trapped in a horrible educational system that demanded that I just have my students learn a set of rote facts, I’d sit down and make a list that included:
The earth is 4.5 billion years old.
All life on earth is related by common descent.
Evolution explains how the diversity of life arose from an original form.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.
The planet is warming; look, here’s a graph of global temperatures.
Climate change will have serious consequences within the next few decades, and is causing serious problems right now.
OK, kids, go memorize those facts, they’ll be on the test. Oh, you want to argue with me? Not allowed, by the law of the land, because that would involved discussing how we know those things. Teaching the controversy is now illegal. Sit down, shut up, start memorizing.