This is pretty bad. It’s a school called the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, and the concept is great — bring smart high school students in to college early, where they can get more advanced instruction from professors. It sounds like the faculty are good and competent, near as I can tell, but I got a message from one of the students attending the school: the administration seems determined to destroy the science and math aspects of the program, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ve already damaged its reputation.
They bring in outside seminar speakers — good idea — but the impression I’m getting is that their speakers are there to contradict the science. They’re bringing in people from Probe Ministries, of all places; it’s a gang of god-walloping creationists who rail against homosexuality and abortion. That is not a good sign.
Then, this year, they give out t-shirts with a cute logo to admitted students. This is another fine idea, except that the implementation is truly cringeworthy. Students get to choose one of two t-shirts, and, well, their choices are both revealingly ignorant.
Here’s choice #1. This is not good; using a perceived human progression to represent evolution is misleading and perpetuates an unfortunate misconception. I know that that image is iconic and remarkably popular, but it isn’t right. Show me a branching tree. Show me multiple species overlapping in time. Show me something about diversity. Just please don’t show me something that implies evolution is about creating humans as an end result.
But all right, the goal of a t-shirt slogan is to be catchy, so if that were the only problem here, I could go along with it. But it’s not. Wait until you get a load of Option B.
Whoa. I had to look again at the title of this place, and it says “Academy of Mathematics and Science,” all right. It’s preceded by “Texas,” though — is that a modifier like “Not”?
That is utterly ridiculous. It gives equal billing to a nonsensical idea with no evidence in its support whatsoever, an idea which is anti-science, and makes me wonder what’s going on there. Are there any UNT readers here? Any faculty? Can you explain what the heck the people administering the TAMS program are thinking, and if this is a conscious attempt to undercut the science program, or whether they’re just plain ignorant? As it is, I couldn’t recommend your institution to anyone, and now I’ve gone and made a blog post that belittles your efforts.