Trying their best to keep Ohio’s students ignorant


The new Common Core standards for K-12 education has become the latest battleground for people who are trying to hold back the tide of good education because of fears that it will not support religious dogma, anti-science ideology, and conservative political history. In Ohio, A Republican state legislator Andy Thompson is introducing legislation to do this.

Thompson said that clause prevents teachers and schools from only presenting one side of a political and scientific debate — global warming, for example — without also presenting the other side.

And he said the bill gives districts and teachers the freedom to teach religious interpretations of scientific issues as they deem best. That allows “intelligent design” and creationism to be taught alongside evolution, as well as varying views on the age of the earth and whether dinosaurs and people existed at the same time.

Thompson said faith involves belief even when evidence cannot prove something. Asked if faith-based beliefs belong in a science class, he said he is not seeking to require that any beliefs make up a given percentage of a class.

Thompson said all scientific beliefs are open to challenge. He pointed to ancient beliefs that the sun orbited the earth – a belief widely accepted, but which was eventually challenged and disproven.

“In science, the debate is ongoing,” he said.

By requiring multiple sides to be presented, he said the bill will take the “pure politicization” of any issue out of classrooms.

Ah yes, the old ‘multiple sides’ ploy. I wonder if teachers will also be teaching the demon theory of friction? It explains everything about friction, so it must be good, no?

There is so much wrong with Thompson’s argument that one hardly knows where to start except to say that he has absolutely no idea about what science is and how it evolves. There is so much wrong with Thompson’s argument that one hardly knows where to start except to say that he has absolutely no idea about what science is and how it evolves. Perhaps he went to school at the Unlearning Annex. (Caution: Video autoplays.)

Comments

  1. Cuttlefish says

    Isn’t this precisely the sort of situation that spawned the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

  2. Chiroptera says

    Thompson said all scientific beliefs are open to challenge. He pointed to ancient beliefs that the sun orbited the earth – a belief widely accepted, but which was eventually challenged and disproven.

    Just like a literal reading of Genesis. His analogy explains why Genesis isn’t taught in proper science classes. Gosh, this is almost an own goal!

    “In science, the debate is ongoing,” he said.

    In his previous sentence, this clown just stated that the sun orbiting the earth has been disproven, and so the debate isn”t ongoing. (Just like Genesis!) Good gravy, these clowns can’t even keep track of what they just said in the previous sentence!

  3. smrnda says

    In science, some debates are ongoing. However, there are no real debates on most of the issues where politicians want to ‘teach the controversy.’ Maybe people who are not scientists should not editorialize on how the subject is taught?

  4. Matt G says

    Well maybe they should try something new. What they have now clearly failed Andy Thompson….

  5. hyphenman says

    Mano,

    I think this goes way beyond wanting to keep students ignorant; this is willful obfuscation.

    Jeff

  6. vereverum says

    He pointed to ancient beliefs that the sun orbited the earth – a belief widely accepted, but which was eventually challenged and disproven.
    “In science, the debate is ongoing,” he said.

    In this example, he envisions himself and the biblical literalists as the promoters of heliocentrism; evolution as geocentrism and in this framework the debate is still ongoing, it is just being suppressed by the church now represented by science and reason. They know that in the end they will win so they will never give up.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    I’m currently reading Brandon Haught’s Going Ape: Florida’s Battles Over Evolution in the Classroom (University Press of Florida, 2014), and last night plowed through the chapter on the 2008 state legislative battle over a “multiple viewpoints” (in this case called “academic freedom”) bill.

    Back then the teabaggers-to-be strenuously insisted that their proposals did not legitimate teaching of “intelligent design” or other forms of creationism in public school classrooms. Andy Thompson’s current maunderings, no longer so inhibited, imply that the Kitzmiller decision was not the game-ender various optimists declared it at the time.

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