Friday, March 24, 2006

389 x 989 = A very large number

There have been many Thunderdome-style battles in the public school systems of Southeastern states seeing who can emerge the most Blaster-y. Arkansas seems to be racing to the bottom.
Teachers at his facility are forbidden to use the “e-word” (evolution)
with the kids. They are permitted to use the word “adaptation” but only to refer to a current characteristic of an organism, not as a product of evolutionary change via natural selection. They cannot even use the term “natural selection.” Bob feared that not being able to use evolutionary terms and ideas to answer his students’ questions would lead to reinforcement of their misconceptions.

But Bob’s personal issue was more specific, and the prohibition more insidious. In his words, “I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD ... but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.”

4 comments:

Thrillhous said...

Interesting and scary. Good to see the documentation of Huckabee's anti-science approach. I doubt it'd lose him many votes if he runs for president, but I don't see it helping him any.

Mr Furious said...

I just finished my own diatribe on that story...link.

(That's not blog-whoring, that's a freindly invite over to my place. Sending the link via email to John Cole in a blatant attempt to garner traffic is blog-whoring...Plus, it's too long to paste in here.)

Smitty said...

I just get sick of people allowing themselves, regardless of the veracity of their beliefs, to cow to these fundamentalists. Are these fundies SO powerful that they will derail an entire school? I don't know. But people are allowing themselves to be backed into corners. They are censuring their own lessons and what they know measurably and observationally to be true right smack in front of us. Be proud. Be unafraid. EVOLUTIONEVOLUTIONEVOLUTIONEVOLUTION!!!!

sideshow bob said...

Shiva H. Vishnu!!!

I occasionally do some maintainence work in a local Catholic school, and even they prominently display evolution timelines and have displays of different samples of rocks with their estimated ages (in millions of years) labeled. Makes me think that this whole thing isn't so much Science vs. Religion as it is Intelligence vs. Ignorance...