Archive for the ‘creationism’ Tag

Texas board comes down on 2 sides of creationism debate

Texas board comes down on 2 sides of creationism debate

(CNN) — Dueling theories of how the universe was created got a split decision Friday night from the Texas Board of Education, which required examination of “all sides of scientific evidence” in new science standards, but rejected language requiring teachers to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories.

The debate pitted proponents of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution against supporters of religion-based theories of intelligent design, or creationism.

“Science loses. Texas loses, and the kids lose because of this,” board chairman Don McLeroy, a creationist, told the Dallas Morning News.

A final 13-2 vote approved language that will be printed in textbooks beginning in 2011 and remain there for 10 years, CNN affiliate KPRC-TV in Houston reported:

“In all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental observation and testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the students.”

Earlier, the board rejected two sections written by McLeroy on identical 8-7 votes, the Dallas Morning News said.

One section required teachers to “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information,” and the other required high school students to study the “sufficiency or insufficiency” of key principles of evolution.

Science: ur doin it wrong.

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Texas Rep. Leo Berman: let the Institute for Creation Research grant masters degrees

Texas State Representative Leo Berman has proposed a bill which would allow the Institute for Creation Research – a creationist think tank – to issue academic qualifications:

A Texas legislator is waging a war of biblical proportions against the science and education communities in the Lone Star State as he fights for a bill that would allow a private school that teaches creationism to grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) proposed House Bill 2800 when he learned that The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a private institution that specializes in the education and research of biblical creationism, was not able to receive a certificate of authority from Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board to grant Master of Science degrees.

Berman’s bill would allow private, non-profit educational institutions to be exempt from the board’s authority.

“If you don’t take any federal funds, if you don’t take any state funds, you can do a lot more than some business that does take state funding or federal funding,” Berman says. “Why should you be regulated if you don’t take any state or federal funding?”

HB 2800 does not specifically name ICR; it would allow any institution that meets its criteria to be exempt from the board’s authority. But Berman says ICR was the inspiration for the bill because he feels creationism is as scientific as evolution and should be granted equal weight in the educational community.

“I don’t believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago,” Berman told FOXNews.com. “I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution.

The bill in question can be found here.

See Bad Astronomy for more info.

Belfast museum faces legal battle over Darwin exhibition

Belfast museum faces legal battle over Darwin exhibition

The Ulster Museum in Belfast faces a legal challenge unless it stages a creationist exhibition as a counter to its forthcoming series on Charles Darwin, a Democratic Unionist member of the Northern Ireland assembly warned today.

Forty-eight hours after the DUP’s Northern Ireland environment minister, Sammy Wilson, railed against the idea that climate change is man-made, his party colleague Mervyn Storey has threatened legal action against the museum over its promotion of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The North Antrim DUP assembly member called this morning for an “alternative exhibition” promoting creationism to be staged alongside one planned for the Ulster Museum in Belfast this year.

Storey, a born-again Christian advocate of creationism and so-called intelligent design, said that as the museum in Belfast’s university district was publicly funded it should be subject to the province’s equality legislation.

Texas Board of Education votes against teaching evolution weaknesses

Texas Board of Education votes against teaching evolution weaknesses

AUSTIN – In a major defeat for social conservatives, a sharply divided State Board of Education voted Thursday to abandon a longtime state requirement that high school science teachers cover what some critics consider to be “weaknesses” in the theory of evolution.

Under the science curriculum standards recommended by a panel of science educators and tentatively adopted by the board, biology teachers and biology textbooks would no longer have to cover the “strengths and weaknesses” of Charles Darwin’s theory that man evolved from lower forms of life.

Darwin’s theory has long been widely accepted in the scientific community, although proponents for a biblical explanation of the origin of humans continue pointing to what they say are flaws in evolution theory.

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

Webcast quango: One-third of UK teachers are creationists

In a recent survey, barely half of a self-selecting sample of UK teachers who use the webcast service Teachers’ TV disagreed with the idea that “creationism or intelligent design should be given the same status as evolution in the classroom”. Some 87.9 per cent of respondents thought that it was appropriate to discuss religious matters in science classes if pupils brought them up.

Andrew Bethell, head of Teachers’ TV, commented:

“The debate on whether there is a place for the teaching of creationism in the classroom is still fierce. Although over half (50.4 per cent) of teachers either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that creationism should be given the same status as evolution, there is a significant minority who believe that it should be given equal weight.

“Perhaps most telling is the fact that, almost 9 out of 10 teachers take the pragmatic view that they should be allowed to discuss creationism or intelligent design in science, if pupils raise the question.”

The survey was carried out by emailing 10,600 people signed up to the Teachers’ TV website, of whom 1,210 responded. The government-funded quango webcast channel (which also broadcasts on satellite and cable, and has a two-hour Freeview slot) believes that “95 per cent of [the respondents] are teachers and the remaining 5 per cent work in the wider education workforce”.