Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just the facts ma'am...

(I found an article at the Fox News website and thought I would do my part to diffuse the misinformation campaign currently raging against Sarah Palin by posting parts of it here as the election draws closer. The article was written by Maxim Lott)

Palin “Wants Creationism Taught in School”

The Charge: Palin opposes the teaching of evolution, and would mandate the teaching of creationism in the state’s public schools.

The Facts: Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members. She has kept this pledge, according to the Associated Press.

Palin has spoken in favor of classroom discussions of creationism, in some cases. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” Palin told the Anchorage Daily News in a 2006 interview.

(See: ‘Creation science’ enters the race; Palin is only candidate to suggest it should be discussed in schools. By Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, 27 October 2006)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teaching Evolution - Is There a Better Way?

Should Evolution Be Immune From Critical Analysis?

Teaching Origins in Public Schools
by David Menton
David Menton bio:

* Biomedical research technician at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota in
the Department of Dermatology (1960-62)
* Associate Professor of Anatomy at Washington University School of
Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (1966-2000)
* Associate Professor Emeritus of Anatomy at Washington University School
of Medicine (July 2000)


Dr. David N. Menton is a former Associate Professor of Anatomy, Washington
University School of Medicine in St. Louis, now retired. In his September
1995 address ("Evolution: Is a scientific critique possible?") at the
Abbey Arts Centre in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Menton commented:

"What I'm suggesting in the classroom is: not teaching creation. What I'm
suggesting you consider in the classroom is: teach evolution the way your
Minister of Education says you ought to--teach the curriculum the way they
say you ought to. I believe in obeying the laws. I didn't come here to
tell you to get yourself thrown out of a job or anything like that...Do
what you're asked to do."

"But there isn't anyone that's going to stop you from presenting critical
evidence against evolution. No one."

"I eagerly look forward to the first test case in court, where they drag a
teacher kicking and screaming into the courts who has done the job they're
supposed to do. They've taught evolution--they've covered the
curriculum--they've covered the points in the book--but they also
presented scientific evidence that is critical of these evolutionary
views--evidence generated by other evolutionists themselves. I'm waiting
for the court case when they take that person in the school and say: 'You
have no right presenting scientific evidence from evolutionists critical
of evolution.'"

"I'll tell you--the approach that is being taken here guarantees one're guaranteeing this course is going to be boring--you're
going to teach evolution as a 'Just So Story'. Anyone with dissenting
points of view is going to get crushed. They're either going to go along
with the evolutionary paradigm, or be told that they can't speak out;
they're not going to win that round, and neither will you. You're going to
bore your kids silly."

The following suggested Origins of Life policy, which first appeared in
the Buckna/Laidlaw article, "Should evolution be immune from critical
analysis in the science classroom?" ( is a
realistic, practical and legal way for local and state school boards to
achieve a win-win with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the
NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should
find the policy acceptable:

"As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and
evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved
theory of origins that can be taught in the [province/state] science
curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers
are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that supports and
questions evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote
the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include
only the scientific evidence/information for and against evolutionary
theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity
of life on our planet."

September 19, 2008 2:28 AM  

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