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Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools
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saint_john


Mar 23, 2012, 7:27 AM
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Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools
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http://www.treehugger.com/...ol.html#mkcpgn=fbth1


scrapedape


Mar 23, 2012, 8:19 AM
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Re: [saint_john] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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Sorry, I'm not reaching the same conclusion that you are from the linked materials. It looks like the bill passed is not identical to ALEC's model legislation, though the full text was not linked (only the first two pages).


scrapedape


Mar 23, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Re: [scrapedape] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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As far as I can tell, this the language as passed.

I am just not seeing the problem here. What are we so afraid of? That theories should be questioned? That's the central premise of science, for fuck's sake.

http://www.capitol.tn.gov/...107/Amend/SA0901.pdf

In reply to:
Senate Education Committee 1
Amendment No. 1 to SB0893
Gresham
Signature of Sponsor
AMEND S e nate Bill No. 893 House Bill No. 368*
SA0901
01474462
-1-
by adding the following language as a preamble to the bill:
WHEREAS, the general assembly finds that:
(1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about
scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to
become intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;
(2) The teaching of some scientific subjects required to be taught under the
curriculum framework developed by the state board of education may cause debate and
disputation including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life,
global warming, and human cloning; and
(3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectation concerning how they
should present information when debate and disputation occur on such subjects; now,
therefore,
AND FURTHER AMEND by deleting all language after the enacting clause and by substituting
instead the following:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by
adding the following as a new, appropriately designated section:
(a) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public
elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create
an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages
students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical
thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about

Senate Education Committee 1
Amendment No. 1 to SB0893
Gresham
Signature of Sponsor
AMEND S e nate Bill No. 893 House Bill No. 368*
SA0901
01474462
-2-
scientific subjects required to be taught under the curriculum framework developed by
the state board of education.

(b) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school
governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public
elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist
teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum taught under the
curriculum framework developed by the state board of education as it addresses
scientific subjects that may cause debate and disputation.
(c) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary
school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrators, or any
public elementary or secondary school principal or administrators shall prohibit any
teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand,
analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific
weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught within the
curriculum framework developed by the state board of education.

(d) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not
be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination
for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination
for or against religion or non-religion.
SECTION 2. By no later than the start of the 2012-2013 school term, the department of
education shall notify all directors of schools of the provisions of this act. Each director shall
notify all employees within the director's school system of the provisions of this act.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring
it.


petsfed


Mar 23, 2012, 1:40 PM
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Re: [scrapedape] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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The problem is that teaching intelligent design as science is a lot like teaching waffles as math. Sure, there may be something faintly math-like in waffles, but it really REALLY isn't math.

Likewise, the "controversy" in global warming stems from issues about the longevity of the warming trend, its specific causes (e.g. humans vs. cattles vs. volcanoes), and how it can be stopped. Anybody who says that the planet is not warming is lying. The drastic 50 year change in glacial coverage is not because the earth has stayed the exact same temperature over that same period, or that it is now the same average temperature as it was 5000 years ago.

Global warming is real, its causal mechanism (e.g. the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect) is well understood. The science is not so much settled as it is under no legitimate dispute.

So really, the law states that while the teachers shouldn't shy away from controversy, they still have to present strictly scientific information. Ergo, global warming denial, intelligent design, talking about the souls of clones, these are all verboten if you want to encourage open discussion. So thanks anti-science lobbyists! That really backfired.


(This post was edited by petsfed on Mar 23, 2012, 1:42 PM)


blondgecko
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Mar 23, 2012, 1:49 PM
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Re: [scrapedape] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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It's code language, with a long history of evidence as such. It's the latest tactic of creationists after their last defeat in court.

You're right, though - given a well-trained, knowledgable and honest science teacher, this legislation would be no problem at all. What it's actually written to accomplish, though (and there is well documented evidence to this effect) is to allow all the creationist/conservative science teachers out there to say things like:

"Carbon 14 dating doesn't work!
Microevolution happens, but macroevolution is impossible!
Using fossils to date strata, and strata to date fossils! Circular logic!
All the fossils were laid diwn in a giant catastrophic flood!
The Earth has been cooling since 1998!
CO2 is colourless, odourless plant food, and a tiny trace of our atmosphere! It can't possibly cause warming!"

etc. with impunity.

Of course they'll be shut down (yet again) at the first lawsuit - but that requires a student to brave the community ostracism, violence and death threats that inevitably accompany such things.


scrapedape


Mar 23, 2012, 7:14 PM
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Re: [blondgecko] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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I understand the concerns, in a general sense. Can either of you explain how passing this law will make things worse, rather than better? (I think petsfed is on side that this could actually be a good thing).

Consider also: while there are doubtless some young earth creationist science teachers, in whom do you generally have more confidence to set science curriculum responsibly: the teacher or the local school board member?


curt


Mar 23, 2012, 8:51 PM
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Re: [scrapedape] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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scrapedape wrote:
I understand the concerns, in a general sense. Can either of you explain how passing this law will make things worse, rather than better? (I think petsfed is on side that this could actually be a good thing).

Consider also: while there are doubtless some young earth creationist science teachers, in whom do you generally have more confidence to set science curriculum responsibly: the teacher or the local school board member?

In general, teaching junk science is not currently allowed in the classroom. Legislation such as this permits its introduction--that is the problem BG is alluding to.

Curt


petsfed


Mar 23, 2012, 10:13 PM
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Registered: Sep 24, 2002
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Re: [scrapedape] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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The problem is that the folks writing this legislation, and the folks who will be on the defense when it goes to court don't understand why ID isn't science, or why there's no *real* controversy regarding global warming. They will come in with a 4th grade understanding of science and the judge will have the same (if not worse) understanding of what makes *anything* science.

So, if we have an intelligent judge on the case, it really isn't a problem. However, as a science educator, I don't expect the average lawyer, judge, or layperson to be able to spell science, let alone understand why falsifiability, independent confirmation, or overall tentativeness is so critical to the concept. I still fight, daily, the "in theory" battle as if "theory" means "ruthlessly ripped from my own ass without spending a single fucking second to compare it to any observations whatsoever", when really, theory means "agrees with all observations ever made in the history of human investigation". There's a HUGE difference between the two, and the former is the understanding of science that leads to this sort of legislation.


Toast_in_the_Machine


Mar 26, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Registered: Sep 11, 2008
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Re: [petsfed] Global warming denial must be taught in TN schools [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
The problem is that teaching intelligent design as science is a lot like teaching waffles as math. Sure, there may be something faintly math-like in waffles, but it really REALLY isn't math.

Likewise, the "controversy" in global warming stems from issues about the longevity of the warming trend, its specific causes (e.g. humans vs. cattles vs. volcanoes), and how it can be stopped. Anybody who says that the planet is not warming is lying. The drastic 50 year change in glacial coverage is not because the earth has stayed the exact same temperature over that same period, or that it is now the same average temperature as it was 5000 years ago.

The bitter irony is that because the "right" has so openly decided to argue that which is inarguable (the science) that they have fore-fitted their position at the table to discuss solutions. I personally think that there are many solutions that can encompass regulations within a market (i.e. cap and trade) that can work quite well.


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