|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
For the trolls at PT, I posted the following comment:
For FL and IBIG, since they seem to be incapable of either following links or reading the text that is there, I had rather more on the topic at my personal blog. I noted that the "critical analysis" language was just like what Ohio got handed by the Discovery Institute back in 2002. So what happens after a policy or law goes into effect mandating "critical analysis"? We actually know about it because Ohio ran the experiment for us:
Of course, what Ohio got was a lesson plan whose specifics were falsehoods about evolutionary science and recycled religious antievolution arguments, including those associated with “intelligent design”, which the “critical analysis” advocates (falsely) swore up and down would not be presented to Ohio’s students.
No, people opposed to bills like Florida’s SB1854 are not against “academic freedom” or even actual “critical analysis”; they are opposed to using the power of government to force teachers to tell lies to students, which is all that the ensemble of long-rebutted religious antievolution argumentation is. While the bill doesn’t explicitly mandate that crap like what was delivered in Ohio will have to be used in Florida classrooms, the track record is clear that we can expect only that.
Much more on the faults of the Ohio "critical analysis" crud is available here. That includes links to the original files, so you can see exactly what the religious antievolutionists were trying to wedge in the door.
Personally, I would love for Florida's students to get a good enough grounding in evolutionary science that they could be introduced to Elliott Sober's book, Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology, 3rd Edition. That provides an example of what real critical analysis is.
Our experience in other places, however, is that none of the people talking up "critical analysis" aimed solely at evolutionary science (and perhaps one or two other wingnut-bugbear topics tossed in to avoid the "singled out" criticism) are interested in good or excellent education in evolutionary biology. They are solely interested in giving cover to teachers who are willing to subvert science by including arguments from the long-rebutted religious antievolution ensemble.
The pretense is that we might get Sober in the classroom, but the reality is the kids only get Gished.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker