Thursday, April 11, 2013

Religion Taught in New National Science Curriculum

Most state boards of education are considering adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that set aside scientific inquiry and critical thinking in favor of accepting, by the faith of Secular Humanism, the opinion that the same human race that evolved from millions-year-old slime has now become all-powerful enough to change the climate of the earth.
"There's not enough discussion and argumentation. It puts off students because they feel that somehow it's very authoritarian. Science isn't like that."
-- Jonathan Osborne, Stanford University professor of science education

Climate change is the totalitarian’s dream come true. It offers a rationale for government intrusion into every aspect of life for every person on Earth.”
-- E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Cornwall Alliance
For background, read Scientists Call to Outlaw Non-evolution Theories & Beliefs and also read Teaching Evolution is Religious Indoctrination: Lawsuit as well as Media Scoff at Christians Advancing Science in Tennessee

In addition, read Poll: 15% of Americans Believe Darwinian Evolution

-- From "New teaching standards delve more deeply into climate change" by Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times 4/9/13

The Next Generation Science Standards, developed over the last 18 months by California and 25 other states in conjunction with several scientific organizations, represent the first national effort since 1996 to transform the way science is taught in thousands of classrooms. The multi-state consortium is proposing that students learn fewer concepts more deeply and not merely memorize facts but understand how scientists actually investigate and gather information.

For the first time, the proposed education standards identify climate change as a core concept for science classes with a focus on the relationship between that change and human activity.

Although legislators in Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and other states have proposed or passed bills to require teachers to include different views on climate change or mandate teaching the topic as a "controversial theory," the new national standards have not sparked any major political flaps so far.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "New Guidelines Call for Broad Changes in Science Education" by Justin Gillis, New York Times 4/9/13

Educators involved in drawing them up said the guidelines were intended to combat widespread scientific ignorance, to standardize teaching among states, and to raise the number of high school graduates who choose scientific and technical majors in college, a critical issue for the country’s economic future.

The guidelines also take a firm stand that children must learn about evolution, the central organizing idea in the biological sciences for more than a century, but one that still provokes a backlash among some religious conservatives.

. . . a group called Citizens for Objective Public Education, which lists officers in Florida and Kansas, distributed a nine-page letter attacking them. It warned that the standards ignored evidence against evolution, promoted “secular humanism,” and threatened to “take away the right of parents to direct the religious education of their children.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "New Science Standards Aim to Relate Concepts to Students’ Lives" by Katrina Schwartz, KQED (NPR/PBS Calif.) 4/10/13

One of the more controversial aspects of the new science standards is the inclusion of climate change in the curriculum. “There was never a debate about whether climate change would be in there,” Heidi Schweingruber of the National Research Council told National Public Radio. “It is a fundamental part of science, and so that’s what our work is based on, the scientific consensus.”

“Climate change is not a political issue and it’s not a debate,” said Mario Molina, deputy director for the Alliance for Climate Education.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teach science through argument, Stanford professor says" by Paul Gabrielsen, Stanford Report 4/9/13

Jonathan Osborne, professor of science education, says teachers should help students learn to argue a position from available evidence.

Osborne believes that this educational model, "argumentation," makes science education more valuable, not just for future scientists but for the public at large. His recent work suggests that training teachers how to implement this model is the toughest challenge that lies ahead.

"In science, people argue for their ideas, in terms of the evidence that they have," Osborne said. "There should be more opportunities to look at why some ideas are wrong, as well as what the right ideas are."

Argumentation invites students to consider the foundations of science, Osborne said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Public School Science Standards: Political or Pure?" By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Cornwall Alliance 1/25/13

The [NGSS] standards explicitly endorse a naturalistic worldview . . . [and] are related to the National Science Education Standards, all produced by the National Academies of Science, 93 percent of whose members are atheists or sympathetic to an atheist, Secular Humanist religious worldview.

. . . The specific religion promoted by the [NGSS] science standards is Secular Humanism. The Humanist Manifestoes define “Religious Humanism” as “an organized set of atheistic beliefs that (1) deny the supernatural, (2) claim that life arises via unguided evolutionary processes rather than as a creation made for a purpose, and (3) claim that life should be guided by naturalistic/materialistic science and reason rather than traditional theistic religious beliefs.” The science standards affirm each of these positions—not surprisingly, granted their authors, most of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences, 93 percent of whom, according to a survey, deny or question the existence of God.

But despite the standards’ insisting that humans are simply part of nature, their general perspective sets people off against the rest of nature. A section discussing “Human Impacts on Earth Systems” says, “Human activities now cause land erosion and soil movement … [and] [a]ir and water pollution … with damaging effects on other species and on human health.” A later section, on biodiversity and humans, asserts, “Human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change.” The assumption that what people do is bad is clear in a draft of performance expectations, which requires students to “Provide evidence that humans’ uses of natural resources can affect the world around them, and share solutions that reduce human impact”—as if human impact should always be smaller, not greater.

. . . And one thread running through almost all environmental studies curriculum is that business and industry are largely to blame for the world’s ecological crises, and consequently that we must embrace a “small is better,” “limits to growth,” “simple lifestyle” mentality at the personal level and an anti-business, anti-free market, anti-growth mentality at the societal and governmental level.

. . . The underlying naturalistic worldview and the politically charged positions on Darwinism and climate change in the NGSS show that this will be one more step in capturing the minds of America’s children—including those Christian children who attend public schools.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Top Scientist Dismisses Heaven as 'Fairytale' and Says Universe Created Itself, Not God as well as Atheist Scientists Say They're Spiritual: Study

In addition, read Atheist Proposes Godless Religion, Complete with Sermons

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