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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the thinking-leads-to-questioning dept.

Education 528

frdmfghtr (603968) writes Over at Ars Technica, there's a story about a bill in the Ohio legislature that wants to downplay the teaching of the scientific process. From the article: "Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it's likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they're bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information." The science standards would have "...focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." Political interpretation of scientific facts include humans contributing to climate change according to the bill's sponsor, who also thinks intelligent design would be OK under the law.

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The US slides back to the caves (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 2 months ago | (#47765443)

What the hell is up with you people over there in the US. Still using Imperial measurements? Banning science in favour of teaching about a wizard who made everything not so long ago. producing 40% of the worlds pollution whilst only having 4% of the worlds population


Your priorities are fucked.You do good war and spying though, I'll give you that.

The US slides back to the caves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765605)

Hmmm. You are gay.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (1, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#47765633)

Still using Imperial measurements?

Do you find your 10-day workweeks more convenient, now that you've completely gone over to the metric system?

Re:The US slides back to the caves (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 months ago | (#47765651)

Actually, the metric unit of time is the second ;)

Re:The US slides back to the caves (2)

bazmail (764941) | about 2 months ago | (#47765899)

Go easy on him. At least he's using base 10 notation.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765715)

+1 Informative. The people moderating this flamebait are obviously Americans caught up in the delusion.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (4, Insightful)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about 2 months ago | (#47765819)

No, it's flamebait. It mentions no less than four additional points not relevant to this discussion simply in an attempt to troll Americans. Take out those four other points and I would agree it's a valid criticism, or perhaps include other points that ARE relevant/related.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765969)

No, it's flamebait. It mentions no less than four additional points not relevant to this discussion simply in an attempt to troll Americans. Take out those four other points and I would agree it's a valid criticism, or perhaps include other points that ARE relevant/related.

I'm sorry, but the point regarding the imperial system is relevant. Only the irrational "logic" of religion would explain why the hell we refuse to convert.

Re: The US slides back to the caves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765725)

Keep in mind how big the us is and deverse. Head to the coasts and you will find that its like compairing night and day. Still it makes the us the butt of other peoples jokes.

Re: The US slides back to the caves (3, Insightful)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 months ago | (#47765777)

...and at a research institution in Ohio... I think we're going to have a moment of silence at lab meeting. And then start screaming.

Re: The US slides back to the caves (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47765905)

Not to worry. It will drag through the courts, get defeated, wasting huge amounts of taxpayers' money, all so a bunch of moronic religious ingrates can try to make some sort of point.

Re: The US slides back to the caves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765853)

This is a good point and something we in Europe forget sometimes. We just think of the US as a whole, but you look at Europe and the diversity therein. You can find just as many if not more backward bits.

Re: The US slides back to the caves (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 2 months ago | (#47766027)

Keep in mind how big the us is and deverse. Head to the coasts and you will find that its like compairing night and day. Still it makes the us the butt of other peoples jokes.

I know you're only trying to help defend the image of the American education system, but please, stop. I'm not sure you could have packed more condemnation of your school's English curriculum into a three sentence reply.

You did remind me of a joke, though. "The bigger America is, diverse it gets."

Re:The US slides back to the caves (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765771)

This is a proposed bill. Come back and say that when it actually passes. Yeesh. You would think Europe forgot they still have politically active nationalists throughout.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (0)

bazmail (764941) | about 2 months ago | (#47765857)

Proposed by the people you voted for.

"Yeesh" indeed.

Quit trying to make it look like they are just Random Legislation Generators who are in fact good at their job.

Re:The US slides back to the caves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765955)

Agreed. OP deserved -1 Flamebait.

Because of the size of the population (which exceeds that of all Europe), there are many great and many shitty people. I would say that the US has the most:
- Fat people
- Slim people
- Religious conservative people
- Liberals
- War mongering people
- Peace lovers
- Gun right activists
- Gun laws activists
- etc etc etc.

Let's say 95% of the population is modern thinking and 5% is retarded. That's over 17M people. Now lets say 80% are OK with the Metric system and 20% can't handle it. That could be 70M people. A big market to be left out!! This situation exists only in the US. So people who must always criticize the US about everything just don't know shit.

Btw, most modern technologies and improvements to society have come from the US or been funded by the US. So yeah, it has its faults because of the size of its varied interests, but overall it's been a huge Plus to the world..

Re:The US slides back to the caves (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 2 months ago | (#47765959)

What the hell is up with you people over there in the US. Still using Imperial measurements?

The US has never used Imperial measurements [wikipedia.org] . We use US customary units [wikipedia.org] . They're both [wikipedia.org] derived from the same English units [wikipedia.org] , but they do actually have several differences [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The US slides back to the caves (0, Troll)

bazmail (764941) | about 2 months ago | (#47766039)

Riiiiight. And you don't eat French fries, you eat FREEDOM fries.


So there.

just because the dept of ed.... (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47765445)

just because the dept of ed has utterly failed any of us who went through school in the past 40 years, doesnt mean the right thing to do is go back and not teach you know, the basics. The dept of ed is horrible, but people like this dont belong setting the curriculum either

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (2, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765481)

Right, you seem to be of the mistaken impression that people are getting less educated or something. Drop out rates have lowered across those 40 years, while test scores have mostly gone up.

You've only been "failed" inasmuch as other first world nations have been doing it better.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765573)

. Drop out rates have lowered across those 40 years, while test scores have mostly gone up.

making it easier to cater to the incompetent yields higher scores

go figure

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765711)

Bullshit. Ask the College Board. They've had to raise SAT difficulty for decades due to increasing standards.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (3, Informative)

zkiwi34 (974563) | about 2 months ago | (#47765849)

Which of course explains away why a steadily increasing number of incoming college freshman have to take remedial courses. Here's a quote from http://www.highereducation.org... [highereducation.org] for you.

"he California State University (CSU), a large public university system, for many years has applied placement or readiness standards in reading, writing, and mathematics that are linked to first-year college coursework. All first-time students at all 23 CSU campuses must meet these standards, principally through performance on a common statewide placement examination. Despite systemwide admissions policy that requires a college-preparatory curriculum and a grade point average in high school of B or higher, 68% of the 50,000 entering freshmen at CSU campuses require remediation in English language arts, or math, or both."

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765935)

Ah, but that's not hard to see the cause of.

College enrollments are up. More people are going further in their education.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (3, Interesting)

larkost (79011) | about 2 months ago | (#47765887)

Do you have a source for that? The only things I can find in this area:

1) In 1995 they "re-centered" the test because scores were starting to slip.
2) In 2005 the Math section was made marginally harder to reduce the number of perfect scores. They also changed the verbal section to remove analogies.
3) In 2016 they will remove the more obscure vocabulary words to focus on more commonly used words.
4) MENSA will no longer take scores from the SAT after January of 1994 as criteria for admission.

None of this speaks to a steadily rising difficulty. And with one exception seems to indicate a little bit of the opposite.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765623)

He's also a pothead, so he never tried very hard in school.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47765665)

And by "better" you mean "better at massaging the figures and sweeping their failures under the carpet".

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765589)

There is nothing wrong with education in America, beyond money being diverted by administrators out of the classrooms, away from the students, and away from the teachers.

Don't blame education as a whole, blame the policy-making administrators who decide how the money gets spent.

Re:just because the dept of ed.... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47765683)

Well there is, but the above aren't the problems, and you've called out the major motivators for the current problems.

This is good! (5, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47765447)

I've argued many times before that the problem with "Intelligent Design" is not that whether it's "true" or not, but rather that it's not science because it ignores the Scientific Method and thus does not belong in a science class. I'm glad that this lawmaker, at least, is willing to address that argument directly instead of obfuscating.

He's still wrong, of course, but at least he's less intellectually dishonest than the average creationist. That's convenient, since it makes his position -- which is that Ohio should prohibit schools from teaching science entirely (since science is the Scientific Method) -- easier to both understand and oppose.

Re:This is good! (4, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 months ago | (#47765475)

Basically he just wants to teach 'facts'. Which is effectively just teaching history. Which conveniently he'll substitute his own political version of history for the recruits...I mean kids...to learn.

Re:This is good! (4, Funny)

maliqua (1316471) | about 2 months ago | (#47765599)

without the how, facts mean nothing

5 * 5 =25

don't ask why it just is memorize it and every other result of a process!

Re:This is good! (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47765795)

Not only that, but without the "why", the facts can be easily undermined.

Teacher to kids: "Evolution is the process by which species change over time to better suit their environment."

ID Advocate: "See? There's no evidence for it and the so-called scientists are just making things up as they go along. It's not like they have some 'process' they follow. If they did, wouldn't you have been taught that in school?"

Re:This is good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765767)

It is not about teaching "facts" but about teaching people to be subservient to authority. The scientific method is about questioning authority, and that is the last thing these people want. They want happy students absorbing the crap that is handed to them and taking it in without question.

Re:This is good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765807)

Even history is meaningless without scientific analysis. Historians regularly scrutinize records using the scientific method to distinguish between fact and legend.

Re:This is good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765627)

science is the Scientific Method
This. It encapsulates the debate, and it fits on a bumper sticker.

Re:This is good! (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47765763)

*sigh*

The bumper sticker reads "Scientists do it with the Scientific Method"

Re:This is good! (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47765739)

he's less intellectually dishonest

So it's not dishonest or even a teensy bit unethical to be self-contradictory? As in "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another."

Re:This is good! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47765877)

I didn't say it wasn't dishonest (or unethical, for that matter) at all, just that it was less so. The important thing is that obviously self-contradictory arguments are easier to refute. This lawmaker's stupidity has eclipsed his dishonesty, and that's good (for the rest of us).

This is good! (1)

Cealestis (2994039) | about 2 months ago | (#47765903)

That's exactly it. Intelligent Design is not a naturalistic argument and so, can't be examined as such. The moment people stop trying to give or demand a naturalistic argument for something that will never fit one is the moment we can get on with our lives. Both sides perpetuate this problem.

If you don't want science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765451)

If you don't want science, then you shouldn't be allowed to benefit from anything created or influenced by it. Say goodbye to your phones, your computers... your massed produced clothes made by machines that use electricity, your fancy guns designed on a computer, your cars.. all of it. Go back to horses and shit soup over a fire while reading your bible and dying of the plague.

Re:If you don't want science... (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 months ago | (#47765559)

They will not even have the bible, as paper and printing (or ink) is a result of applied science. So is incidentally horse-husbandry, the fire and the pot the soup is in.

Re:If you don't want science... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765575)

If you don't want science, then you shouldn't be allowed to benefit from anything created or influenced by it. Say goodbye to your phones, your computers... your massed produced clothes made by machines that use electricity, your fancy guns designed on a computer, your cars.. all of it. Go back to horses and shit soup over a fire while reading your bible and dying of the plague.

You seem to easily (purposefully) forget that most of the early and bright scientists were religious and finding out how the Creator made things work. So no we would not be going back to the stone age.

Re:If you don't want science... (2, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47765731)

Or you could be forgetting that a lot of them pretended to be that way, or they lost their head for blasphemy.

Re:If you don't want science... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 months ago | (#47765753)

So what? They weren't anti-science. They didn't think that science and religion cannot occupy the same space. If they did, they would have been taking chunks out of their god with their work.

Re:If you don't want science... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47765813)

He didn't say Stone Age, you did. Are you saying that the Early Christians -- who ate horses and shit soup and bibles and fires and died of the plague and America -- were living in the Stone Age?

Re:If you don't want science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765865)

If we want to consider "science" only after the definition of the scientific method (Galileo), you are right, but mostly because if you said you were not christian, they would put you in a cell or to death.
Also, science does not forbid to have faith. It just tries to explain facts.
The problem is with people trying to forbid science because "religion explains everything".
Religion can guide personal moral, but it must not try to explain why or how things work. Many people don't understand that the Bible is a collection of allegories. It tries to teach moral through examples. It must not be taken literally.

Re:If you don't want science... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47765741)

If you don't want science, then you shouldn't be allowed to benefit from anything created or influenced by it. Say goodbye to your phones, your computers... your massed produced clothes made by machines that use electricity, your fancy guns designed on a computer, your cars.. all of it. Go back to horses and shit soup over a fire while reading your bible and dying of the plague.

If you don't want God, you're gonna burn. Death to the Philistine!

Who wins in this game?

And this is how we get to the more concrete harm (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765455)

A lot of fuss is made about how creationists aren't hurting anyone by teaching creationism in schools. At least a lot of fuss by creationists.

But to knock "how science actually works" off the curriculum in order to make creationism slightly more viable as a meme, knocks a very important and practical tool out of childrens' toolbox for learning about the world.

I'd go as far as saying learning about the scientific method is equally or more important that learning how to write papers expressing your opinions, or solving equations, or how congress works, as far as parity to other common subjects goes.

This is sabotaging a lot of children's' education in a big way for a miniscule victory in the culture wars. This is why creationists need to be far from policy maker positions.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 months ago | (#47765541)

The scientific method is the single, most important discovery of the human race. It underlies everything we have achieved. Downplaying it means to reject modern civilization and rationality. But that may be just what these cretins want.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47765677)

On the bright side, framing the debate in those terms might help convince the kind of people who would argue that we should "respect all sides of the issue" (or some politically-correct BS like that) that these anti-scientific ideas really don't belong in science class after all. I think the lawmaker did us a favor and I'm optimistic that his plans will backfire.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47765799)

On the bright side, framing the debate in those terms might help convince the kind of people who would argue that we should "respect all sides of the issue" (or some politically-correct BS like that) that these anti-scientific ideas really don't belong in science class after all. I think the lawmaker did us a favor and I'm optimistic that his plans will backfire.

It doesn't matter. The WHOLE reason we're having this debate is not about science. It's not even about creationism or "intelligent design" or however we "evolve" the term.

The Discovery institute (the real organization behind all this) believes fundamentally, society went awry when we did the whole "separation of church and state" thing and that religion in school meant students were better behaved and more obedient, and society as a whole was just better off.

So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy".

(Yes, it glosses over a LOT of things, like racial issues, the fact that there are more religions than just Christianity, etc).

Basically all of society's ills are the direct result of secularism and the pursuit of "things" (money, toys, stuff) instead of spirituality.

It's just that creationism is the wedge issue that can get them in the door the easiest since a lot more Americans believe in it (than say, a great flood happened, or that everything we see was made in a week a few thousand years ago). And once you're in the door, spreading the other beliefs becomes a lot easier.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47765999)

So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy".

Indeed. However, the Discovery Institute's chance of success depends entirely on obfuscating that goal. There's a lot more people who would support "intelligent design" as some sort of oppressed underdog "scientific theory" than who would support it as the blatant theocratic idea it really is.

It's just that creationism is the wedge issue that can get them in the door the easiest since a lot more Americans believe in it (than say, a great flood happened, or that everything we see was made in a week a few thousand years ago).

It's too bad that more Americans believe in creationism than the great flood, since the latter is a lot more scientifically plausible than the other two ideas you mentioned. I mean, it's pretty clear that the "entire earth" didn't flood, but it may sure have seemed that way to somebody living in what is now the Black Sea about 7600 years ago [wikipedia.org] .

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765687)

What about the things that underlie the scientific method, like mathematics, philosophy of truth(as opposed to other venues like morality or meaning), and logic?

Not that I disagree that science has accomplished wonders, just that it's built on things that can be argued to be more important since science wouldn't be possible without them.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765861)

To be fair, high school students are simply not ready in their maturity to seriously study philosophy. Even the freshman college students in my introductory classes could barely handle the basics. The simplest logical problems would just blow their minds.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47765919)

Logic isn't hard. Proofs can be hard to devise, but logic itself isn't complicated to follow.

Real philosophy(with prepositional logic) should be something we're teaching before we get to unnecessarily specific esoterica like solving systems of equations.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 2 months ago | (#47765765)

I really appreciate the scientific method and I agree it's a major milestone but it's not our most important discovery, that would be rule of law. Without rule of law there can be no civilization and without civilization there wouldn't be much science going on.

Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765921)

I disagree. As a species we aren't really all that far removed from survival of the fittest (i.e. the richest, these days) and mob justice.

Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765459)

Pretty scare if you consider what it would look like a couple of generations down the road.

Re:Scary (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 months ago | (#47765511)

No schooling for girls, only schooling in the Bible for boys, the equivalent of the sharia, etc. This is the road to hell.

Sharia is religion, prohibited under this bill (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47765773)

> only schooling in the Bible for boys, the equivalent of the sharia

That would be religion. This bill prohibits teaching the teacher's religious or political interpretations, instead of teaching actual science. Quote the bill:

A (iii) ... and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

A (iv) ... and prohibit a specific political or religious interpretation of the standards' content.

Re:Sharia is religion, prohibited under this bill (3, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47765847)

Did you miss the part where the bills author finds that the bill would allow the teaching of intelligent design?

Bye, bye, STEM ... (1, Insightful)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47765463)

Those stupid son of a bitches.

We learned nothing from Galileo's fiasco?

Is it going anywhere? (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47765465)

I see stories about bills like this all of the time, but they usually die in committee after fulfilling their purpose of giving the guy a bullet point for his next campaign poster. Is this one expected to actually have a shot in hell at passing? Sometimes they do slip through the cracks, especially in the bible belt.

Re:Is it going anywhere? (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47765631)

Is this one expected to actually have a shot in hell at passing?

No, it's just clickbait. There are thousands of stupid bills introduced in State legislatures every year. Slashdot sure doesn't have time to cover them all, but I guess one once in a while is good for revenue.

The bill, maybe. The BS headline? No. (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47765697)

The BS headline Slashdot used most certainly will not pass, guaranteed. Here's the crux of the bill, which could, in theory, pass:

A (iii) ... prohibit and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

A (iv) ... prohibit a specific political or religious interpretation of the standards' content.

Re:The bill, maybe. The BS headline? No. (2)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47765745)

I guess it depends if they classify the Scientific Method as a "political theory", like creationists like to do.

Re:The bill, maybe. The BS headline? No. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47765845)

Or a "religious interpretation" as creationists are fond of claiming that Evolution (or, to use the more religion-sounding name they call it: Darwinism) is a religious belief.

It isn't, of course, but if they can claim it to be so, and if they can get some politicians to agree, then perhaps they can get Evolution banned as a "religion."

Eh, not exactly (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47765467)

Another day, another overblown headline. Quoting from the article, the questionable phrase is: "; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; "

This is wide open to interpretation. Obviously it would be insane not to teach the scientific process. I think there are some who feel education has strayed too far from mastering basic facts into abstraction, such as "new math" instead of mastering times tables.

Anyway this is just one guy's brain fart and not a law. I am kind of curious what he meant by it though.

Re:Eh, not exactly (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 2 months ago | (#47765749)

Agreed. The intent, if I had to guess, was not to stop teaching the official Scientific Method (ask, research, hypothesize, test, analyze, share), but to draw focus away from discussions that would muddy the Method. "But Jesus says..." or "I don't think the FSM's tentacles could reach THAT far to anoint the ninjas and therefore cause a tsunami that overwhelmed the Pacific pirates..." As much as those are processes. So teach the scientific method, but leave out the part discussing how or why you're questioning this or that. That should be obvious: because it's there and we want to know how it works.

Re:Eh, not exactly (1)

werepants (1912634) | about 2 months ago | (#47766029)

Thanks for bringing some actual quotes into the discussion. Still kind of weird, though - the trend in education for the past few decades has been moving towards learning big ideas and less on rote memorization and un-contextualized facts, but this seems to be advocating the opposite.

The stupid is strong with these people... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 months ago | (#47765489)

Really, how caveman-like can you get? It seems these people want everyone stupid and uneducated. The only comparison that comes to mind is the Taliban preventing girls from getting an education. Has the US really gone down the drains so far?

Law would be unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765495)

The law forces a religious view onto education, which is forbidden by the separation of church and state.
The state cannot force religious views onto people, the religions cannot force religious views on the state.

Actually it PROHIBITS religious or political teach (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47765653)

> The law forces a religious view onto education, w

Hmm, let's look at the actual text of the law:

A (iii) ... prohibit and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

A (iv) ... ; and prohibit a specific political or religious interpretation of the standards' content.

If you skip past the BS /. headline and read the bill, TFS, or even the subtitle of TFS, the bill basically requires teaching science, not politics with a dash of pseudoscience used to support the teacher's political or religious opinion.

Re:Actually it PROHIBITS religious or political te (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47765821)

The religious view was in the part of the law that you reduced to ellipses:

(iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

The essential thesis of creationism (and "Intelligent Design") is that the Scientific Method is bunk because "God did it." This law comes very close to prohibiting teaching the Scientific Method (i.e., "scientific processes"). Connecting the dots is left as an exercise to the reader.

Chemistry is religion now? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47765981)

> The religious view was in the part of the law that you reduced to ellipses:

> (iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes;

So are you saying that chemistry is religion, or that mathematics is? The simple fact is that the bill prohibits teaching religious interpretation, twice.

Re:Actually it PROHIBITS religious or political te (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47765843)

Not really. It is so poorly and broadly worded such that it could be interpreted in either way. According to the Ars article, the bill's author has been rather vague about how he interprets it. But if you have a legislature and judiciary that strongly favors, say, a creationism interpretation of reality, it can certainly be bent to considering 'the other guys' has having a particular bent.

It's bad legislation (nothing new here). Not necessarily benign. Yes, Hanlon's Razor suggests incompetence but I personally feel that Occam's Razor suggests malice.

Burma Shave

Re:Actually it PROHIBITS religious or political te (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47765851)

Of course, malice and incompetence are certainly not orthogonal concepts.

Law would be unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765699)

Did you even read TFA? This article summary on slashdot is inflammatory nonsense.

Litteralists are on the decline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765497)

As people continue to leave the church [google.com] , those who continue to take a literal interpretation of the Bible will become more agitated, and will try harder to use the law as a means of protecting their belief system. Also, they will probably physically group together, both so that they can have a community of like-minded people with whom to associate, but also so they can garner enough voting power to accomplish this sort of thing.

We can deride it all we want....but really this behavior is just an inevitable consequence of human psychology.

Here we go again (2, Interesting)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 months ago | (#47765519)

Religion has no place in schools. How many times have you seen scientists starting wars over theories and results?

"1 + 1 equals 3!"
"Only for larger values of 1, you heathen!"

So you agree with this bill. Cool. (2, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47765727)

> Religion has no place in schools.

So then you agree with this bill, which says:

A (iii) ... prohibit and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

A (iv) ... ; and prohibit a specific political or religious interpretation of the standards' content.

If you skip past the BS /. headline and read the bill, TFS, or even the subtitle of TFS, the bill basically requires teaching science, not politics with a dash of pseudoscience used to support the teacher's political or religious opinion.

Re:So you agree with this bill. Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765859)

No, it means you can't teach, you know science, in preference to a religious interpretation, which means you now have to teach "Intelligent Design" along side Evolution. Promoting Evolution over "Intelligent Design" would be explicitly forbidden by this bill, and the language you have quoted.

Re:So you agree with this bill. Cool. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765913)

That's the thing... the average Slashtard doesn't get beyond the headline before they start foaming at the mouth. TFS was nothing but baiting an emotional response. Sad that they couldn't have quoted as much of the facts of the matter as what you did in less than half the worlds.
 
Hyperbole, not logic, is king among the "Science!" crowd.

Clever (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 2 months ago | (#47765553)

Good way to turn reasonable people in religious nuts.

No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765555)

This is just stupid. Where I live a lot of companies prefer technical school education over university, specifically because the tech. schools offer training, while universities give education. The difference? University teaches you to think for yourself, technical schools teach you a very specific set of skills which don't include how those skills were created or why they are needed. The tech. schools training also has a best-before date. As the industry progressed (without the help of tech. school graduates), their skills become dated, and they either retrain, or become unemployed. So here it is: evolution can be demonstrated in 5 minutes in a classroom. Show that, along with a study on feedback and control systems from engineering, and then show how that applies to the political process, and we are good to go.

Idiots with power (4, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 2 months ago | (#47765571)

If we make sure we don't teach our students how to think, acquiring a larger voting base will be much easier in the future!

Now ICP can finally achieve their teaching dreams (3, Funny)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47765601)

If they're going to be teaching creationism in schools, they can hire ICP to teach. I can see the classes now, where they teach the children that everything from quantum mechanics to tectonic plate shifts are caused by miracles, regardless of what anyone else says. Magnets? They're like, double miracles man. Miracles on top of miracles.

As predicted by Kenneth Miller, in 2006! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765603)

Predicted by Dr. Kenneth Miller in his 2006 presentation about the Kitzmiller et al vs Dover.

"The Collapse of Intelligent Design: Will the Next Monkey Trial be in Ohio?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohd5uqzlwsU

11 years in the making, the weakening of the definition of 'science'.

Can't wait for the PhD in Horoscopes, Witchcraft, etc.

Re:As predicted by Kenneth Miller, in 2006! (2)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47765637)

I, for one, welcome the day I can get a degree in alchemy. That way, when I attempt to convert basic chemicals (acetone, pseudoephedrine, etc) into gold using methamphetamine as an intermediary, I can tell the cops I'm doing my doctoral thesis and everything will be perfectly legitimate. Whoever said you can't convert base chemicals into gold was wrong - they just weren't doing it right.

This is formula for ignorance on a mass scale ! (-1, Flamebait)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 2 months ago | (#47765617)

Scientific method and science set people free.
The current wave of republicans need to keep as many as possible under the shackles of propaganda.
Plus they don't want more scientific advances. God forbid someone discovers an alternative fuel production that makes coal and oil obsolete overnight !
Watch Cosmos ! Learn the scientific method, even if politicians don't want you to. Be free from mass manufactured lies by politicians and big corporations.

Welcome to Ohio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765629)

Ha ha! Now you're trapped in Ohio!

this is harmless for politicians. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 months ago | (#47765679)

arguably this is as much about class as it is about religeon. a largely ignorant majority is how slaveowners for example governed thousands of africans. Keeping the scientific process out of schools is palletable to creationists as it disarms future opponents. Its popular for plutocrats as well for this same reason.

and if you think elected officials in Ohio really care about challenging this legislation, they dont. their children attent private institutions that wont need to adhere to this legislation. andy thompson owns a magazine company. Matt Huffman owns a law firm. on top of this, an ohio senators average salary range is in the starting range of six figures.

On the other hand... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765721)

I've been in high school. It's not like they really try to teach people how to apply the scientific method. They describe how the scientific method is supposed to work and then continue shoveling facts at the students. If they aren't going to engage, I'm not sure there's much point in telling students something that they'll ignore.

I have the same problem with teaching evolution in schools. They don't have time to explain it well, so students walk away thinking, "We used to be apes, but one of our ancestors magically changed into a human being because apes' necks are too short to reach the leaves at the tops of the trees." What, that was the giraffe explanation? Damn it!

If they can't be bothered to explain how something works, I'd rather they dropped it in favor of doing an in depth understanding of something else. In an ideal world perhaps everyone would get a renaissance education that would allow them to understand the scientific method. Here in the real world we have to settle for what students will actually bother to learn.

Not as inexplicable as it might seem at first (3, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 2 months ago | (#47765835)

Educator John Taylor Gatto [wikipedia.org] has explained both in writing [tripod.com] , (PDF link), and in Death by Pedagogy [youtube.com] , as well as in many interviews available on YouTube, that the purpose of the education system is to extend childhood and discourage critical thinking. This is done in order to produce more compliant citizens; otherwise their innovation and inventiveness would both disrupt capitalists' ability to control markets, and deny corporations a complacent and pliable workforce.

Before you dismiss this as just another wild-eyed conspiracy theory you should check out what he has to say. For one thing he gives copious references, most of which can be checked, and most of which use such direct language that there is no possible ambiguity as to the intent of the authors. For another thing, it is perhaps the best and simplest explanation for why the Ohio legislature might enact such otherwise inexplicable legislation.

Ask yourself 'cui bono'. Who will be best served by a citizenry that is less and less critical, and less and less scientifically competent? Then look back at the education you received, look at what has happened to schooling in the meantime, look at what is happening to education now, and place it all into the context that Gatto creates. if after that you can honestly call it a conspiracy theory, go in peace.

I blamed the colored chalk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765937)

"The Simpsons: Lisa the Vegetarian (#7.5)" (1995)

Principal Skinner: Uh oh. Two independent thought alarms in one day. The students are overstimulated. Willie! Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms.
Groundskeeper Willie: I warned ya! Didn't I warn ya? That colored chalk was forged by Lucifer himself.

They won't be happy until we have state-run, Christian madrasas. We look so ignorant and foolish to the world. If we didn't have the world's largest standing army we'd be treated much differently. When I travel I just say "Je suis Canadian."

Some ACTUAL context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765943)

The stated purpose of this bill is, in a nutshell, to eliminate issues created by the adoption of the "Common Core" Science curriculum (NGSS, actually - http://www.nextgenscience.org/... [nextgenscience.org] , but related to Common Core).

The criticism amounts to NGSS having "too much emphasis" on "experiment and learn through evidence-based activities," rather than learning the basic literacy of "this is what we've discovered to be true in physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, geology, mathematics, etc." Now, you can certainly argue that the NGSS science standards haven't been given enough time to properly judge their impact, and you can certainly argue that the Common Core fosters or harms students' learning. But this is NOT a reactionary "hurr durr, just teach Intelligent Design!" maneuver. It is, instead, an attempt to bring the state's educational institutes back to the older-school "lecturer / student" method of teaching, rather than saying "okay kids, today we're gonna do experiments to figure out how soundwaves work." I can see an argument that a mix of the two approaches is most beneficial, personally.

The bill (http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_HB_597 - read it yourself) states the following:

(iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

Chemistry doesn't even show up as a first-class field of study in the NGSS. It also focuses on hands-on, "evidence-based" learning, rather than exposure to the 'known' facts and figures related to it. it specifically prohibits "political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." Which means, on the one hand, you can argue they can't teach ID (religious interpretation), but you can also argue that they have to be very careful when teaching climate change (political interpretation).

It's not the best-written bill in the world, frankly... but at least criticize it for its REAL shortcomings, not on some imagined "AMG, they're gonna turn 'Murica into Martial Sharia Law LOLOLOL." This is NOT an attempt to introduce some sort of religious interpretation into science education, it is a response to the perceived shortcomings of the Common Core and NGSS standards, which do not focus enough on "basic knowledge and literacy," and instead have a prime focus on evidence-based learning.

Face it America ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47765973)

You're a society in decline, where any moron can claim that his "opinions" about science is as valid as anybody else's.

Where teaching science is unwelcome, and evidence is equated with "feelings".

You have become a society of morons, for whom evidence based policy is impossible because you don't have the barest understanding of what actually constitutes evidence.

You claim to be opposed to things like the Taliban, but your own religious idiots are just as bad -- they want their beliefs to be held up as facts.

Fucking worthless idiots. Just another fucking reason to hate Americans ... a nuclear capable country rules by idiots who can't grasp science is a recipe for terrible things.

You've been reduced to douche-bag capitalism and a fear of science.

Fuck all y'all.

What is the issue here? (1)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 2 months ago | (#47766009)

Seems to be 100% flames above. But what is so wrong with the suggestion:

focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

A school's idea is to give a general understanding to the students in things. Since there has ben a huge amount of science done over the past few milennia, isn't it only natural that these researched facts get the focus rather than the process? The other way round means making everyone re-invent the wheel, leading to them learing about that particular "wheel" ony and missing the big picture.

Understanding the scientific process is essential, but that is not something one can really teach above a pretty basic level. It follows automatically for anyone who even tries to think at all. Sure, there are in-depth topics like error margins on your Amp-meter or ethical questions in medicine. But focusing on such matter over the accumulation of facts is a complete waste of students' time. At least untill they reach university levels.

The last part of prohibiting religious or political interpretation of facts is just plain good manners, and essential in any conversation with an american. Of course, it could be just me that never have heard a non-political argument on the climate denialists part, nor a non-religious interpretation of facts suggesting creationism.

So what is the fuss here? The above comments are full of strawman, smokescreen and ad hominem arguments. Did I miss the one that answers my doubts?

Why not make Pi = 3 while they are at it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47766045)

Seems to fit in with their general direction.

It must be election season in Ohio.
    About as sensible as rutting season.
    We get to see legislators butting heads to stake their turf.

In the wild at least the critters manage to do no harm.
  If these folks manage to wound science in order to get elected,
        that seems to violate the do no harm thing.

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