Archives for January, 2009

Charles Garner, creationist chemist from Baylor: Are there weaknesses in theories? Sez we can substitute explanations or hypotheses, but these are not interchangeable. Claims theory is being redefined, which is nonsense. Can be weaknesses. Gets into origins of life, beginning with proteins, especially chirality. We’re going to get several minutes of stereoselectivity in peptide formation;…

Liveblagging VII: The Wetheringing

Ron Wetherington, a professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University: Praises draft standards. Allows publishers to stick to facts. “Partisans are generating doubt about evolution with disingenuous phrases.” People lack understanding of key concepts. What are weaknesses? Common in preliminary hypotheses, rare in theories. Preliminary hypotheses are not well-tested. Theories are not tentative hunches, and…

In brief, Skoog points out that science ed. in Texas is behind other states, and that the circuitous path to critical analysis via S&W is less effective than just teaching critical analysis. Seelke discussed his bogus research, which doesn’t make sense and won’t make sense to Board members, but since he claims it shows evolution…

Liveblagging VI: The Meyering

Stephen Meyer, Disco. Inst. veep and author of Explore Evolution. He insists that the new standards treat evolution in a special way, ignoring critical evaluation. I note in passing that the new standards more accurately reflect the practice of science, including for evolution. Then he talks about what evolution is. He is using slides from…

Liveblagging V: Driving Ms. Hazy

Steve Lyons, parent, grandparent: Words mean things. Otherwise things would be nonsense. This is a coup d’etat. Theory is redefined, treated as if they were facts. S&W gives all sides. Teach good science. Daniel Bolnick, professor at UT: 1500 members of 21st Century Coalition. Don’t reintroduce S&W. JSTOR has a bajillion articles supporting evolution, none…

In November, the Texas Board of Education met to consider their new science standards. As I’ve mentioned a major point of contention is a reference in the current standards to “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific explanations, a concept only ever applied to evolution, and without any clear explanation of what it means. In the course…

Texas Liveblagging 4: The Blaggening

Peter Johnston, parent, fmr. SBOE candidate, lawyer: Teach S&W. History of science shows that we aren’t all objective. “Powers that be in science ? resist change.” Difficult to see outside the box. Maundering on Kuhn. Dunbar: “Mrs. Scott.” It’s “Dr.,” dammit. What’s the deal with consensus? Those that are in power resist change. John Huffner,…

Texas Liveblagging

Some dude who cut in line, science prof.: Keep the language unchanged. How many conformists got patents or Nobel Prizes? Key element of college readiness is crit. thinking. Quote Nietzsche, to no clear end. Campbell and Reece disparages anything but evolution. C&R is a college text. Leo: Pseudoscience? Philosophy sucks. DNA analysis has assumptions. Cory…

Liveblag II

You can listen along with me at: http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/sboeaudio As before, board comments are in blue. Rose Banzhas, speaking for herself but also an environmental educator: Environmental education matters. As an outdoor educator, I know this matters. McLeroy keeps asking people if they’re here on their own dime or on business. Dunno why. Loresa Loftin, Science…

I’m here in Austin, watching people speak out about the science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Board questions are in red. Bored comments will be interspersed. As always, as a blogger I don’t speak for NCSE, and have been known to work blue. 8:33: First up, Sharon Sparlin, a science playwright, who tells the…