More Biology amendments

Dunbar jumped in line, and is trying to reinsert a new 7(B), slightly varied from the one just stricken.

“analyze and evaluate the sufficiency of scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and the sequential nature of groups in the fossil record.”

Allen likes it better, but won’t support it, because he hasn’t had a chance to vet it with his experts.

Mercer wants it, because he wants to talk about sudden appearance.

Craig is generally supportive, but offers an amendment. Wants to strike “the sufficiency of.”

Dunbar supports the amendment, so this’ll pass.

Craig is in a tough spot. He represents Lubbock, a conservative district, and his support for accurate science education makes him a target.

Miller asks what “stasis” is. McLeroy explains.

Berlanga makes a joke about the absurd process by which English Language Arts was adopted, with a completely new draft slipped under people’s hotel doors at the last minute. She wants time to ask experts about this new amendment.

Hardy says that Ron Wetherington, one of the experts, is supportive of the amendment. Bob Craig is talking to Wetherington, too.

Hardy and Miller will vote based on that advice.

Passes 13-2.

McLeroy is elated. “It’s probably better than the standard I wrote.”

Allen continues his amendments.

He wants to strike 7(G): “analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of natural selection to explain the complexity of the cell.”

“I couldn’t define ‘the complexity of the cell,'” and neither could students. There’s no standard definition of the term, he observes, so he’d like it out.

Craig wants to strike it and replace with a new amendment. He dislikes the “sufficiency insufficiency” language.

Cargill proposes to give a definition of the complexity of the cell. Cites computer graphics (which is hardly a definition!), “like parts of a machine.”

Lowe makes the point that this is about evaluating natural selection, not the complexity of the cell, based on various debates yesterday.

McLeroy notes that Miller has Francis Collins’ The Language of God, and that she can see it in there. Again, not a definition that would do much for a teacher.

Motion to strike carries, 8-7.

Craig steps in to reinsert related language:

analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.

Dunbar supports, says she’s a wordsmith, and that analyze and evaluate covers the “sufficiency/insufficiency” language.

Passes 13-2.

McLeroy crows again.

Allen again. Move to strike 9(D):

analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life.

Agosto sez that his experts gave it the green light, but was that the amendment or the old language?

Leo sez it’s important in light of new science, and in discussing origin of life. Disparages peppered moths and embryos.

Dunbar praises Leo.

Miller supports striking it, sez her experts find the standard “meaningless.”

Allen notes that a school is acceptable with a 40% proficiency in science, so how can people say that all students are ready to handle this. Damn straight. He’s been watching biology end-of-course exams, and they are very low. Better to put this in an upper-level course. He’s forceful on this point.

Cargill sez that origins of life are in textbooks, so this would just give guidance.

Motion fails 5-10.

Mercer offers an amendment, which seems of no great moment. It passes, 11-4.

Comments

  1. #1 Tony Whitson
    March 27, 2009

    Did I miss something? I was expecting an amendment to strike Biology 8(A)

    “evaluate a variety of fossil types, proposed transitional fossils, fossil lineages, and significant fossil deposits and assess the arguments for and against universal common descent in light of this evidence”

    Is that language there in the current version, or am I confused?

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