Texas liveblogging, day 2, part 7: On to earth science

An amendment by Cargill is being passed around. It changes ESS standards.

Will it change the age of the earth? Oh, I'm so anxious I could plotz.

Amendment is on the page listing "(4) Earth in space and time."

She says it adds qualifiers. Seeks "humility and tentativeness."

She wants to insert "differing theories about" such that "observations reveal differing theories about" the structure, scale, composition, origin, and history of the universe."

Dunbar and McLeroy go back and forth about tentativeness of theories, and how there used to be steady state theories.

Craig: This is superfluous.

I note that it's also bogus. Observations don't reveal theories. The data obtained from observation allows one to test theories.

Cargill is whinging that observations don't reveal the origin of the universe.

Miller: I don't see why this makes things clearer.

Dunbar: No one testified that they knew the origin of the universe.

Knight: I don't remember this being discussed yesterday.

Leo huddles with a creationist. Agosto leaves the room.

Chatter, but no one is on mic, so who knows.

Cargill, Miller, and TEA staff are going back and forth over whether they should evaluate the TEKS on an expert basis.

Agosto is back.

Knight: Parliamentary questions.

Hardy: Someone yesterday mentioned that the solar system disappears from the standards in grade three, when do I bring that up?

McLeroy: Take it up today, tomorrow, or in March. Four more chances to revise.

Motion passes 8-7. Hardy breaks ranks.

Board passes an amendment to change a standard about the age of the universe to instead show the language from college readiness standards.

Amendment to make various things more tentative. Strike a point that students know that the accretionary theory explains the solar system, instead that students should know the model. Passes 8-6, one abstention.

Insert "is thought to" in place of "can" in various places: "analyze how [various observations and models] is thought to lead to

Knight and Dunbar have a back and forth on this.

Fails 8-7.

Another passes 8-7.

Now on to atmospheres. Watering down a standard about the evolution of earth's atmosphere. Knight wants to leave in more detail. Dunbar says teachers can figure it out.

Knight: Will the Earth and Space Science people be coming back?

McLeroy: They will now?

Steve Schafersman, member of the ESS writing team, is writing about the many ways in which these amendments are butchery.

Motion fails, 7-7-1.

Dunbar admits these changes come from Meyer and Garner.

Another fails, 7-7-1.

Another passes, 8-6-1.

Radiometric dating, "evaluate how," rather than "apply." This is based on her misunderstanding of what "apply" means in this context. Fails 7-7-1.

Another fails 7-7-1, would've undermined the way students were taught about fossils, introduced an attack on common descent.

Insert "proposed" transitional fossils. Passes 7-6-2.

Origins of life, "evaluate" rather than "discuss," and confuse the discussion of what is being explained in OOL research: fails 7-7-1.

These changes uniformly undermine a new set of standards. They introduce confusion and doubt about well-established science. In discussing the role of various lines of evidence in geology, it is unnecessary to say "evaluate the evidence," since that's what it means to teach the role of those lines of evidence.

Full text of amendments below the fold.

Dunbar's Amendments. Bold is added material.

(4) Earth in space and time: The student knows how Earth-based and space-based astronomical observations reveal differing theories about the structure, scale, composition, origin, and history of the universe.…

4A: understand scientific theories for the formation of the universe

4C: investigate the process by which a supernova is thought to lead to the formation of successive generations of stars and planets.

(5): The student understands the solar nebular accretionary disk model. …

5A: analyze how gravitational condensation of solar nebular gas and dust is thought to lead to the accretion of planetesimals and protoplanets.

5B: investigate sources of heat, including kinetic heat of impact accretion, gravitational compression, and radioactive decay, which are thought to allow protoplanet differentiation into layers

6A: Evaluate evidence for the changes of Earth's atmosphere that are thought to have occurred

6B: evaluate the evidence that volcanic outgassing and the impact of water-bearing comets have played a major role in developing Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere

6D: evaluate the evidence that the Earth's cooling led to tectonic activity, resulting in continents and ocean basins

7B: evaluate how radiometric dating methods can be used to calculate the ages of igneous rocks from Earth and Moon, and meteorites

(8) the student knows that fossils are used as evidence for geological and biological evolution

8A: 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

13F: evaluate scientific hypotheses for the origin of life by abiotic chemical processes in an aqueous environment in light of the complexity of living systems

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8A: 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

Did this ammendment pass? If so, that means ESS textbooks would have to include arguments "against universal common descent" in light of the fossil evidence.

Isn't this exactly the kind of stuff that Stephen Meyer was pushing last night regarding the Cambrian explosion? This looks like a blatant attempt to insert language that would lead to the adoption of a book like Explore Evolution.

That's right, they're questioning common descent.

In other words, you can't say who your grandfather was, especially based on DNA. Not only that, you can't say who your father was.

We're all bastards! And they want to cement it into law!

Are they really clever enough to figure that chain out? Do they realize that they're also denying the "begats" in Genesis?

Could substituting "evaluate how" for "apply" in radioactive dating be more than just a word misunderstanding? It seems to me to be a fairly subtle but malicious attempt to prevent students from developing competence (i.e. being able to work the equations) in a technique that disproves a young earth.