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A victory for evolution in Texas

The Texas school board unanimously approved a science textbook and rejected a creationist textbook. At the same time, atheists are petitioning the governor of Texas to prevent a national day of prayer

teach evolution. Image: Texas Tech University
teach evolution. Image: Texas Tech University

The Texas State Board of Education unanimously decided to side with evolution. By voting 8-0 last Friday, the council approved biology textbooks that teach the subject accurately, and which are published by a mainstream publisher, and did not approve a creationist book published by International Databases, LLC. This was reported by the National Center for Scientific Education.

"This is a huge win for students and teachers in Texas," said Josh Rosenau, director of programs and policy at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), who testified at a hearing last week. In his testimony, Rosenau urged the board of directors to approve the book that was published by a team of reviewers made up of scientists and science teachers - without corrections, and to reject the request of the creationists. The council did so and required only a minor change in the approved book.

The hearing was attended by NCSE members and their supporters in great force. At least four times the number of people who testified in favor of the creationist book or who opposed the scientific book, or who demanded significant changes.

Bottom line, Holt McDougall, a creationist who was a member of the book evaluation committee published a list of errors regarding the description of evolution and common descent that he claimed the book finally approved contained, but at the hearing it became clear that the other members of the committee did not agree with him.

Ultimately, the council approved the book and appointed Councilman Robert Scott to examine these errors and correct them if necessary. Members of the NSCE and the pro-science Texas education group are convinced that Scott's exams will reflect the current state of evolutionary biology rather than some creationist alternative.
Dr. Eugene Scott, NCSE board member celebrates the decision: "These books reflect the outside scientific consensus that evolution is the core of modern biology, and is a central and essential concept in every biology lesson.

The books that were unequivocally approved reflect a long-term change in the council. I commend the council for refusing to politicize science education.

At the same time, an atheist group in Texas, known as the "Freedom from Religion Foundation" filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry, In an attempt to stop a day of prayer he is planning for August 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. In a press release of the group it was stated that it joins five of its members who are asking the Federal Chamber of Deputies to declare its initiation, initiation, organization, promotion of the event and Perry's participation in it, as unconstitutional.

The group submits that it seeks to block Perry's continued involvement in the prayer campaign.

Perry invited senior government officials, as well as people from all over the country to the event titled: The Response - Call to Prayer - A Nation in Crisis. Claiming that America is suffering from an economic crisis, debts, terrorism and multiple natural disasters." Perry suggests the country "come together and call on Jesus to guide us in difficult times, and thank him for the blessing of the freedom we enjoy."

Perry is considered one of the leading candidates for the presidency on behalf of the Republican Party in the 2012 elections, with the list of candidates expected to be closed in mid-August. It should be noted that Perry began his career in the Democratic Party.

Texas is considered a conservative state, and among other things, it carries out the largest number of executions by any measure. One of its well-known governors was George Bush Jr., before he was elected president.


Thanks to the evolution forum in Tafaz for the reference to the news about the textbooks.

23 תגובות

  1. The problem is not what to study but in what discipline.

    Today we study Torah and that's fine, the problem is learning
    Torah as science/chemistry/biology.History.

    And regarding a statement here that there is truth and error and a person should know how to distinguish between them.
    It must also be admitted that there have always been and always will be points about which there is no knowledge
    And it is impossible to say what is true and what is wrong and the very discussion can develop a lot.
    For example: philosophy...

  2. Rothschild,
    Oranges do grow underground, only science hasn't discovered it yet because it doesn't have the proper tools. The information was received through communication with extraterrestrials from the Pleiades. Unfortunately, it is not possible to publish this in academic circles because most of them are controlled by a scientific elite consisting of narrow and blocked scientists who are unable to accept ideas that have become facts because everyone believes in them. The facts are gathered in holy books scattered around the world and they await the revelation of the Messiah, who in his turn, is late to come because who would want to come to a world controlled by pharmaceutical companies and the Illuminati and psychiatrists and the Freemasons and the United Kingdoms...

    It was 60 seconds of free Bible, but it makes sense.

  3. point maybe he forgot his own spirit of things. We have to learn everything, but it's impossible, so we'll learn what we can. And regarding Machal's colossal statement, "He should know that there are true claims and false claims and be able to examine claims and decide whether they are true or false." Even a learned person like Makhal can only know some of the truth that exists in the world, and the rest has to use the lack of free will "intuitively" to draw any conclusion.

  4. The honorable writer proceeds from an axiomatic premise that Darwinism is scientific and therefore positive, good, progressive and any other superlative you choose, and in contrast, creationism is a priori unscientific, negative clerical and petty bourgeois and any negative superlative you choose
    And a pity

  5. point:
    I don't know what your family situation is, but if you have or will have children, I hope you don't try your ideas on them.

  6. As for the term wealth is not for the wise, I can testify. It is told about a math teacher who, after many years, meets a student of his who was completely ignorant and could not understand anything in math driving in a Mercedes. He asks him how he came to this - and he answered: I deal in irons, buy for 10 and sell for 100. Did I do my ten percent?

  7. Answer:
    True, at the beginning of my speech I talked about studying in general and it should be free. Why? Because there is no natural factor that can prevent a certain interest from being studied, and my opinion is that things should be kept in their natural form.
    Then, towards the end of my speech, I woke up from my slumber and remembered that this is the education system.
    Government education system. not natural With interests I have no idea about. I know that there are psychologists and educators sitting up there and I have no idea what their considerations are and what their goals are.
    For example, it may be psychologically better to be stupid in order to maintain adequate mental health (as it is written in Parashat Noah: "There is no reason, no worries") and I don't understand that much and no one really knows, everything is based on theories and systemic considerations.
    Therefore, I have nothing to add to this, the education system is not natural and my words have no weight there.
    " improve his chances of success in his life as an adult" Success is a very self-interested and prejudiced concept. And it has already been written "because wealth is not for the wise".

  8. point,

    At the beginning of your words, I saw some logic, even if minimal, in your words. If I'm right, you wanted to say that everyone should formulate a position on their own. This is the right way to act - all the claims must be checked and seriously considered (or not so seriously in some cases) which claim stands the test of reality.

    But there are limitations, as already said before. You can't check every existing position, you just won't get out of it. So rely on the knowledge of others. Someone specializes in quantum mechanics so that the rest of the people don't have to. Of course there will be those who study the field and make nonsensical claims, but the absolute majority of those who have studied it understand it and promote the field. So you have nothing to worry about, and you don't need to learn quantum mechanics. Leave it to the experts.

    In the same way, this can be done with regard to most areas, but judgment must be exercised. You need to know which institutions are really looking for the truth and which have an agenda. This is already something that should not be taken lightly.

    When I hear the word 'science' I think of an idea and tools - the idea that there is one truth in the world but we can never reach it with complete certainty. Therefore, there are the tools that will help us get as close as possible to this truth. Truth exists only in numbers. 1 + 1 will always equal 2. But it is impossible to say with the same absolute certainty that gravity exists. Maybe the flying spaghetti monster is the one pushing us to the ground with her noodle arms? The fact that it is impossible to say with absolute certainty that gravity exists does not mean that it is impossible to use the knowledge we have gained about the behavior of this "force". Even if the reason is completely different. Maybe something relative? The tools are still used by us, and we can say with almost complete confidence that tomorrow gravity will behave in the same way as today.

    This is how science should be treated, and unfortunately this is not the situation on the ground in most places. Science has become synonymous with scientists with an agenda and a desire to introduce their opinions into the public consciousness.
    These are the minority, and that's a good thing. Most scientists sincerely want to get to the truth, and we must not forget that science is not a dark body that wants to control the population, but an objective and neutral body that tries to get to the truth.

    So if we go back to your point, period, science should be taught. Pure and true science - the tools and the idea, not the 'controversy'. You will get nothing from hearing the opinion of crazy radicals who believe that statistically evolution cannot explain our existence. Especially when you find out they are devout believers and that's why it doesn't work out for them.
    And no, you don't need to learn to read the cards or the teacup, simply because it has already been shown that it is nonsense in the juice.

  9. point:
    Don't you think that claims like "everything should be taught" or "X should be taught" can only be made by someone who knows what "should be taught" for?
    If you don't know what the education system is for - what does your claim that "everything should be taught" derive from?
    What purpose function does the action of "learning everything" serve?
    You must have thought about something before you wrote the things because otherwise they are completely meaningless!

    In my opinion, the education system is designed to give the student knowledge, thinking tools and emotional maturity that will improve his chances of success in his life as an adult.
    A student who graduates from the education system should know how to think rationally.
    He needs to know that there are true claims and false claims and be able to examine claims and decide whether they are true or false.
    He also needs to know a considerable amount of claims that are considered true so that he does not have to invent and rediscover everything that people before him discovered and invented, but he also needs to understand that sometimes people (including himself) are wrong.
    He should be able to conduct a substantive and productive discussion.
    He should also know that in order to claim that "X should be done" it is necessary to define in advance what the things are being done for.

    So these are (quite partially) the goals of the education system - but it also has constraints - it's the same with every optimization problem - there are goals to which we try to get as close as possible and there are constraints within which we have to act (this too, by the way, he must learn from the education system).

    The constraints include, among other things, the laws of nature and among them the time frame derived from the duration of human life and other constraints arising from the fact that the education system is part of the whole of society's systems.

  10. Yes Michael, in my opinion it would be correct to learn all these tarot cards, palm reading, coffee reading, etc. Islam Christianity Hinduism etc etc. The idea is also to add laboratories to all of these.

    Of course, logistical problems arise, considerations of time and the like. I don't think these problems can be reasonably solved. Because the child, beyond learning things, is supposed to play, etc.

    So the question is what is the goal?
    I don't think it is a special goal to "know what is true", because then you can really practice trivia.
    "Thinking right?" If everyone thought the same thing it would be very boring.
    Therefore, I would appreciate it if someone could tell me what the purpose of the entire education system is?

  11. The last Camila, I think he means that all the central ideas, in which many believe, should be taught. I mean, in every school you have to study evolution, and in addition also Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and I hope I didn't forget anyone.

    Maybe if we manage to recruit enough people to believe in the flying spaghetti monster, they will be forced to learn its teachings as well. At the moment there is still not enough (thank God 🙂 )

  12. point,
    Before I even address the matter from the point of view of the futility of studying things that have been proven wrong, I have a technical question, just to understand your way of thinking. Can you describe to me the timetable of any educational institution where everything is studied? Let's say, for the sake of the matter, that each person has 25 years of study before he is required to start paying back the investment in his studies, during which he is exempt from worries (food, housing, clothing, etc.). I would love to see what the syllabus is that you propose, even in general terms. By the way, if you need a few more years, I'm ready to meet you on the matter.

  13. point:
    Let's be clear for a moment.
    Answer Camila's questions:
    1. Should tarot cards be studied?
    2. Should phrenology be studied?

    And I will add a few more questions of my own (necessary to test your principled position)
    1. Should Islam be studied?
    2. Should Christianity be studied?
    3. Should Hinduism be studied?
    4. If tomorrow I decide to claim that oranges grow underground - should I learn that too?
    5. Should we only study things that some idiot bothered to claim or should we invent all the claims that no one has yet bothered to claim and study them as well?
    6. After all this - will there be time left to study serious things as well?

  14. No. I meant that everything must be studied and then it will be possible to find out what is true. Otherwise, it is religious brainwashing for everything.
    A scientist is not a person who deals only with science and what is true. For example, he sees movies (which on the whole create a false impression on the viewer) as if something beyond the cinematic technique is happening there) or plays.
    The scientist in his childhood saw cartoons and perhaps believed in good fairies and the like. So in my opinion everything should be taught and nothing should be "forbidden". Otherwise it is a religion.

  15. A serious malfunction in the Darwin laboratory!!!
    The experiment in which God was put in a test tube failed because he ran away with the test tube: the knowledgeable are asked to set up barriers
    and report immediately to the Criminal Identification Institute about temperature and heat waves - special signs hollow and smooth body like a fish
    It must be returned immediately to the laboratory for research purposes - a monetary reward from Arala!

  16. Luke - I really hope that people's reading ability will improve over the next few years.

    You should just note that this article is about Texas at all.

  17. point,
    You don't seriously believe that everything should be learned, do you? After all, there is no reason to study phrenology, nor tarot cards. I mean, they can be studied as part of human history or even just for fun, is that what you meant?

  18. Creationist thinking is based on fear.

    In any case, I think everything should be studied

  19. Unfortunately, this is a victory in retreat, in 30 years the people sitting on the education councils will have a low intellectual level and then it will be easier for the creationists to pass decisions.
    Already today in Israel we see a decline in the writing and reading skills of students (a written exam that will soon be included in the psychometric test), it is scary to think what will happen in the future.

  20. Common sense prevailed in Texas.
    Maybe there is hope for this illusory country, and maybe this is a sign of change in the entire USA..

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