Alabama science literacy threatened by antiscience resolution

Apr 28, 2017

By Dr. Amanda Glaze

It was good news for Alabama’s students when the state board of education voted unanimously to adopt a new set of state science standards in 2015. Supported by science teachers throughout the state, the new standards lay the framework for Alabama students to achieve the scientific understanding and abilities they will need to prosper in the twenty-first century.

But that achievement is now under threat in the state legislature. House Joint Resolution 78, which has already passed the House and is now headed for the floor of the Senate, is that threat. If passed, the resolution would be a message from the legislature to science teachers, telling them to disregard or contradict the standards whenever they please.

How so? The resolution urges educational administrators to “refrain from prohibiting” teachers from presenting “the scientific strengths and the scientific weaknesses” of scientific theories taught “within the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education” — meaning the new science standards and material based on them.

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12 comments on “Alabama science literacy threatened by antiscience resolution

  • The resolution is concerned about just a few scientific theories in
    particular. Specifically identified as scientifically controversial
    are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global
    warming, and human cloning.” Did the legislators think to look at the
    standards? Chemical origins of life and human cloning aren’t even
    mentioned in them.

    That reminds me of a measure passed by our ever-wise Congress a while back: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/283029-house-condemns-carbon-tax

    Like the carbon tax proposal, and the GOP “pledges”, go ahead and circumvent discussion on human cloning and the chemical origins of life for good measure. Better safe than sorry, right?



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  • “Al-a-ba-ma” Science “Li-ter-acy”…. Hmmm, ummm…. It’s already an abomination. More than half of the graduates in the entire country would fail a basic science test, let alone in some shit neck areas (shit neck is when you use a towel to clean yourself in the woods and then wrap that towel around your neck to carry it back to camp).

    Point being, look if these folks who are already behind in almost every conceivable educational category (not Alabama, per say, but the entire south and throw in the Babble belt) — if they want to fall further into poverty and idiocy, then who gives a rat’s furry ass?

    Look, the way i see it, they are getting out of the line to high paying jobs and into the line of wrasslin’ gators all day to earn money. So, let them. Less competition for the folks who want to work with their minds and brains. More competition for the folks that want to work with their hands and outdoors. Let em’ go.

    BTW, nothing wrong with working outdoors and with your hands. It’s a dying area and people who are skilled can earn a good living and be in demand. There is dignity in all work, so let them kneel and pray each of the 40 times they carry 12-16 2″ x 4” wall studs from a pick up to the job site on their shoulders. I have done this work and it is good work. until you are OLD, like me. Now, i am damn glad I understand something at a level to earn a lining with my mind.



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  • @OP Did the legislators think to look at the standards?
    Chemical origins of life and human cloning aren’t even mentioned in them.

    In fact, the resolution is ultimately aimed at inhibiting the teaching of evolution.

    Are we really surprised that scientifically illiterate legislators are also legally illiterate, and haven’t the read or understood standards documents either?!

    They “KNOW” god-did-it – so why bother with all this reading stuff”?! 🙂

    Its lead sponsor, Mack Butler, introduced a similar measure — a bill rather than a resolution — in 2015. He explained on his Facebook page that his purpose then was to “encourage debate if a student has a problem learning he came from a monkey rather than an intelligent design!”

    It looks like Mark Butler “has a problem in understanding” that man evolved from an ape (not a monkey), so perhaps he should be sent back to school to study basic textbooks rather than proposing legislation amending documents he has either not read, or was too illiterate to understand!



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  • crookedshoes #2
    Apr 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    “Al-a-ba-ma” Science “Li-ter-acy”…. Hmmm, ummm….
    It’s already an abomination.
    More than half of the graduates in the entire country would fail a basic science test,

    Obviously they are working towards third world deregulated standards – with Trump-style qualifications for top jobs!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39745362

    Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked nearly 10,000 civil servants for having fake education certificates.

    He was responding to the release of a government report into fraudulent qualifications in the public sector.

    The education minister said that some had been using their relatives’ school certificates, while others did not appear on official records at all.

    President Magufuli has given those on the list until 15 May to resign or face legal action.

    There also appears to be a “good market” for pseudo education in the developed world!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38494664

    More than 40 fraudulent websites have been shut down in a major crackdown on the sale of fake degrees.

    The sites closed included those selling authentic-looking certificates using the names of real British universities.

    Others were providers offering distance learning courses but were not valid UK degree awarding bodies.

    An agency set up to investigate the issue, Higher Education Degree Datacheck (Hedd), said it had reports of more than 90 bogus institutions.



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  • One of the problems in the USA with this is that red state legislators and governors seem to have absolutely no regard for the Constitution or established law and there are insufficient penalties to prevent them usurping both on a regular basis. The Kitzmiller trial on Intelligent Design which was heard by a Republican church going judge nevertheless trashed ID as being unscientific, barely concealed religiosity based on creationism, specifically named several defendants as having perjured themselves and recommended they be investigated for perjury by the US Attorney’s office.

    However this does not seem to prevent a constant battle to teach ID which can only be fought by yet more legal action. Winning these cases does not hurt the people who lose them. Any settlements only come out of public funds such as education budgets and therefore hurt students and teachers more than anyone else.

    At the root of this is the fundamental Republican and religious dishonesty which has existed since religion got into Republican politics during the Reagan era. “Trickle down economics” is nothing more than a big lie to give tax cuts to the rich which has been repeatedly proven not to work at both state and national level but it is still trotted out as an economic theory just as ID is trotted out as a scientific one.

    The only things that hurt the people who continue to do this are the popular vote when they come up for re-election and big companies taking their business and money elsewhere as happened in NC after the transgender bathroom bill nonsense. Both of these rely on the common sense and education of the general population which it is so important to continuously improve by people such as Richard and this website.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #7
    Apr 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    One of the problems in the USA with this is that red state legislators and governors seem to have absolutely no regard for the Constitution or established law and there are insufficient penalties to prevent them usurping both on a regular basis.

    The most likely explanation, is that most of them have never read it, but instead have perceptions derived in a similar way to their understanding of THE Bible!
    That is, they have listened to cherry picked bits of it from fellow ideologists, Faux News, Dimbart etc. and used “faith interpretation blinkers” and right-wing dogmas, to decide what it OUGHT to say!

    When those responsible for holding them accountable have been de-educated in the same mode of thinking, they are likely to decided to turn a blind eye, or fumble around “investigating” until the matter is forgotten!



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  • I will return to my initial state (although Vicki’s excellent point changed my stance a bit)… Our “job” now is o keep these idiots in the minority so that the “Vicki effect” does not become a reality again. No easy task as we’ve all seen the statistics on intellect and breeding. Christ, what an uphill battle this will be.

    But, I gotta be the “teacher” here… “Survival of the fittest” is an absolute optimistic stance. A better description is “death of the losers and their future offspring”. much, much more apropos.

    Here’s the bad news, people. “FIT” does not always mean what we think it means or what it “should mean”. And, evidently “stupid to the point of incredulity” is the “fittest” we currently bow to. I mean, it is clear, Stupid, gravid, fertile and available is the current description of evolutionarily fit. Smart? fuck no. Well thought out? fuck off. The funny thing in an ironic kind of way is that these idiots get to be labelled “conservative” and are anything but. Sorry for the extended rant, but this is our reality.

    BTW, wanna counteract this? Start screwing!!!!



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  • crooked

    I’m all set with my own personal fitness. Now I’m working very hard on my inclusive fitness and I’m doing one hell of a good job. (If I do say so myself) 😀



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  • Sorry Vicki,
    that was meant with the best of intent. I meant it to label your excellent point about the electorate, and I was too lazy to type the whole thing and too lazy to properly explain it. It was, in no way, a shot at you. More clearly, it was me being lazy.



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