WHOSE SCIENCE? Critics say proposed NM science standards omit evolution, climate change

Sep 26, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

New Mexico’s Public Education Department unveiled proposed teaching standards this week that critics say would omit references to evolution, rising global temperatures and the age of Earth from the state’s science curriculum.

The standards are based on a science curriculum called the Next Generation Science Standards proposed in 2013 by a consortium of 26 states. But the New Mexico plan contains additions and deletions from the nationwide standards.

Among those changes, the proposal would eliminate a reference to Earth’s “4.6 billion year history” and replaced it with “geologic history” in the middle-school curriculum.

It also omits a reference to a “rise in global temperatures” and replaces it with “fluctuations” in temperature.

Critics call the proposal a “watered-down” version of the national standards that will weaken science education and discourage people and companies that value science education from moving to New Mexico.

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10 comments on “WHOSE SCIENCE? Critics say proposed NM science standards omit evolution, climate change

  • @OP – Critics call the proposal a “watered-down” version of the national standards that will weaken science education and discourage people and companies that value science education from moving to New Mexico.

    Climate change deniers, like creationists, love to falsely claim scientific “authority” as badge of repute and competence, which they assertively stick on to on their spurious claims.

    They similarly like to mix their pseudo-science rubbish with real science and the work of real scientists, to confuse readers.

    . . . . and they love play the offended martyr, and to express indignation and affront, when their false claims are challenged and called out by critics!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/09/four-indicted-for-publishing-blasphemous-material/#li-comment-226326



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  • There is a political debate that needs to be had here, that is too often forgotten.

    The US is, we are told, a democracy.

    A democracy can only function as a fair, efficient and effective form of government if those who vote, and who pressurize their elected representatives to act (or not) in any particular way, are fully informed.

    There is no other model. Any other model is not democracy.

    The way in which democracy works demands as an integral part of that system that the electorate be able to understand facts, and to weigh the facts as evidence for any proposed social and political direction their country, state, county or town might take – on any issue.

    The citizens of a democracy must make determinations based on an ability to think critically, skeptically and logically. The citizens of a democracy must be well versed in any and all of the major sources of factual information in order to be able to judge the veracity, importance and rank of every item of new information and opinion presented to them.

    Universal education, to the maximum standard possible, for every citizen of a democracy – without exception – within the limits of the resources that can be obtained for education (that is: set aside from any and all other possible uses, all other uses being demonstrably of lesser priority unless they directly support democratic assemblies and courts) should therefore be the goal of any democratic government.

    Question: Is New Mexico a democracy?

    Discuss.



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  • Question: Is New Mexico a democracy?

    And if it squeaks in as one, for how long?

    Elsewhere I proposed regarding this…

    “The prospect of a permanent Idiocracy gets the super rich parasites (who so far have Americans working 8 hours a week more than the Germans for the same buying power) really, really hard.”



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  • Hi Phil,

    And if it squeaks in as one, for how long?

    This is, indeed, the probable consquence of poor education. There will not be an immediate loss of all democratic functions; poor education undermines democracy by digging away the support from under the foundations such that the next test of political storms completes the job by washing away support and the edifice crashes down. Politicians, perhaps future politicians, will have the luxury (if that is the right word) of watching from within the crowd of all citizens.

    That is no salve for my conscience – nor, I suspect, for many others including a majority of Americans.

    As to your assertion that the super rich like the idea of an ‘idiocracy’ … is the election and maintenance, by super rich misinformation campaigns, of a president who is a semi-literate, malleable, inciter of aggression in some way, possibly, suggestive?

    Politically, the majority of Americans are very clearly fighting a rearguard action in defence of education – and therefore for American Democracy itself. Sadly, too few realize this and understand it well enough to be politically active. It is their children and grandchildren who will suffer most.

    Peace.



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  • is the election and maintenance, by super rich misinformation campaigns, of a president who is a semi-literate, malleable, inciter of aggression in some way, possibly, suggestive?

    But the information is free and fair, competition sees to that. So, no worries, eh?



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  • Hi Phil,

    Markets for information exist – the acquisition and sale of parts of you and me (our ‘confidential’ data), or of state secrets, spring to mind. Any market that aspires to provide factual information, however, cannot have competitive supply except in terms of delivery (faster, clearer, etcetera), it cannot have ‘alternative facts’ and remain a marketplace for the factual.

    In the US opinion has been presented as fact for so long that people obviously confuse the two, though it is frankly difficult not to also credit an already precipitate fall in education standards resulting in too few Americans being able to see beyond the ends of their noses – as is surely corroborated by the fact that Rush Limbaugh actually has an audience.

    Even if that were not true the conglomeration of media in our lifetimes has had a severe reduction effect on the number of alternative opinions that find there way into the Town Square. The number of different interpretations of the facts has also been homogenized.

    You don’t have to be rich to be a media mogul, as Arianna Huffington proved. But it helps, as Jeff Bezos also proved.

    Education, it seems to me, rarely makes national headlines in the US. This story comes to us as being about New Mexico. If there is a new national standard in which NM participated why would a democratic NM even consider wasting taxpayers money on a review by an NM Education Department?

    Can we conclude from this that the media, who have a responsibility to educate the citizenry as much as any school, is failing in that duty.? I believe we can. A failure by the US national media to ask why a new education standard (a democracy-enhancing standard) is being questioned at the state level in a clear exercise in double-talk-double-tax-expense reflects the Republicans tactics of bait-and-switch. While the national media, and thereby the national attention, is diverted by tax cuts and healthcare cuts other subjects are politically driven off the radar.

    It’s not like this is a secret, Trump said from the beginning his administration would focus on devolving powers to the states. From the anti-democratic perspective divide and conquer makes perfect sense.

    Does the current administration enjoy the support of a majority of, super-rich-owned, media? I don’t see that, thanks to people like Huffington and Bezos. But it’s close. Fortunately the super rich only share some points, not the whole agenda. Also, the independent media will insist on not taking in a strategic view of reporting. Selecting which stories to follow is always tough, I envy no Editor or Producer. Even so, education, for the reasons stated above, should get far more coverage.

    The NM story is important for a reason that, until now, has remained unstated: Anti-democracy forces in the US have become over-confident, they’re breaking cover.

    Peace.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #6
    Sep 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    The NM story is important for a reason that, until now, has remained unstated:
    Anti-democracy forces in the US have become over-confident, they’re breaking cover.

    I think this is the essence of the Trump regime, the Brexiteers, and the loony Right, generally!

    Of course fundamentalist, religious, and ideological “Dunning-Kruger” thinking, is essentially about the false confidence of the ignorant, who just can’t see why everyone else does not share their ignorant lack of realistic vision!

    They are like the teenage car thief, who sees nothing wrong with his reckless driving – as he has no prospect of passing that hazard perception test – which those “tedious alarmists” say he should study before getting into a driving seat!



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  • http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/new-mexico-reversal-science-education-standards-climate-change/

    New Mexico’s public education agency announced late Tuesday that it would restore references to evolution, global warming, and the age of the Earth that had been stripped out of the state’s proposed science education standards.
    The reversal comes after an outcry by teachers, scientists, students, and others—the culmination of which was a day-long public hearing on Monday in which scores of people spoke out against the draft standards.




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  • I know this is random but do any of you guys got advice for immigrating out of United States? My main reason why Im worried about my country is the fear that Trump might turn United States into a Christian Nationalist nation.



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  • Jacob #9
    May 10, 2018 at 3:09 am

    I know this is random but do any of you guys got advice for immigrating out of United States?

    Many US corporations have subsidiaries or branches in European and other countries.

    If Americans working for these get overseas postings, that gives them a chance to have a close look at conditions in the the foreign country when they are working abroad. It also gives then a chance to discuss procedures and practicalities with other immigrants.



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