January 9, 2009

Science Education in Mississippi Jeapordized By Creationist Nonsense

thumb|See also...Image via WikipediaThings are buzzing today over at Mississippi Atheists. I am focusing my efforts there on mobilizing the small reality-based community in our state to oppose House Bill 25, the latest effort in our state to affix disclaimers attacking evolution on science textbooks. If passed, this bill would require the following text to be attached to any textbook in which evolution is discussed:
The word 'theory' has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory.

Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

Study hard and keep an open mind.
I contacted the National Center for Science Education this morning to make sure they had heard about the bill. I just posted information for persons wishing to contact members of our state legislature's education committee. Next up, I'll be posting at least a couple sample letters.

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