You might not believe in evolution but you have to learn about it in Alabama

You go to school to learn about the world regardless of whether you like the subject or not. Learning prevailing scientific ideas means understanding evolution as the basis for life on earth. Learning about climate change is critical for understanding what is happening on earth now and what we will possibly face in the future. Science is not a democracy. The world exists whether you like how it is, or not. So, Alabama teachers, teach.

Source: Alabama will require students to learn about evolution, climate change | AL.com

[P]ublic school students will be required for the first time to understand the theory of evolution. And teachers will be required to address climate change, which wasn’t a focus the last time the state set science standards in 2005.

A 40-member committee that developed the new course of study included people with “very strong religious beliefs” who considered the state’s faith traditions and worked together to develop the new guidelines, said Michal Robinson, science specialist for the state education agency.

“We still have to teach what the science is,” Robinson said in an interview Friday. “If students want to go into a science field in college or beyond, they have to have a foundation.”

It’s a step in the right direction at least!

Many people who argue that they don’t “believe” in evolution have NEVER learned what it is or why it’s considered critical to understanding life. Many kids oppose the ideas that their parents oppose just because that’s all they know. Schools are for expanding your horizons. The world of today is NOT the world your parents grew up in.

On the other hand, many science-minded parents do not object to kids learning about the history of various religious beliefs in World Cultures class. There is a difference between “learning about” and “indoctrination”. It’s nice to see that the Board of Education of a conservative state gets that.

  8 comments for “You might not believe in evolution but you have to learn about it in Alabama

  1. One Eyed Jack
    September 15, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Great news, if you still have a classroom to go to.

    Alabama just cut $100 million from their education budget.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/15/440516013/alabama-senate-approves-shifting-100-million-away-from-schools

  2. September 15, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    How sad that they needed a 40-member committee and a discussion about “the state’s faith traditions” (whatever that means!) just to agree to teach basic science. Why should a “faith tradition” be even a part of that dialogue??

    They may think this makes them look progressive, but to most I would guess it just makes them look ignorant. It’s like forming a large committee to discuss whether or not to teach astronomy, after consulting astrologers.

    The whole thing just leaves me scratching my head.

  3. Steve
    September 15, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    I wonder how many parents will pull their kids out of public school and either send them to religious schools or home school them because of this. Makes me sad thinking those kids will live in a world of superstition and fear rather than of science and the wonders of exploring and understanding our world and the universe we inhabit.

  4. Lagaya1
    September 16, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    I think 10 years of poor science education has shown them that their children go to college woefully behind in science education, and find it’s not easy to catch up so late.

  5. Rook
    September 17, 2015 at 1:33 AM

    The few people I’ve talked to about the theory of evolution who admitted to not accepting the theory as valid seemed to have one thing in common – a rather poor and distorted understanding of the theory itself. I can only assume these people either slept through science class or their school let them down by not teaching it adequately.

  6. Adam
    September 17, 2015 at 4:41 AM

    Of course the curriculum might teach evolution by saying god is testing us, and about climate change by saying god will provide for us. And even if its on the level I’m sure we’ll see the usual situation where teachers and boards start trying to bowdlerize the science because it doesn’t fit with their own worldview.

  7. Bill T.
    September 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    But they have no qualms about trying to teach my kids about Noah and talking snakes.

  8. Rudy
    September 24, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    The late, great philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell, once said that the two greatest virtues were, “Kindness and Knowledge.” By this he meant, actually treating others as you would like to be treated, and actually understanding the scientific method so that empirical proof is the paramount decider of what is “knowledge.” If more legislators, religious leaders, and business leaders lived according to Russell’s precepts of “virtue,” we would live in a much better, and much safer world.

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