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Dutchess_III's avatar

How do you interpret this bill, specifically in regards to teaching (or not teaching) the scientific process in public schools?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46549points) August 27th, 2014

This is the bill.

This is the statement in question:

”(iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.”

I’m trying to understand what they’re saying. How can you teach science without scientific process?

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13 Answers

hominid's avatar

Ouch. I need to look into this. But upon first glance, this seems to be the complete opposite of what should be taught. Your question is a good one: “How can you teach science without scientific process?” You can’t. Problem solved for many who object to science.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Typical right wing denial of science

Dutchess_III's avatar

But it also specifies ”...prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.””

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

J.F.C. There is no more “right wing denial of science” than there are left wing journalism or liberal arts majors who think they know a great deal of science but don’t actually know the first thing about it. Science denial is mostly religious in nature, not usually political in nature.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think they are simply trying to shut down any science debate by teaching science based on known facts and not on scientific methods that can be subject to propaganda and misinformation by religion and political influence.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s a thought @ARE_you_kidding_me. Thank you.

But as far as a religious thing and not a political thing…take a look at this. Fortunately the Kansas Senate squashed it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can someone give me an example of teaching using scientific methods?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have a feeling that one while political, has religious underpinnings.

Purely political science denial is still rare. When it does happen it’s usually environmental in nature.

Teaching using scientific methods is like laboratory work. They outline an experimental procedure for students to follow and then they report on their findings. Pretty common in chemistry, engineering and other sciences in college. That makes me think now it could be a sneaky way to eliminate science labs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The experiments and labs were the best things about science.

ragingloli's avatar

It is an attempt to specifically torpedo the teaching of evolution and global warming.
The fact of global warming is rejected by right wing politics, and the fact of evolution contradicts religious beliefs. Both are therefore contentious under this bill.

focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes
This is especially insidious.
One of the scientific processes is the evaluation of evidence and critical thinking.
What this bill is trying to do is prevent pupils from learning why and how science knows what it knows, and how it determined that the gathered knowledge is true.
By just teaching what science knows, it later becomes easier for demagogues to convince them that the scientific knowledge they were taught is false.
Take evolution, for example. If you just teach them that evolution happened, which animals evolved from what and where, they will not know how we got to know it.
They will be kept from learning about genetic evidence, the true extent of the fossil record, observations of evolutions in the lab and the wild, and how the available evidence was evaluated to dermine that evolution by natural selection is a fact.
Without that knowledge, it will be easy for superstionists to later make them doubt evolution and convince them of creationism.

flutherother's avatar

I agree with you @Dutchess III the phrase strikes me as odd. Science doesn’t just state facts it explains why the facts must be true which is what the scientific process does. It seems like an attempt to pull the rug from under science by denying the scientific method.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is just scary. This is just insane.

JLeslie's avatar

I think they should leave science to the scientist. Are scientists proposing this bill? No fucking way.

Maybe they don’t like the scientific method, because it causes people to question? To accept that a thought of theirs might be disproven. Scary shit.

I think the bill is confusing purposely, and made to sound like agreeing with it makes perfect sense even to the science minded. This happens all the times with bills and proposals that citizens vote on. Worded in a way that makes a yes vote actually sound like a no vote and vice versa, or is just down right confusing. It pisses me off.

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