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EVOLUTION
Is intelligent design religion or science?
Intelligent Design vs Evolution in the classroom.

Teaching Evolution or Creation Debate

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The Evolution of Man

Galileo - who started it all, and paid the price - had "a wonderful way" of separating the supernatural from the natural. There are two equally worthy ways to understand the divine, Galileo said. "One was reverent contemplation of the Bible, God's word," "The other was through scientific contemplation of the world, which is his creation. ~ Dr. Holton

" Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away "  ~ Philip K. Dick

Hominids diverged from the chimp branch of the family tree roughly six million years ago, producing a series of evolutionary dead-ends before the ultimately successful genus Homo emerged. H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens grew out of the same line at different times.
The Neanderthals' ancestors diverged first, and they left Africa a couple of hundred thousand years ahead of ours. Homo sapiens arrived in Europe about 50,000 years ago. The two species overlapped for perhaps 20,000 years before the Neanderthals went extinct. Scientists still aren't sure why. A detailed analysis of human and chimp DNA suggests the lines finally diverged less than 5.4 million years ago. [1]

 

 

Who is Teaching Science in K12 Schools?

New Jersey is the fourth state so far to reject the $800,000 abstinence education money, after California, Pennsylvania and Maine.

Teachers have the lowest IQs of any college graduate group. Local school boards are elected. What are their qualifications? ANSWER

They have almost complete latitude to set the content of the curriculum! It is their decision that would have an unconstitutionally religious purpose and effect.

Most K12 State Science Standards Don't Make the Grade.

SCIENCE TEST SCORES FALL FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS 2006
The first nationwide science test administered in five years shows that achievement among high school seniors has declined across the past decade, even as scores in science rose among fourth graders and held steady among eighth graders, reported the Education Department. The drop in science proficiency appeared to reflect a broader trend, in which some academic gains made in elementary grades and middle school have been seen to fade during the high school years. The science results came from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a comprehensive examination administered in 2005 by a branch of the Department of Education to hundreds of thousands of students in all 50 states. The science test, which was administered during the first months of 2005, covered the earth, physical and life sciences, writes Sam Dillon. Some teachers blamed the decreasing amount of time devoted to science in schools, in part because of the No Child Left Behind Law, whose requirements for annual testing in reading and math during the elementary grades have led many schools to decrease the time spent on science or to abandon its teaching altogether. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/24/education/24cnd-exam.html

"The State of State Science Standards 2005" the first comprehensive study of science academic standards conducted since 2000 -- appraised the quality of each states K-12 science standards as they are rushing to meet the No Child Left Behind Acts mandate for testing in this critical subject. The results are mixed. Nearly half of the fifty states surveyed received grades of "D" or "F"  in a new review of statewide academic standards for primary-secondary school science. Every state received a letter grade based on how well its standards met a set of rigorous criteria, including:

  • Do the standards contain clear and fair expectations by grade level for students?
  • Are the standards organized in a sensible way, both showing logical progression from grade to grade and easily navigated so teachers, parents, and the public can understand?
  • Is there an appropriate amount of science content, and if so, do the standards outline the best approach to share that content?
  • Are the expectations outlined specific enough, yet set high aims that will equip students with the science skills they need for college?
  • Are the standards appropriately serious, or do they incorporate pseudo-scientific fads or politics?

CHRISTIAN RIGHT "STRIKINGLY UNSUCCESSFUL" IN SCHOOL BOARD EFFORTS
During a period in which the Christian Right wielded a great deal of influence in the federal and state political spheres, it appears to have been strikingly unsuccessful in its long-term efforts to push state and local school boards to adopt science curricula that include questioning the theory of evolution and teaching intelligent design as a legitimate alternative theory of creation, according to a Connecticut College researcher. Kimberly Trebbi Richards found that the Christian Right's initial short-term successes occurred through exceptionally effective development of interest group organization and lobbying techniques focused on electing or re-electing supportive officials. However, the more permanent reversals of those short-term successes came through growing counter-organization by opposing groups and through court decisions. Richards examined case studies from three major state or local areas where the Christian Right was initially successful in influencing science education at the elementary or high school levels: Kansas, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

University of Calif. Sued Over Creationism
http://www.salon.com/wire/ap/archive.html?wire=D8C8AM600.htm August 27,2005 | LOS ANGELES
A group representing California religious schools has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of California system of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.
The Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming UC admissions officials have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin's theory of evolution. Other rejected courses include "Christianity's Influence in American History."
According to the lawsuit, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta was told its courses were rejected because they use textbooks printed by two Christian publishers, Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books.
Wendell E. Bird, a lawyer for the association, said the policy violates the rights of students and religious schools.
"A threat to one religion is a threat to all," he said.
UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said she could not comment, because the university had not been served with the lawsuit. Still, she said the university has a right to set course requirements.
"These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed," Poorsina.

K - 12 PUBLIC EDUCATION

PROJECT STEVE

NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism." (For examples of such lists, see the FAQs on the web site at http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=18
Creationists draw up these lists to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Most members of the public lack sufficient contact with the scientific community to know that this claim is totally unfounded. NCSE has been exhorted by its members to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of evolution, but although we easily could have done so, we have resisted such pressure. We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!

Project Steve mocks this practice with a bit of humor, and because "Steves" (and Stephanies) are only about 1% of scientists, it incidentally makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, NCSE supporter and friend. As of 2/19, the Steveometer was 244 and rising. To join the list, write Skip Evans at evans@ncseweb.org.

Lawrence Krauss Talk of the Nation audio
*Ambrose Swasey professor of physics and chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University Director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online

K-12 Government INITIATIVES from 1999

Creation vs. Evolution Mailing List

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