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Creationism in history (not biology!) classes: News from Russia

The creationism is still new phenomenon for Russian scientific community (and the whole society).
However we have already had one "monkey trial" in 2006 and several other attempts to include creationism into biology classes.
But today information appears that one of Russia's parlament deputee (from the Putin's party "United Russia") offered to add "religious versions of human origin" to the scientific view in the history classes.
As far as I know it is the first such attempt in Russia. Hopefully it is because our creationists realized that Russian biologists are strongly against creationism teaching.
Sherri Shepherd

Kentucky accidentally mandates teaching evolution

This is a great story. The state of Kentucky hired a private company called ACT to draft standardized tests for its public school science curriculum. ACT specializes in such tests, and Kentucky hired them to ensure that their curriculum is in line with national standards. From the article:

Given that evolution is extremely well supported and provides the central organizing idea of biology, ACT's tests featured it heavily. That made a number of the state legislators rather unhappy, and gave them the chance to demonstrate that they should not be setting education policy.

Full story here
06

Sadness

I just wanted to ask if the community was still active?
I am devastated. I read the last book of Richard Dawkins and I didn't expect so many people (in a poll at the end of the book) believed that humans and dinosaurs lived on earth at the same time D:
  • markcl

(no subject)

I wonder how long until cockroaches can make nuclear weapons so they can annihilate the entire human race and everything else, so that they will become the king of the world!
AWESOME thiourea

Biology textbook debate in Louisiana

Many of you will remember that the state of Louisiana passed a law in 2008 that opens the door to teaching Creationism in biology classrooms. Or, in the words of the Louisiana Science Education Act, it instructs teachers to promote “"critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” (I'm dying to know if anyone out there studied human cloning in high school biology; I don't think it ever came up in the two years of honors and Advanced Placement biology I took.)

The issue is currently heating up, as members of the Christian Louisiana Family Forum, associated with the national organization Focus on the Family, are interfering with biology textbook selection. Basically, they're complaining that the books give appropriate coverage to evolution, without injecting any Intelligent Design or Creationism. The crazy thing is that they might actually have a case. I vehemently oppose teaching ID/Creationism in biology classes, but state law could be interpreted as requiring "balanced" coverage. Anyway, here are three rather brief stories that provide more background:

- Textbooks Under Siege in Louisiana from the always excellent National Center for Science Education
- Louisiana Citizens Horrified that there’s Evolution in Science Books
- La. Panel Recommends New Biology Textbooks—apparently the scientifically accurate textbooks were approved, but I suspect this story isn't over just yet.
No Cake
  • mort_q

(no subject)

Dispatches from the Evolution Wars: Shifting Tactics and Expanding Battlefields

"Dispatches from the Evolution Wars: Shifting Tactics and Expanding Battlefields," a review article by NCSE's Glenn Branch, Eugenie C. Scott, and Joshua Rosenau, was published in Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics (2010; 11: 317-338). The abstract:

Creationism continues to present a challenge to the teaching of evolution in the United States. With attempts to ban evolution education and to "balance" the teaching of evolution with creationism unavailing, creationists are increasingly favoring the approach of misrepresenting evolution as scientifically controversial. To understand the ongoing challenges facing evolution education in the United States, it is necessary to appreciate creationist actions at the different levels of educational governance — state legislatures, state boards of education, local boards of education, and finally the individual classroom — that serve as the battlegrounds for the evolution education wars. Scientists are in a unique position to defend the teaching of evolution, both by resisting creationist incursions as they occur and by helping to improve the teaching of evolution at both the precollege and college levels.