An Evaluation of Supplementary Biology and Evolution Curricular Materials Submitted for Adoption by the Texas State Board of Education (Discovery Institute) pdf, epub, doc

An Evaluation of Supplementary Biology and Evolution Curricular Materials Submitted for Adoption by the Texas State Board of Education ePub and PDF Available
Bogus embryo drawings, long-debunked claims about tonsils, and outdated information from a 1950s lab experiment highlight the glaring bloopers found in proposed science instructional materials currently being considered by the Texas State Board of Education.

In order to satisfy state educational standards set in 2009 (TEKS), the Board of Education asked publishers to submit supplementary instructional materials that would enable students to "analyze and evaluate" core aspects of evolutionary theory, and to "examin[e] all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking." But according to the 70-page Discovery Institute study, only one set of instructional materials out of the 10 evaluated managed to comply with the TEKS as well as avoid glaring scientific errors.

Top science bloopers in the proposed instructional materials include:

- erroneous statements that the 1950s Miller-Urey origin of life experiment produced amino acids under conditions that accurately simulated the early earth.
- long-discredited claims that the appendix, tonsils, and other organs are non-functional "vestigial" organs left over from a blind evolutionary process. In fact, these organs are now recognized by scientists to serve important biological functions.
- fraudulent embryo drawings originating with nineteenth-century German racist Ernst Haeckel that are used to claim that vertebrate embryos are the same at the earliest stages of development (not true).

Haeckel's bogus drawings were previously removed by the Texas State Board of Education during the 2003 biology textbook adoption process, but like creatures in a zombie film, they keep returning!

In addition to promoting outdated science, most of the proposed instructional materials completely fail to meet the TEKS critical thinking requirements. The TEKS require instructional materials that will help students examine 'all sides of scientific evidence,' 'encourage critical thinking,' and 'analyze and evaluate' key claims of modern evolutionary theory. But out of the ten instructional materials the authors reviewed, only one made a serious effort to meet these requirements.

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  • Author:
  • Publisher:Center for Science & Culture
  • File: 2.2 Mb
  • Release: 07.06.2011
  • Pages 71
  • Rating: 3.7 (2 votes)

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