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Education Politics Science

Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio 528

frdmfghtr (603968) writes Over at Ars Technica, there's a story about a bill in the Ohio legislature that wants to downplay the teaching of the scientific process. From the article: "Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it's likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they're bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information." The science standards would have "...focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another." Political interpretation of scientific facts include humans contributing to climate change according to the bill's sponsor, who also thinks intelligent design would be OK under the law.
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

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  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:30AM (#47765443)
    What the hell is up with you people over there in the US. Still using Imperial measurements? Banning science in favour of teaching about a wizard who made everything not so long ago. producing 40% of the worlds pollution whilst only having 4% of the worlds population

    Your priorities are fucked.You do good war and spying though, I'll give you that.
  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:30AM (#47765445) Homepage
    just because the dept of ed has utterly failed any of us who went through school in the past 40 years, doesnt mean the right thing to do is go back and not teach you know, the basics. The dept of ed is horrible, but people like this dont belong setting the curriculum either
  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:31AM (#47765455) Homepage Journal

    A lot of fuss is made about how creationists aren't hurting anyone by teaching creationism in schools. At least a lot of fuss by creationists.

    But to knock "how science actually works" off the curriculum in order to make creationism slightly more viable as a meme, knocks a very important and practical tool out of childrens' toolbox for learning about the world.

    I'd go as far as saying learning about the scientific method is equally or more important that learning how to write papers expressing your opinions, or solving equations, or how congress works, as far as parity to other common subjects goes.

    This is sabotaging a lot of children's' education in a big way for a miniscule victory in the culture wars. This is why creationists need to be far from policy maker positions.

  • Bye, bye, STEM ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:32AM (#47765463)

    Those stupid son of a bitches.

    We learned nothing from Galileo's fiasco?

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:32AM (#47765465) Homepage Journal
    I see stories about bills like this all of the time, but they usually die in committee after fulfilling their purpose of giving the guy a bullet point for his next campaign poster. Is this one expected to actually have a shot in hell at passing? Sometimes they do slip through the cracks, especially in the bible belt.
  • Re:This is good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:32AM (#47765475)
    Basically he just wants to teach 'facts'. Which is effectively just teaching history. Which conveniently he'll substitute his own political version of history for the recruits...I mean kids...to learn.
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:38AM (#47765541)

    The scientific method is the single, most important discovery of the human race. It underlies everything we have achieved. Downplaying it means to reject modern civilization and rationality. But that may be just what these cretins want.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#47765559)

    They will not even have the bible, as paper and printing (or ink) is a result of applied science. So is incidentally horse-husbandry, the fire and the pot the soup is in.

  • Idiots with power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kruach aum ( 1934852 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#47765571)

    If we make sure we don't teach our students how to think, acquiring a larger voting base will be much easier in the future!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#47765575)

    If you don't want science, then you shouldn't be allowed to benefit from anything created or influenced by it. Say goodbye to your phones, your computers... your massed produced clothes made by machines that use electricity, your fancy guns designed on a computer, your cars.. all of it. Go back to horses and shit soup over a fire while reading your bible and dying of the plague.

    You seem to easily (purposefully) forget that most of the early and bright scientists were religious and finding out how the Creator made things work. So no we would not be going back to the stone age.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:45AM (#47765631) Homepage Journal

    Is this one expected to actually have a shot in hell at passing?

    No, it's just clickbait. There are thousands of stupid bills introduced in State legislatures every year. Slashdot sure doesn't have time to cover them all, but I guess one once in a while is good for revenue.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:51AM (#47765727) Journal

    > Religion has no place in schools.

    So then you agree with this bill, which says:

    A (iii) ... prohibit and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

    A (iv) ... ; and prohibit a specific political or religious interpretation of the standards' content.

    If you skip past the BS /. headline and read the bill, TFS, or even the subtitle of TFS, the bill basically requires teaching science, not politics with a dash of pseudoscience used to support the teacher's political or religious opinion.

  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:51AM (#47765731)
    Or you could be forgetting that a lot of them pretended to be that way, or they lost their head for blasphemy.
  • by tylikcat ( 1578365 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:54AM (#47765777)

    ...and at a research institution in Ohio... I think we're going to have a moment of silence at lab meeting. And then start screaming.

  • Re:This is good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:56AM (#47765795) Homepage

    Not only that, but without the "why", the facts can be easily undermined.

    Teacher to kids: "Evolution is the process by which species change over time to better suit their environment."

    ID Advocate: "See? There's no evidence for it and the so-called scientists are just making things up as they go along. It's not like they have some 'process' they follow. If they did, wouldn't you have been taught that in school?"

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:56AM (#47765799)

    On the bright side, framing the debate in those terms might help convince the kind of people who would argue that we should "respect all sides of the issue" (or some politically-correct BS like that) that these anti-scientific ideas really don't belong in science class after all. I think the lawmaker did us a favor and I'm optimistic that his plans will backfire.

    It doesn't matter. The WHOLE reason we're having this debate is not about science. It's not even about creationism or "intelligent design" or however we "evolve" the term.

    The Discovery institute (the real organization behind all this) believes fundamentally, society went awry when we did the whole "separation of church and state" thing and that religion in school meant students were better behaved and more obedient, and society as a whole was just better off.

    So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy".

    (Yes, it glosses over a LOT of things, like racial issues, the fact that there are more religions than just Christianity, etc).

    Basically all of society's ills are the direct result of secularism and the pursuit of "things" (money, toys, stuff) instead of spirituality.

    It's just that creationism is the wedge issue that can get them in the door the easiest since a lot more Americans believe in it (than say, a great flood happened, or that everything we see was made in a week a few thousand years ago). And once you're in the door, spreading the other beliefs becomes a lot easier.

  • by Infiniti2000 ( 1720222 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:58AM (#47765819)
    No, it's flamebait. It mentions no less than four additional points not relevant to this discussion simply in an attempt to troll Americans. Take out those four other points and I would agree it's a valid criticism, or perhaps include other points that ARE relevant/related.
  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @11:59AM (#47765835)

    Educator John Taylor Gatto [wikipedia.org] has explained both in writing [tripod.com], (PDF link), and in Death by Pedagogy [youtube.com], as well as in many interviews available on YouTube, that the purpose of the education system is to extend childhood and discourage critical thinking. This is done in order to produce more compliant citizens; otherwise their innovation and inventiveness would both disrupt capitalists' ability to control markets, and deny corporations a complacent and pliable workforce.

    Before you dismiss this as just another wild-eyed conspiracy theory you should check out what he has to say. For one thing he gives copious references, most of which can be checked, and most of which use such direct language that there is no possible ambiguity as to the intent of the authors. For another thing, it is perhaps the best and simplest explanation for why the Ohio legislature might enact such otherwise inexplicable legislation.

    Ask yourself 'cui bono'. Who will be best served by a citizenry that is less and less critical, and less and less scientifically competent? Then look back at the education you received, look at what has happened to schooling in the meantime, look at what is happening to education now, and place it all into the context that Gatto creates. if after that you can honestly call it a conspiracy theory, go in peace.

  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:01PM (#47765847)
    Did you miss the part where the bills author finds that the bill would allow the teaching of intelligent design?
  • by CptPicard ( 680154 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:33PM (#47766187)

    It pains me to think that for at least a generation or so, you will still be able to just buy your educated workforce from other countries that have invested in their public education as infrastructure. Otherwise you'd collapse much faster with all this nonsense.

  • Belief systems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @12:40PM (#47766249) Homepage Journal

    When did science stop being a methodology and become a belief system?

  • Re:This is good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gavrielkay ( 1819320 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:01PM (#47766517)
    It's not good to teach facts over method. If you've got limited time, then teaching kids how to think about problems is much more important than teaching them a bunch of things they can get for themselves from books and the internet. How to think critically and process the evidence behind claims that are presented to you is a lifelong skill. Facts are something you memorize for a test and then forget unless you need them again. This sort of law is based on people being afraid that kids will grow up and think critically about what the religious and political leaders want them to swallow.

    Plus, it implies that things like evolution and anthropogenic climate change are merely "political" rather than well backed by scientific evidence. Just because there are people who have political reasons for not wanting kids to believe them doesn't mean the conclusions themselves are political.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:14PM (#47766679)

    It's about time some states learn their place in today's world: to produce ditch-diggers, waiters and other menial labor drones. You don't need to know about the scientific process or even how babby is formed when you're serving me and mine our steak and lobster.

    Now STFU and get back to work! That road isn't going to patch itself!

  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:31PM (#47766849)

    So that's the real end goal - to get religion - or more correctly, Christianity, back into schools so everyone becomes a "good little Christian boy"

    More correctly, their version of Christian theology. When I point out to them that the Catholic Church has stated that evolution and the scientific method are not in conflict they get upset. They point out the Catholic Church is not the decider and get even more steamed when I remind him that Jesus founded the Catholic Church as His Church and thus it and the Pope speak for God; and it says so in the Bible and why do they not believe in the Bible? They claim to be Christians, after all.

    That's the real problem. When people want to bring back God into school they mean their version of God which isn't necessarily someone else's. They often claim they want to give religion equal time but get very upset when someone brings religious beliefs in they don't approve of.

  • The section (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @01:40PM (#47766939)

    The section of the bill and what it says exactly:

    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.

    It does not say they can't teach the scientific process. It says their focus should be on the knowledge gained from it prohibits religious or political interpretations of those facts.

    Once again, the left's opinions are just as stupid as the rights. If you jumped to a conclusion on this story before reading the actual bill, you're the problem. You're easily manipulated by a group of people that are playing to your preconceived notions and fears just to engender false outrage to discredit their opponents. The Right has Fox news, Rush, etc... The left Has arstechnica, msnbc, etc... It's all BS. For the love of God think for yourself and stop voting for people with (D) or (R) after their names.

  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @02:25PM (#47767387)
    I would also argue that "Intelligent Design" isn't Christian. Arguing that God exists because the world is made the same way a human would make it isn't biblical. An all knowing God doesn't need reason to create anything. An all powerfull God does not care about efficiency. Human asthetics from human culture/biology isn't going to influance how God creates the world. Intelligent Design anthropomorphizes God into a man. You wind up with Zeus instead of a pillar of fire/burning bush/rock of ages.

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, nor can it be returned without a receipt.