Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New public school standards in Alabama require students for the first time to understand the theory of Evolution and to address climate change.

Courtesy of AL.com: 

Alabama is updating its decade-old science standards to require that students understand evolution and learn about climate change, topics that can still be controversial in the Bible Belt state. 

Educators say the new rules — part of a major change that includes more experimentation and hands-on instruction and less lecturing — don't require that students believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally. 

But public school students will be required for the first time to understand the theory of evolution. And teachers will be required to address climate change, which wasn't a focus the last time the state set science standards in 2005. 

The new standards take effect in 2016 after being unanimously approved by the Republican-controlled Alabama State Board of Education on Thursday.

This may seem like a small step, and indeed it is, but since it is taking place in Alabama it is also noteworthy.

However just in case you thought that the Christian Right had caved in altogether, there is still this: 

Textbooks used in Alabama science classes have carried a disclaimer sticker for years stating that evolution is a "controversial theory," not fact, and the new course of study doesn't change the warnings, which were advocated by Christian conservatives.

Like I said it IS Alabama.

Oh well, baby steps are still steps in the right direction.


  1. Anonymous4:56 AM

    Without comprehensive science and math skills religious types' kids are doomed to a life of sharply curtailed career options. Their children deserve better than that.

    1. Leland12:36 PM

      Heck, WE deserve better than that since we will have to PAY for the poor sots!

  2. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Twenty four years ago it was a question in a standardized test to assess intelligence to ask a child what the Theory of Evolution was. My children were tested as required by Atlanta area schools to place them in advanced classes they were students of in another state. The tester pointedly told me none of my children knew what the Theory of Evolution was.

    Concerned the children be educated I taught them and found a National Geographic tape. I shared the tape which was returned by a teacher with a note it was nice but unacceptable
    for viewing.

    I did not think information about a theory would invalidate nor cause problems in conflict of Adam and Eve beliefs.

  3. Anonymous6:43 AM

    I like the cartoon. In psychology this would depict for facts first then conclusions as healthy, logical and rational thinking. The Creationist way is cognitive distortions, irrational, illogical, cognitive disorder, involves black and white thinking. It is a trait of personality disorders also.

  4. How can any theory of creation be more controversial or preposterous than the biblical version? Why not apply some good old fashioned science and reasoning to the creation story?

    1. Maple7:17 AM

      How do you apply some good old-fashioned science and reasoning to a story (the Creation story) which is no more than a tale told by folks who didn't even know what science was? There is no science, nor any reasoning, to back it up. It's akin to the Romans and the Greeks believing their multiple gods were responsible for volcanic eruptions and torrential downpours and earthquakes and, in fact, their day-to-day living.

    2. If one believes in science and the laws of the universe, then one should believe there is a scientific basis for the existence of God.

    3. Leland12:47 PM

      I'm sorry, TC, but your opening questions and the second comment you posted seem completely contradictory.

      I believe in science and the laws of the universe as we currently know them, yet I resolutely refute the existence of any god. Science and the laws of the universe do NOT make one believe there is scientific evidence of that sort.

      In fact, one of our greatest universal minds, Stephen Hawking, stipulates there is NO basis for the existence of a god in the mathematics of the universe and, in fact, refutes said existence.

      As for applying "some good old fashioned science and reasoning to the creation story?" It's been done. It's called evolution (If you prefer, the THEORY of evolution) and only those lost in the throes of religious fervor refuse to accept it. Well, generally, anyway.

    4. One is either a scientist or not. If you claim to be a scientist and a believer, then you should be able to offer a scientific basis for God's existence. If you cannot do that, you acknowledge physics and the laws of the universe apply to everything but the creator of those very laws. Cognitive dissonance.


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