Creationism in Colorado

Science advocates say a new bill introduced in Colorado promotes an antiscience agenda by presenting evolution and global warming as "controversial" topics.

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The bill is described as

The bill is described as saying (or insinuating) evolution is controversial. However, the only direct quote from the bill says nothing to this effect.

"to create an environment that encourages students to intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence related to biological and chemical evolution, global warming, and human cloning."

From the bill 22-15-102 "The

From the bill 22-15-102 "The General Assembly further finds that the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning can cause controversy and that some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they may present information on these subjects."

Do they cause controversy? Sure. Do I think that science teachers have doubts about how to teach them? Not so much.

The bill in its entirety provides not one shred of help in clarifying expectations.

in re: "The science has been

in re: "The science has been long established; evolution is real, and global warming is real. Any controversy is manufactured by political and corporate ideology, and not by science," he writes, urging Hullinghorst to kill the "anti-education" bill in committee.

This statement is one of the most frightening things I have read in a long while. Certainly some aspects of evolution are true and some aspects of the green house effect are true but these fields in their totality are far from well understood and plenty of controversy attends them. Attitudes and efforts like Plait's making it illegal to question them are not only totalitarian propaganda but ultimately couterproductive as making progress in any scientific field REQUIRES a process that includes constructing hypotheses that challenge existing notions and performing thorough, fair tests of the hypotheses. Let's raise a generation of thoughtful, thinking children not mindless drones. And let's NOT restrict other's freedom to think differently than us, OK. Both from the inherent right that peson has to liberty and because I may actually benefit from that person's insight somday because I haven't constrained them to the limits of my ignorance.

Well put, Biotreker. The most

Well put, Biotreker. The most solid of our scientific theories have problems, and even our most rigorous theories are subject to major changes. This is the very nature of scientific inquiry. For example, last year a group of scientist argued that the Milky Way is much more massive than previously thought: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/milky-way-size-leo-i-galaxy_n_2.... A newer study (based on different data), that came out this January, says it is much smaller than previously thought: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/has-the-milky-lost-weight..... Compared to the scientific rigor of and availability of data in astrophysics, evolutionary theory and the role of humans in global warming is relatively soft. In fact, if you were to apply the level of rigor required in, say, physics in an evaluation of evolution, evolution would hardly qualify as a theory. At best, it could be considered a working hypothesis.

Phil Plait asks, “Why not include all fields of science, instead of just those three? In fact, why not include all academic fields? I’d be fascinated to see literature, art, and math added to that. Or religious study." Is he serious? Is Plait really suggesting that evolution is as solidly scientifically grounded as math? Regardless, the answer to his question is simple. With the exception of math (in which Cantor’s theory is nevertheless disputed), these disciplines already enjoy an abundance of controversy—and everyone knows it. In contrast, as far as I have seen, talking about problems with evolutionary “theory” is generally anathema in academia, even in casual conversation. As evidenced by Plait himself, evolution is held with pious fervor and defended with religious rigor, and anyone who would question evolution is a heretic who is to be regarded with righteous indignation.

Biotreker and lcp, The

Biotreker and lcp,
The problem is how much evidence would it take to convince you that evolution is real and unquestionable? There are so many examples of biological phenomena that have been recorded that can have no explanation besides evolution, and not just micro-evolution, that no one who has knowledge of the area sees it worth questioning. Many people still work in the area of evolution because there are always specific new questions about mechanisms but no one who has studied evolution, who did not come in to the field to try to prove it wrong for religious reasons, even sees it as a question. It becomes maddening to have to re-argue the same points over and over again with people who have not spent the time studying the subject in any detail. People who question evolution are not considered heretics, they are simply considered ignorant.

Oh my Librarian you do seem

Oh my Librarian you do seem to be an expert on ignorance. Evolution IS real in that it has really occured. Nevertheless, if you think there are no questions about how and when most of it occured then you are a foolish zealot. At this time we can only see the footprints of parts of the process. The vast majority of what has occurrend in utterly unknown and at this time, frankly unknowable in light of present knowledge and insight. If you ever want your children to make a significant contribution to filling in some of those gaps you had better teach them to be critical, questioning thinkers, not dogmatic zealots. By the way, I am a pioneer in the fields of molecular genetics and evolution and have been working in those fields for more than 30 years. I don't think it is necessary to defend it by pretending I know everything.

Biotreker, I only said that

Biotreker,
I only said that no one who has studied it questions that it occurs - I did say that "Many people still work in the area of evolution because there are always specific new questions about mechanisms". I am not a zealot, only one who is convinced by the vast amount of evidence available. We do not seem to have a disagreement and I have also worked more than 30 years in molecular genetics and evolution.

The religious Christian right

The religious Christian right is controlling the government. The world sees the US as being controlled by religious fanatics and the US sees many other countries being controlled by religious fanatics too but puts them down. That is called looking with blinkers on!