Thoughts of Orwell’s novel naturally arise as we report on the activities of the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — as they ceaselessly promote The Controversy between evolution and creationism. Their propaganda efforts reek of Newspeak — not Orwell’s version, but their own specialized vocabulary designed to discredit science. It’s one of their primary tools in furtherance of their wedge strategy, the goal of which is theocracy.
With that as an introduction, we now turn to the latest at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: In South Carolina, Students May Soon Critique Natural Selection. It’s written by Joshua Youngkin, a lawyer whose job they euphemistically describe as “Program Officer, Public Policy and Legal Affairs.” He’s a lobbyist. Science research organizations always have such people in their employ, don’t they? No? Well, the Discoveroids do. Here are some excerpts from Youngkin’s post, with bold font added by us:
South Carolina’s Education Oversight Committee recently sent a memo to the South Carolina State Board of Education urging that body’s adoption of a new science standard, H.B.5C.4, which reads: “Construct scientific arguments that seem to support and scientific arguments that seem to discredit Darwinian natural selection.”
We know all about it, because less than two weeks ago we wrote South Carolina Creationist Chaos Continues. As we reported then:
New language for high school biology standards is headed for consideration to the State Board of Education that would have students learn “the controversy.” The S.C. Education Oversight Committee on Monday sent proposed language to the board that would require biology students to construct scientific arguments that seem to support and seem to discredit Darwinism.
What does the Discoveroid lobbyist say about it? Let’s read on:
[A] representative of the Education Oversight Committee advised me that the State Board of Education will likely vote on adoption on June 11. Today, a representative of the State Board of Education confirmed that the Board will take up the matter then.
That could be true. It’s Youngkin’s job as a lobbyist to keep up with such things, and his article at the Discoveroids’ blog confirms our suspicion that they’re knee-deep in what’s going on in South Carolina. This isn’t surprising. We already know that the Discoveroids’ front man in this initiative is state Senator Mike Fair. He’s been active in promoting the Discoveroids’ “academic freedom” act, but so far without success. This time he may get the job done through the back door, by degrading the state’s education standards.
Does Younkin say anything else worth mentioning? Ah, how about this:
[I]t should be uncontroversial for students to construct scientific arguments that support and discredit natural selection as the sole or major engine of evolution, an exercise that would help them learn what scientific argumentation looks like and how it works.
That’s slick. The problem is that the proposed revision to the education standards isn’t limited to questioning whether natural selection is the only evolutionary mechanism. It’s much broader than that. The Discoveroids have posted the Education Oversight Committee’s proposed standard for biology education. At the end, in red, you can see what Mike Fair managed to get included. It requires that students learn to: “Construct scientific arguments that seem to support and scientific arguments that seem to discredit Darwinian Natural Selection.” That’s what the fuss is all about. Here’s more from Youngkin:
If H.B.5C.4 [the language in red] is added to South Carolina’s 2014 Draft Academic Standards and Performance Indicators, the standard would join many other lines in the document that hew to a critical perspective, which, frankly, is a great thing for kids to learn.
Yeah — critical thinking. We’ve discussed that Discoveroid Newspeak phrase before — see What Is “Critical Thinking”?
Youngkin doesn’t say much else. But his article confirms that the Discoveroids are behind this mess in South Carolina. If it works for them, then in addition to promoting their “Academic Freedom” bills, they’ll also be working to sneak stuff like this into the states’ education standards. So now we have something else to keep an eye on. And they’ll never quit, at least not as long as their generous patrons continue to fund their little “think tank.”
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