Arizona Adopts Rational Science Standards

We found today’s news in the Arizona Capitol Times, which describes itself as “the leading source of political news from the state Capitol and beyond.” Their headline is Education board rebuffs Christian-centric academic standards. The last time we wrote about this subject was Even More Creationist Madness in Arizona. Here are some excerpts from today’s news, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The state Board of Education on Oct. 22 rebuffed a bid by schools chief Diane Douglas to adopt standards for Arizona’s public schools crafted by a Christian college.

Excellent! As you know, Arizona’s current Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, a flaming creationist, was defeated in a recent primary election, but until her eventual successor is elected and takes office, she’s still running things — more or less. The newspaper says:

But whether schools can use the standards crafted by Hillsdale College remains an open question.

That was discussed in our earlier post. Then the Arizona Capitol Times tells us:

What is clear is that the new standards incorporate some last-minute changes proposed by the Arizona Science Teachers Association. The most notable change includes a clear statement that “the unity and diversity of organism, living and extinct, is the result of evolution.” Sara Torres, the group’s executive director, said these standards will “protect teachers of science from being put in a position of teaching non-scientific ideas.”

A humiliating defeat for the creationists! But Diane Douglas isn’t giving up. We’re told:

After the vote, Douglas insisted she is not against the teaching of evolution. [Hee hee!] And Douglas said she even is willing to concede that “science, to some degree, has proven adaptation of species.” Where she parts company is taking the next steps. “Show me where any scientist has proven or replicated that life came from non-living matter or that, in the example we see in the museums, that man evolved from an ape,” Douglas said. “There’s no proof to that,” she continued. “Let’s teach our children all those different things and let them study them.”

Hard core indeed! The news story goes on and on, but we’ve hit the important points so this is where we’ll stop. Oh wait — our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted this: Victory in Arizona. They say:

The Arizona state board of education voted 6-4 to adopt a new set of state science standards at its October 22nd, 2018, meeting. These standards were recently revised in accordance with recommendations from the Arizona Science Teachers Association to restore the concepts of speciation and common ancestry as well as high school-level standards about climate change, which were previously deleted.

[…]

“This is a tremendous victory for Arizona science education,” commented NCSE’s executive director Ann Reid. “Only with a scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate treatment of evolution and climate change in their state science standards – and in their textbooks and classrooms – will Arizona’s public school students be adequately prepared to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”

Okay, dear reader — that’s the good news. Now the fun begins, as we await the inevitable lamentations from the usual creationist websites. Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Arizona Adopts Rational Science Standards

  1. Kudos to Arizona. Can’t say as much for Louisiana or Tennessee; still living in the dark ages.

  2. “Let’s teach our children all those different things and let them study them.”
    Excellent idea! Special creation of Homo Sapiens at Sunday School and/or religion class (not mandatory), evolution of Homo Sapiens in biology class. To each its own, I say.

    “Stay tuned to this blog!”
    I can’t wait. Until the glorious moment that creationist whining begins we have to amuse ourselves. Let me kick off: Teach Not Only The Strengths, But Also The Weaknesses!

  3. Michael Fugate

    The bigness weakness of the creationist argument is the “experts” trying to hawk it.

  4. I think it is interesting that, once again, one of the objections is to “man evolved from an ape”. Not the Cambrian Explosion or the Privileged Planet. And,, of course, no alternative explanation for the “unity and diversity of organism”.

  5. Michael Fugate

    “Show me where any scientist has proven or replicated that life came from non-living matter or that, in the example we see in the museums, that man evolved from an ape,” Douglas said. “There’s no proof to that,” she continued.

    Proof? But there is a boatload of evidence that humans share common ancestry with other species and life is chemistry.

  6. “Show me where any scientist has proven or replicated that life came from non-living matter …”
    That isn’t even a part of evolution.

    “… in the example we see in the museums, that man evolved from an ape”
    So the examples shown in museums are insufficient evidence? Molecular biology supports evolution so well that only a willfully ignorant fool would claim otherwise. Diane Douglas apparently wants someone to show a bible verse clearly stating that happened, the actual evidence be damned. Also. humans are classified as apes, and modern apes and humans share a common ancestor.

    “The Arizona state board of education voted 6-4 …”
    I still wonder about who those 4 no votes came from and why. 4 votes means that creationists are extremely likely to try to get even more creationists on the board of education. The vote should have been 10:0 instead of 6:4.

  7. Anyone here from Arizona, remember this when you come to vote

  8. @Ketopan Could not agree more. One vote from a tie, hardly a resounding victory.