Microbiologist Testifies in Favor of Critical Analysis

Microbiologist Ralph Seelke of the University of Wisconsin, Superior, testified before the Michigan State Legislature in favor of critical analysis of evolution, last week. Dr. Seelke spoke before the Michigan House Education Committee in favor of HB 5251 which would require students to “Use the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution.” Seelke explained why critical analysis is vital to avoiding indoctrination: “Why do I think that having students critically analyze evolution is a good idea? First of all, in any area where there is considerable disagreement, a sound teaching strategy is to teach the controversy: allow the students to examine both the strengths and weaknesses of arguments Read More ›

“Teach ’em all?” Michigan Poll Supports Critical Analysis But Misinterprets the Data

A recent poll reported in “Inside Michigan Politics” found that 76% of Michiganites agree with the following statement: “Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.“ Only 17% of Michigagonians felt that “Biology teachers should teach only Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.” If that poll question sounds familiar to frequent readers of ENV, that’s because it’s identical to one of the poll questions commissioned by The Discovery Institute earlier in 2006 and reported here. But there’s one major difference between this Michigan poll and the prior poll commissioned by Discovery: The Michigan poll is improperly touting a poll question about teaching both scientific strengths and weaknesses of Read More ›

Correction: False Fear Syndrome HAS hit Michigan

Epidemic Update: Thanks to an alert from a correspondent blogger, we report with great dismay that False Fear Syndrome has indeed struck Michigan. This corrects our previous report that False Fear Syndrome had skipped Michigan and gone straight from Ohio to Wisconsin. This confirms a cluster in the Great Lakes region. False Fear Syndrome occurs when some educator or policymaker proposes that students critically analyze scientific theories, such as evolution, but then various opponents raise False Fears that critical analysis will bring intelligent design into the classroom. Here is a description of this latest case: Representative Brian Palmer in Michigan has submitted an excellent bill requiring critical analysis of scientific theories in schools. The language apparently states: “The course content Read More ›