Fake News on Education Bills

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Posted on February 21, 2017 in Darwin and Evolution, Education, Intelligent Design, Media, Philosophy of Science, Politics and Ethics

Secular reporters, for the life of them, can’t get their facts right. When it comes to the teaching of evolution, knees jerk, kicking the boilerplate machine into programmed output.

A proposed bill in South Dakota, called an “academic freedom bill” (SB 55) simply says this:

No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.

Sound fair enough? Not to the secular press. One would think all hell broke loose, and we’re headed back into the dark ages. The story by AP reporters James Nord and Hannah Weikel hit the fan, splattering lies around the world as all the major media echoed it uncritically. The AP gives the impression that sneaky creationists were kicking Darwin out of science class and replacing it with the Bible, God and the dreaded c-word, creationism. Anyone see any of that in the bill’s language?

At Evolution News & Views, David Klinghoffer tries to set the record straight, pointing out multiple lies in the AP story. But without the automatic multiplication factor of the AP, whose pronouncements are treated like the word of the gods by mainstream media editors looking for blood, it’s doubtful readers will see his corrections. The bill says nothing about alternatives to evolution. It does not insert intelligent design. It does not change the curriculum. It does not change the content standards. It does not diminish the teaching of Darwinian evolution. In fact, if anything, it augments it, helping students to learn how to think about science. What a concept! Thinking in public school!

How is it that learning to analyze, review, and critique scientific information in an objective manner would set off a firestorm of protest by scientists and professional educators? Isn’t that their job? What has happened to America, when less than a century ago these same pro-evolutionists were seeking academic freedom for their views?

In an earlier post at Evolution News & Views, Klinghoffer found it surreal to see how organizations can contradict their own stated purposes:

But with evolution proponents, such distortions are absolutely routine. It’s bizarre. It’s farcical. But this tops it. In a surreal move, a group called the National Coalition Against Censorship has plunged into the South Dakota situation to demand continued restraints on teachers and their academic freedom — in other words, censorship.

Some of these academic-freedom bills have simply tried to protect teachers from punishment if they dare to mention that Darwinism might have some difficulties, say with the Cambrian explosion or the complexity of the cell. But in these days when pushing DOPE is mandatory, just mentioning scientific weaknesses of evolution at all – controversies openly acknowledged by evolutionists in the scientific journals – can put a teacher at risk. One complaint by a student or parent is enough to send out the attack dogs of the ACLU or Americans United, threatening lawsuits. And reporters will pump out the boilerplate.

Would Darwin like what his disciples are doing? He said in Origin, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” He might be appalled to see that his theory would need such protection from understanding, analyzing, critiquing or reviewing his facts and arguments in an objective manner when he himself acknowledged many difficulties in his own theory.

Without South Dakota’s law, it could be illegal to quote certain passages from The Origin of Species, like chapter VI, “Difficulties on Theory” that acknowledges the sudden appearance of animals in the fossil record as “perhaps the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” Try that as a tactic, state legislators: put The Origin of Species on the banned books list!

We’re doing our part at CEH to provide the “facts and arguments” on the other side of the question. That’s the only avenue available these days: bypass the lame-stream media that disobeys Darwin’s dictum. Get the information out through alternative channels. You can help by shaming the liars back into Journalism Ethics 101 class. Send well-written, factual responses to fake-news stories when written by shoddy journalists not living up to the standards of their profession. Fight darkness with light. Light wins every time.

 

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