New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (in Socorro) Faculty Senate strongly disapproves of the newly passed policy by the Rio Rancho school board.
Approved on September 9, 2005
Printed in the Observer (Rio Rancho) on September 15, 2005
The members of the faculty senate of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (in Socorro) strongly disapprove of the newly passed policy by the Rio Rancho school board.
In particular, the statement that "discussions about issues that are of interest to both science and individual religious and philosophical beliefs will acknowledge that reasonable people may disagree about the meaning and interpretation of data" implies that religious and philosophical beliefs are an appropriate basis for challenging the validity of a scientific theory.
Alternatives to generally accepted scientific theories must be based on data and reasonable inference there from, and must have greater explanatory power over a greater range of phenomena than the accepted theory. Encouraging the presentation in public school science classes of notions, which violate these criteria, is not good pedagogic practice. While it is true that reasonable people may disagree about the interpretation of scientific data, only scientific reasoning has a place in science classes.
Religious and philosophical interpretations belong somewhere else.
Drs. Tanja Pietrass, David Raymond, and David B. Johnson on behalf of the NMIMT Faculty Senate
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