The Lie: "New Mexico's Science Standards embrace the Intelligent Design Movement's 'Teach the Controversy' Approach"
by Dave Thomas : nmsrdaveATswcp.com (Help fight SPAM! Please replace the AT with an @)
Latest Lie: Discovery Institute, November 13th, 2007
The above falsehood has been put forth by the Discovery Institute and other creationist organizations. It is NOT true.
Please Read "Do NM's Science Standards Embrace Intelligent Design?" and "New Mexico Science Standards Do Not Support IDs Concept of Teach the 'Controversy' " for detailed explanations about this issue. In brief, the Intelligent Design (ID) movement lobbied hard for changes to New Mexico's proposed new science standards in 2003. Their demands were denied. But, the ID movement has mischaracterized New Mexico's standards since then, and many media outlets have incorrectly reported that New Mexico's standards are "ID friendly." They are not. Public Education Department staffers have sent letters out explaining that "In no way do the science standards support the teaching of notions of intelligent design or creation science or any of its variations," but the Discovery Institute keeps repeating "The Lie," and the Media keep eating it up. Here follow some typical sightings of this egregious falsehood.
"The Lie" - Sightings
The Albuquerque Journal, September 4, 2003
By Rebecca Keller and Michael Kent
Proponents of Intelligent Design
... Evolution will be taught as the mainstream consensus view that it is, but these standards also will allow healthy discussion and critical examination of its claims. These standards will serve all of New Mexico's children well.We are proud to have been part of this effort and proud of the fact that New Mexico will now have among the best science standards in the nation. This is a great victory for excellence in science education, for the integrity of science and for objectivity in the teaching of biological origins. Most important, this is a great victory for all New Mexico students, regardless of their faith or background. ...
Mexico: Teamwork Leads to Balanced Science Standards
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Written By Miriam Slagle for the CENTER FOR RECLAIMING AMERICA FOR CHRIST
This fall, the CENTER FOR RECLAIMING AMERICA teamed with the Intelligent Design Network, Inc., New Mexico Division (IDnet-NM), to make an important impact on the way science is taught in New Mexico.
The states proposed standards, distributed in April 2003, portrayed evolution as unquestioned fact. From that point forward, IDnet-NM worked diligently to insure that New Mexico adopted balanced science standards, with their efforts centered on making sure that evolution was not presented as the only option to New Mexicos public school students. By mid-summer, they determined that the most effective way to emphasize their message was to enlist grassroots support.
So the CENTER sent a State Alert to our nearly 1,500 New Mexico E-Army members about this opportunity to make a difference in their home state.
The results are in . . . the results are good!
Joe Renick, IDnets executive director, reported, A conservative estimate is that we had some 2,000 letters and e-mails sent to the ten elected board members. . . . I believe very strongly that the concern expressed by the public forced a positive response on the part of the State Department of Education (SDE) and the State Board of Education that they otherwise may not have made.
A large stack of the letters even made an appearance at an important committee meeting where it was understood that evolution would be presented objectively and alternative theories of biological origins would be permitted.
While much language in the standards was not changed, an important caveat was added which stated in part, . . . these standards do not present scientific theory as absolute . . .
Further, for-the-record questions posed by ID-net confirmed that the SDEs intent for the new standards was that (1) evolution would not be taught as absolute fact and (2) teachers would be allowed to discuss problems with evolution.
Renicks final evaluation of the situation: If there is ever a dispute over intent and meaning of the Standards in the area of biological evolution, these policy statements may be referenced for clarification, . . . [and] will essentially neutralize the impact of the remaining dogmatic language.
To find out more about ID-net and Joe Renick, click here.
Discovery Institute, May 17, 2004
May 17, 2004
[Original release posted May 17, revised version posted June 8]
[Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that only two states require critical analysis of Darwinian evolution in their science standards. In fact, there are three states that do this. We thank John Calvert for bringing this fact to our attention.]
SEATTLE, JUNE 8 - Minnesota has become the third state to require
students to know about scientific evidence critical of Darwinian
evolution in its newly adopted science standards. ...
In 2002, Ohio became the first state to require students to learn about scientific evidence critical of Darwinian theory, adopting a benchmark that says students should know "how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." ...
New Mexico was the second state to require students to critically analyze Darwin's theory, adopting a performance standard in 2003 that asked students to "critically analyze the data and observations supporting the conclusion that the species living on Earth today are related by descent from the ancestral one-celled organisms."
The Washington Post, March 14, 2005
by Peter Slevin
... At the state and local level, from South Carolina to California, these advocates are using lawsuits and school board debates to counter evolutionary theory. Alabama and Georgia legislators recently introduced bills to allow teachers to challenge evolutionary theory in the classroom. Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have approved new rules allowing that. And a school board member in a Tennessee county wants stickers pasted on textbooks that say evolution remains unproven. ...
The Joplin Independent, May 6, 2005
Jonathan Wells, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that was created to promote "intelligent design," a theory of creationism, told reporters that they weren't proposing that intelligent design be taught but that they hoped Kansas would adopt science standards similar to those used in Ohio, Minnesota and New Mexico that include methods for challenging theories like evolution with the introduction of "new evidence". ...
Discovery Institute, PRNewswire, August 2nd, 2005
President Bush's Support for Free Speech on Evolution and Intelligent Design Draws Praise From Discovery Institute
In a discussion with reporters on Monday, President George W. Bush supported local control on how evolution is taught but also expressed support for exposing students to different views about evolution. ... Discovery Institute opposes mandating the teaching of intelligent design, but it supports requiring students to know about scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory, which is the approach adopted by the science standards in Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico, and currently under discussion in Kansas. Discovery Institute also supports the right of teachers to voluntarily discuss the scientific debate over intelligent design free from persecution or intimidation.
WorldNetDaily, August 3rd, 2005
Intelligent-design backers applaud Bush
President Bush jumped feet-first into the current debate raging in many states over how evolution should be taught in the nation's schools, when he said both the evolution and intelligent design theories should be presented to students. ... The Discovery Institute says it opposes mandating the teaching of intelligent design, but supports requiring students to know about scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory. That approach has been adopted by the science standards in Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico and currently is under discussion in Kansas. ...
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 9th, 2005
Intelligent design is sorely misunderstood
by JOHN G. WEST, GUEST COLUMNIST
A third misunderstanding is that there are widespread efforts to mandate the teaching of design. In reality, what most states are considering is not teaching design but teaching the weaknesses as well as the strengths of modern Darwinian theory. This is the approach adopted in the science standards of Ohio, Minnesota and New Mexico. It's also the approach under consideration by the Kansas State Board of Education ...
New York Times, August 21, 2005
Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive
By JODI WILGOREN
SEATTLE - When President Bush plunged into the debate over the teaching of evolution this month, saying, "both sides ought to be properly taught," he seemed to be reading from the playbook of the Discovery Institute, the conservative think tank here that is at the helm of this newly volatile frontier in the nation's culture wars. ... These successes follow a path laid in a 1999 Discovery manifesto known as the Wedge Document, which sought 'nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies' in favor of a 'broadly theistic understanding of nature.' President Bush's signature education law, known as No Child Left Behind, also helped, as mandatory testing prompted states to rewrite curriculum standards. Ohio, New Mexico and Minnesota have embraced the institute's 'teach the controversy' approach; Kansas is expected to follow suit in the fall. ...
Correction: August 24, 2005, Wednesday A front-page article on Sunday about the Discovery Institute, which promotes the concept known as intelligent design to explain the origins of life, referred incorrectly to the religious affiliation of the institute's fellows. Most are conservative Christians, including Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants -- not fundamentalist Christians.
The article also referred incorrectly to recent changes in science standards adopted by Ohio, Minnesota and New Mexico. While those states encourage critical analysis of evolution, they did not necessarily embrace the institute's ''teach the controversy'' approach. ...
Journal of Clinical Investigation , October, 2005 J. Clin. Invest. 115:2586 (2005). doi:10.1172/JCI26727.
Dont be stupid about intelligent design
Ushma S. Neill, Executive Editor
President George W. Bush and Senate majority leader Bill Frist have recently publicly advocated teaching intelligent design in science classes. Their endorsement of a discredited, nonscientific view could signal a huge step backward for scientific education. It is time for educated, motivated scientists to get involved and to educate others. ... Why should you bother with all this? Because this is not a fight for only developmental or anthropological scientists to fight. We all must be informed and we all must get involved to make sure that our lay peers know the facts. The science curriculum is being changed to incorporate intelligent design in Ohio, New Mexico, Minnesota, Kansas, and Pennsylvania it is important to make sure this does not spread to other states, and that it is overturned in the states where it is taught. One thing is unambiguous: this sort of discussion of religion does not belong in the classroom. ..."
USA TODAY, November 8th, 2005
Groups weigh in before evolution vote in Kansas
National groups weren't waiting for the State Board of Education to vote on new science standards for Kansas' public schools before weighing in on whether they attack evolution and promote creationism. ... The Kansas board's action is part of an ongoing national debate over evolution. In Pennsylvania, a trial is underway in a lawsuit against the Dover school board's policy of requiring high school students to hear about intelligent design in their biology classes. In August, President Bush endorsed teaching intelligent design alongside evolution. The Discovery Institute said Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania also have standards similar to the ones proposed for Kansas. Ohio was the first to adopt them, in 2002. ...
USA TODAY, November 8th, 2005
"Kansas schools can teach 'intelligent design'" by Greg Toppo.
The Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards for teachers in public schools Tuesday that question Charles Darwin's teachings on evolution and hand a victory to advocates of "intelligent design." ... School boards in Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have adopted similar standards, and one school district in Pennsylvania has gone to court to defend its right to challenge evolution. ...
The Seattle Times, November 10th, 2005
Kansas education board backs doubting Darwinism
The Kansas Board of Education voted Tuesday that students will be expected to study doubts about modern Darwinian theory, a move that defied the nation's scientific establishment even as it gave voice to religious conservatives and others who question the theory of evolution. ... Tuesday's vote makes Kansas the fifth state to adopt standards that cast doubt on evolution. A trial is now under way in Pennsylvania over whether teaching "intelligent design" a concept that holds life is too complex to have evolved without help from a higher power violates the Constitution's ban on state promotion of religion. Ohio, Minnesota and New Mexico also have adopted standards that encourage questioning of evolution by local school districts. ...
Central Michigan LIFE, November 18, 2005
By Alex Smith
... Kansas is the fifth state to adopt a curriculum that encourages high school students to learn both sides of evolution. Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio also have adopted similar standards. ...
The Frontiersman, November 20, 2005
by JOEL DAVIDSON
... Earlier this month, the Kansas Board of Education approved new science standards that give school districts the authority to challenge evolution. School boards in Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio have adopted similar standards. ...
Cox News Service, Monday, December 12, 2005
By BILL RANKIN
That same week, Kansas became the fifth state joining Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania to adopt standards that clear the way for teaching intelligent design and creationism. ...
Detroit Free Press, December 20, 2005
By PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI
FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER
... The debate between teaching creationism or evolution is not new. During the last few years, however, it has been refueled by intelligent design. In May, the Kansas State Board of Education held a hearing on teaching evolution. Three states Ohio, New Mexico and Minnesota have adopted standards that could allow intelligent design to be taught in schools. ...
Discovery Institute, Jan. 23, 2006
The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee will hear testimony from two scientists today who will advise them to recommend language for the states science standards that calls for students to critically analyze certain aspects of evolutionary theory. ...Five other states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas, New Mexico, and Minnesota, have adopted science standards that require learning about some of the scientific controversies relating to evolution. ...
The Charlotte Observer, Feb. 14, 2006
BY LISA ANDERSON
... Although Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Minnesota and Kansas also feature sharp criticism of evolution, Ohio has been in the vanguard of the fight over how evolution is taught in public schools and is closely watched by other states. ...
The New York Times, February 14, 2006
By JODI RUDOREN (formerly Wilgoren)
... A proposal to teach intelligent design alongside evolution was rejected. Instead, the board in December 2002 unanimously adopted standards requiring that 10th graders be able to "describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory," with a parenthetical note that "this benchmark does not mandate the teaching or testing of intelligent design." Since then, New Mexico, Minnesota and Kansas have adopted similar standards, and Pennsylvania lists evolution among half a dozen theories to be critically analyzed. But only Ohio has a model lesson plan ...
The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 15th, 2006
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
... Hovis and others who support teaching evolution alone predicted that Ohio's decision would affect science standards in several other states. New Mexico, Minnesota and Kansas also require students to learn criticisms of evolution; South Carolina and Michigan are considering a similar measure. ...
MTV Think News, Feb.15th, 2006
Ohio To Remove Anti-Evolution Language From State Science Curriculum
... The Discovery Institute had touted Ohio as a national model for its "teach the controversy" approach to evolution, which it hoped would focus on questioning Darwin's theory. To date, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and Pennsylvania have adopted similar "critical analysis" standards, and the South Carolina Board of Education is slated to vote next month about whether to add similar wording to its curriculum guidelines, according to the Times. ...
WORLD Magazine, February 25, 2006, Vol. 21, No. 8 (purchase required)
Ohio school board caves to legal threats, dumps critical teaching on evolution by Mark Bergin
... Ohio's curriculum has stood without legal challenge for three years, as have similar standards in Kansas, New Mexico, Minnesota, and a handful of other individual districts. The difference from Dover: The critical analysis approach to evolution does not teach ID. ...
The Albuquerque Journal, April 11, 2006
Rio Rancho Schools Amend Science Policy
By Elaine Briseño
The Rio Rancho school board voted Monday to amend a controversial science policy, which opponents said was a ruse to insert intelligent design into the science classroom. The board removed a sentence from the policy that deviated from state standards, and replaced it with language taken verbatim from the standards. ... Scharfglass said after the meeting that although the amended policy just restates exactly what state standards say, it is necessary to make sure the standards are being enforced in class. That standard is that students be allowed to discuss alternative ideas to evolutionary theory. ...
Discovery Institute's "Evolution News & Views," June 9th, 2006
Q&A About South Carolina Science Standards and Critical Analysis of Evolution
Posted by Robert Crowther
On June 12, 2006, South Carolina will likely become the fifth state to adopt science standards requiring critical analysis of evolution. Four other states whose science standards require full disclosure of the scientific evidence about evolution include New Mexico, Minnesota, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Previously Ohio also had standards calling for critical analysis of evolution. ...
Evolution News & Views (Discovery Institute), June 15, 2006
Microbiologist Testifies in Favor of Critical Analysis by Casey Luskin
... It would be great to see Michigan join the ranks of Kansas, New Mexico, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania as states that presently have science standards requiring critical analysis of evolution. ...
The Albuquerque Journal, July 1st, 2006
Calvary Chapel Pastor Plans Series to Teach His Congregation About Creationism
By Patrick Dunn, For the Journal
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This may be a question for everyone from philosophers to grade schoolers, but to Pastor Robert Hall of Calvary Rio Rancho, the real issue is where the chicken and the egg came from. He is presenting his answer from a Christian worldview perspective with an eight-week series on creation. The creationism-evolution controversy has been a polarizing issue nationally. 'The debate for intelligent design is raging across our country,' Hall said. The controversy recently hit home with the Rio Rancho school board's adoption of a policy that would allow for the discussion of alternative ideas to evolution in science class. Eventually, controversial language was removed from the policy. The amended policy restates the state standard that students be allowed to discuss alternative ideas to evolutionary theory. ..."
(Sorry - last we heard from the Public Education Department, "In no way do the science standards support the teaching of notions of intelligent design or creation science or any of its variations.")
The Bend (OR) Bulletin, July 3rd, 2006
Explain evolution's weakness by Pete Chadwell / Bulletin guest columnist
Recently, the state of South Carolina joined Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas and New Mexico by approving statewide science standards which require a critical analysis of evolution in science classrooms. In these five states the standard-issue Darwinian evolution will still be taught, but with an interesting twist which ought to raise some eyebrows - the scientific WEAKNESSES of Darwinian theory will ALSO be disclosed. ...
Discovery Institute News, July 7th, 2006
Stand Up For Science by Staff
According to Crowther, Kansass approach to teaching evolution will better inform students about the facts of the scientific evidence in biology, and also require them to critically analyze the evidence so they will gain the critical thinking skills necessary to become good scientists. Four other states Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and South Carolina have standards requiring students to learn about critical analysis of evolution already in place. Scientists continue to raise questions about evolutionary theory, and in recent years a growing number of scientists have raised significant issues challenging various aspects of biological and chemical evolution.
Baptist Press News, Jul 12, 2006
... Robert Crowther, director of communications for Discovery Institute, said Kansas approach to teaching evolution will better inform students about the facts of scientific evidence in biology and will require them to critically analyze that evidence so that they will gain the critical thinking skills necessary to become good scientists. Besides Kansas, four other states -- Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- have science standards that require students to learn about critical analysis of evolution, Discovery noted in a July 7 news release. ...
The National Review, August 3rd, 2006
"Whats the Matter with Kansas? Dishonest Darwinists coming to a state near you." By David Klinghoffer
Will Darwinism be taught as unquestionable dogma? Thats the question that voters decided. In Kansas, it seems it will. Kansas has been one of five states with biology curricula that include instruction about the evidence both for and against neo-Darwinism, requiring that students learn about the critical analysis of evolutionary theory. Darwin advocates worked hard to defeat the majority on the education board and eliminate this requirement.
Discovery Institute, November 13th, 2007:
“The Theory of Intelligent Design: A briefing packet for educators, to help teachers understand the debate between Darwinian evolution and intelligent design”
On Page 12 of 24: "Five states (Kansas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Minnesota) have already adopted science standards that require learning about some of the scientific controversies relating to evolution."
And this, on page 13 of 24: "Four states (Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) have science standards that require learning about some of the scientific controversies relating to evolution."
"The Truth" - Sightings
New Mexico's New Science Standards (Adopted Aug. 28, 2003)
Quote from State Board of Education member Flora Sanchez , made
during the hearing on the adoption of the standards (August 28,
2003). As reported by Diana Heil of the Santa Fe New Mexican on
August 29, 2003,"Board member Flora Sanchez put a stop to mixed
messages, though. She clarified this point: The state is not asking
teachers to present all the alternatives to evolution and 'put them
on an equal footing.'..."
(This is on-line here, and even on the ARN site.)
July 20, 2004: Letter from NM Public Ed. Dept's Richard Reif to Marshall Berman regarding attempts of local "Intelligent Design" advocates to persuade teachers that the new standards allow teaching of "alternate theories of origin." (PDF). "In no way do the science standards support the teaching of notions of intelligent design or creation science or any of its variations."
Salon, May 13, 2005
By Peter Dizikes
... Take the situation in New Mexico, one of the most interesting successes evolution's backers have had in striking back against creationists. After the state Board of Education slipped pro-creationism language into the curriculum standards in 1996, physicist Marshall Berman of Sandia National Laboratories ran for a position on the school board himself. Helped in part by the endorsements of New Mexico's admittedly high percentage of prominent scientists, Berman won a seat in 1998 and within about a year had changed the school standards back.
Berman also says he cultivated a strategy an increasing number of science groups are now taking up -- reaching out to moderates and religious leaders who are willing to accept evolution. "I think the appropriate approach is to make it very clear that this is not a struggle between religion and atheism," Berman says. "After people realized I didn't have horns and was not a monster ... we returned modern biology and geology to the curriculum." Like Krebs, Berman also believes that "evolution is just a wedge -- the beginning of an attempt to do away with the separation of church and state in this country." Thus he thinks a crucial part of forming a solid pro-evolution coalition is recruiting religious leaders who still appreciate that separation.
The Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2006
Challengers of evolution lose by Lisa Anderson, Tribune national correspondent
This story contains corrected material, published Feb. 22, 2006.
... Although science standards in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Minnesota and Kansas encourage critical analysis of evolution in the traditional sense of scientific inquiry, Ohio has been in the vanguard of the fight over how evolution is taught in public schools and is closely watched by other states (this sentence as published has been corrected in this text). ...
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