About the SA Blog Network

Budding Scientist

Budding Scientist

Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kids
Budding Scientist Home

Evolution and Climate Change Should Be Taught in Schools, Say States

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Email   PrintPrint

CREDIT: Martin Cron, via Flikr

One day after new test results showed that only 32 percent of U.S. 8th graders are proficient in science, a group of 26 states has helped draft a document that may bring about a major overhaul of science education in this country.  Known as the Next Generation Science Standards, the draft sets ambitious new expectations for what students should learn in each grade from kindergarten through high school, specifying that evolution and an understanding of how human activity impacts the climate are essential components of scientific literacy. Starting in 2013, states will have the option of adopting these standards and bringing their school curricula in line with them.

The standards are based on recommendations from the National Research Council of the National Academies and address many perceived shortcomings in science education. “Currently, K-12 science education in the United States…is not organized systematically across multiple years of school, emphasizes discrete facts with a focus on breadth over depth, and does not provide students with engaging opportunities to experience how science is actually done,” wrote the authors of the NRC framework.  The standards also put new emphasis on engineering, an area that U.S. teenagers, judging by recent studies, know little about. They also stress process as much as content, explaining how scientists build on and revise their knowledge based on evidence, how they ask questions and define problems, how they develop and use models, and plan and carry out investigations. For example, the standards call for kindergarteners to “use observations to describe how plants and animals depend on the air, land, and water where they live to meet their needs.” Middle schoolers would develop models to represent the “cycling from carbon in the atmosphere to carbon in living things.”

The recommendations also explicitly include the teaching of climate change, evolution, natural selection and the history of Earth. Middle schoolers would “obtain and evaluate information about how two populations of the same species in different environments have evolved to become separate species.” They would also “use system models and representations to explain how human activities significantly impact: (1) the geosphere, (2) the hydrosphere, (3) the atmosphere, (4) the biosphere, and (5) global temperatures.”

Forty-five states plus the District of Columbia recently signed on to common math and language arts standards, and organizers of this effort hope it will be at least as successful. But, says Stephen Pruitt, vice president for content, research and development at Achieve, the Washington, D.C.- based non-profit that is organizing the effort with a major grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, “Its’s a draft! We want people to give us feedback and we will be responding to that feedback.”

Are you a parent with a child in public school? Read the standards for the relevant grades and see how they compare with what your child is learning in school this year. Are you a teacher? Then how big of a change do these standards represent for the grades you work with? If you’re a student, then let me know your opinion about what scientists and education experts think you ought to know. And everyone else  whose interested, please weigh in also in the comments section below.

Additional resources:

View the standards here.

Read the National Research Council’s framework on which the standards are based.

Read some of the research on which the NRC based its framework:

“Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8.” National Research Council, 2007. (Free PDF download)

America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science.“ National Research Council, 2006. (Free PDF download).

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits.” National Resarch Council, 2009. (Free PDF download).

Read the Common Core Math and Language Arts standards here.




About the Author: Anna Kuchment is a Contributing Editor at Scientific American and a staff science writer at The Dallas Morning News. She was previously a reporter, writer and editor with Newsweek magazine. She is also author of “The Forgotten Cure,” about bacteriophage viruses and their potential as weapons against antibiotic resistance. Follow on Twitter @akuchment.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Rights & Permissions

Comments 67 Comments

Add Comment
  1. 1. geojellyroll 8:32 pm 05/11/2012

    There is great misunderatanding of what ‘science’ is. It’s enhanced not by teaching evolution or climate change, etc. but by teaching means of critical thought and scientific methodology. All these subjects can be ‘discussed’.

    I’m an atheist and critical thinking leads me to understand that worshipping a dead-guy-on-stick is irrational. I don’t need to be taught ‘there is no god’ and creastionism is silly…I have the science skills to figure that out myself.

    Start mandating hot button positions and it just creates backlash. Science becomes agenda driven and methodology will be lost in ideology. Those states mandating the teachihng of evolution probably have most people who accept doesn’t help the students in those states that don’t. In fact mandating probably sets back rational discussion among whacky christians.

    Link to this
  2. 2. scientific earthling 9:13 pm 05/11/2012

    When religion rules, you can not have free thought or skeptical thinking.

    That is why religion and dictatorships have been such close bedfellows. The Catholic religion mastered the skill; Hitler was one of their greatest saints.

    Link to this
  3. 3. nobias 9:47 pm 05/11/2012

    What is needed is strong basics of math, physics, chemistry, biology ect. Setting curriculum based on the latest hot button issues does not create future scientists or people with critical thinking skills. Why is this so hard for politicians to understand.

    Bringing religion into this discussion is not helpful either for those of faith or those who are skeptics. Present evidence and scientific method to our students. I know many brilliant people with strong faith and many brilliant atheists. History has many examples of vile evil driven by those with faith and by those without faith.

    Link to this
  4. 4. DancerTiffy 11:06 pm 05/11/2012

    If the republicans and their fundamentalist allies completely take over the government then you can forget about realistic quality science education.

    Link to this
  5. 5. priddseren 11:28 pm 05/11/2012

    geojellyroll has it right. The methods of science need to be taught not half baked theories or flawed ones. What is half baked, that would be climate change. Evolution, is pretty close the problem is the idea that random changes occur after an animal matures and that somehow random chance causes mutations that help an animal survive. It makes more sense that all possible genetic combinations existed when life began and the last couple billion years has been a whittling down of those genetic combinations to the most successful ones. Either way the teaching would be getting children to learn how to take the example I just have and see if they can discover the answer. The answer is not relevant, it is the process the child used to get to an answer that needs to be taught.

    Typical of democrats though, they have never had an interest in education only creating compliant worker for the democrats to live off of and indocrination to ensure those workers never actually think for themselves.

    Or of course the republicans would seem to want a similar effect at least with indoctrination of their ridiclous churches so they can control but at least they dont mind if everyone makes money.

    Link to this
  6. 6. Anna Kuchment in reply to Anna Kuchment 1:00 am 05/12/2012

    I agree, nobias, and I believe that that’s what the authors of the new standards mean to accomplish. There is no mention of religion in the standards, and I don’t believe that they included climate change and evolution simply because they are hot button issues. For a concise summary of the standards from Achieve, see this site:

    Link to this
  7. 7. Trafalgar 1:12 am 05/12/2012

    Asking for comments here? Terrible idea. This is where all the nutjobs hang out, spending their time trolling every article that so much as mentions climate change or evolution.

    To the people who said that evolution and climate change should not be taught because they are “hot button issues” – manufactured controversy shouldn’t prevent the teaching of what has been established as a very good or reasonably good model for those respective actual occurrences in real life. Teachers and parents teach our nation’s children more things that we know not to be true already in school simply out of a desire not to have to teach them something far more complicated and difficult to understand. Teaching them about the existence of climate change, which is real, even if it’s a simple explanation of how it works, is little different from teaching them that electrons arrange into shells until that shell is filled, which is what I was taught in high school, something like 75 years after scientists discovered that it was actually far more complicated than this, and then OH HEY WE DISCOVERED QUANTUM MECHANICS, but my high school didn’t bother mentioning that either. Or relativity. They also couldn’t teach math in any way where I would actually be able to remember any of the equations or laws that they were telling us to memorize without telling us why. Or… Okay, so our schools are just terrible. (And I actually went to a “good” high school for my last two years. At least I had good (AP) history courses!)

    (I’ve learned more from books and the internet than I ever did in high school, but the one thing holding me back is my inability to understand the stupid math symbols that pop up any time I look up anything that involves math more than a little.)

    Link to this
  8. 8. frankblank 1:15 am 05/12/2012

    jellyroll, “Critical thought” is not the same thing as the scientific method. Critical thinking can be “discussed” because there are a number of ways to do it. Scientific method is much more cut and dried and has very different procedures, many of which must be followed prior to any discussion.

    Since evolution provides an excellent and fairly understandable exemplar of the scientific method followed over a long period, it would in fact be an excellent theory to be taught. Not stated, as in “creatures evolved over time rather than being created in perfect unalterable form out of nothing,” but taught, as in a and b were observed, c was postulated, further observation invalidated c, d was postulated, further observation appeared to confirm d which became a working hypothesis, d1 was postulated, etc. Evolution provides an excellent example of scientific method – right down to the evolution of the beaks of finches on different islands – as seen on TV. :)

    Many americans, tending to be republicans, are pre- ninth century however, and they create problems in many areas.

    Link to this
  9. 9. dtchemist 1:25 am 05/12/2012

    Well, geojellyroll isn’t wrong about anything except that evolution isn’t necessary but strictly the methods. I think the history of science, including all major breakthroughs of advancement, should be at least known of by students. I wouldn’t ask a high school student to derive a thermodynamic equation from starting principles but I’d certainly expect them to have a nice grasp on the fundamentals of how earth formed, how geologic processes shaped and continue to shape the planet, the different places and ways life may have gotten started on this planet and certainly how it has evolved to the state it is today through gradual change coupled with the statistics of large numbers and long periods of time. It’s said that nothing in biology makes sense if not in the light of evolution and that’s absolutely right.

    Priddseren says “Evolution, is pretty close the problem is the idea that random changes occur after an animal matures and that somehow random chance causes mutations that help an animal survive. It makes more sense that all possible genetic combinations existed when life began and the last couple billion years has been a whittling down of those genetic combinations to the most successful ones.”

    You have a totally wrong idea of what evolution is and how it takes place. First of all, life didn’t start in all possible combinations and get whittled down to what you see here. New species are “constantly” (however slowly) being formed, which is a blooming, not a whittling. And assuming some event (life beginning) that began with huge genetic diversity is more likely than a gradual increase in diversity through genetic mutation is tantamount to saying that the genesis story of creation is accurate. We know it’s not thanks to fossils and geologic strata. And those mutations that cause a change in genes, or gene function (on/off) occur randomly because ultimately no chemical reaction is perfect. Inheritable, genetic changes get passed on to offspring which may or may not make them better suited to survive long enough to pass on their genes. No monkey ever gave birth to a human, gradual changes over MILLENIA gave birth to big differences in what we see today.

    Species radiated outward from the beginning and we can see that from genetics and from fossils, comparative anatomy, and biogeography. However, there’s always a tension between genetic variation and environment that puts pressures on various species more than others and they either adapt or perish. Climate change is real and happens and meteorology is part of earth history. Turning it into a political point is ridiculous, I agree, but the fact that earth cycles and changes is no reason to point fingers and deny. I think this petition is a great thing for this country and I just wish more states joined the choir. It’s a good move forward but a sad litmus test for the state of knowledge in this country.

    Link to this
  10. 10. NotSoGullible 4:04 am 05/12/2012

    As a lower school teacher I focus primarily on teaching my students the importance of the Scientific Method. Whatever topic we may be looking at, my students are encouraged to have an open mind and where possible make their own observations and hypotheses. When addressing some of the global issues it has become increasingly necessary to alert students to issues of bias that arise due to politics and money.

    I would be very uncomfortable with being forced to teach AGW at present with so many issues raised in the Climategate emails. These emails raised serious concerns which I would have thought would result in prosecutions, people being stripped of their qualifications or at the very least losing their positions on important committees. These emails openly talked about modifying, cherry-picking and deleting data to support the case for AGW. They also discussed prevention of alternative views from being published in prestigious journals through use of contacts working for the journals. Applications for information through FOI have also been stonewalled with some climate scientists claiming they had lost their data. All of this directly conflicts with the Scientific Principles.

    In any aspect of any field, the science is only settled until someone proves otherwise. In short, when discussing topics which may include AGW and evolution I will spend a reasonable amount of time discussing the above issues to give my students a more balanced perspective.

    Link to this
  11. 11. Wildeye 4:28 am 05/12/2012


    “A number of independent investigations from different countries, universities and government bodies have investigated the stolen emails and found no evidence of wrong doing. Focusing on a few suggestive emails, taken out of context, merely serves to distract from the wealth of empirical evidence for man-made global warming.”

    Skepticism is a necessary part of the scientific process but that doesn’t mean all scientific (and especially not non-scientific) theories are equally valid. Keeping an open mind is not the same as being uncritically credulous. Cheers!

    Link to this
  12. 12. singing flea 5:02 am 05/12/2012

    “There is great misunderatanding of what ‘science’ is. It’s enhanced not by teaching evolution or climate change, etc. but by teaching means of critical thought and scientific methodology.”

    What would you know about that jellyroll? Your idea of critical thinking is parroting whatever your mentors on the far right tell you too.

    Both evolution and climate change are the end result of the scientific method.

    How many times have you come up with some totally irrelevant argument to rally others against the scientific method? You need to practice what you preach.

    Evolution and climate change are both subjects that need to be mandated by law in our schools. This idea of giving a free reign to the religious nuts and those that hate environmental laws for economic reasons will only result in a graver situation then we already face. There in no excuse for ignorance while the Eco-systems of entire continents fail and are in the news every day now.

    Just today it was announced that the only logical explanation for the massive die off of dolphins and sea birds on the coast of Peru and Chile is due to a warming of the sea water there. It has altered the food chain and migrating habits of the birds.

    The deniers only argument is that they don’t ‘believe’ in the scientific method like it was some sort of religion, but their own religious convictions are not.

    What’s next, they are going to teach our children that we all come from planet X and were spirited across the universe on a comet made of mother’s milk?

    Link to this
  13. 13. singing flea 5:12 am 05/12/2012


    “These emails raised serious concerns which I would have thought would result in prosecutions, people being stripped of their qualifications or at the very least losing their positions on important committees.”

    Climate was debunked by the National Science Foundation and was backed up by data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s inspector general and a separate panel of seven scientists based at universities in the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland.

    I sure wouldn’t want teachers as uninformed about the methodology of corporate backstabbing as you are teaching my kids.

    Link to this
  14. 14. singing flea 5:14 am 05/12/2012

    Oops, I meant to say ClimateGate was debunked…, but your smart people you could probably figure that much out.

    Link to this
  15. 15. singing flea 5:16 am 05/12/2012

    your…you’re…LOL. I am going to bed!

    Link to this
  16. 16. stargene 5:19 am 05/12/2012

    A gentle suggestion to the majority of posters here,
    who clearly have healthy expectations of fruitful
    exchanges and illuminations, even among people who
    don’t always agree…
    When you let the standards of discussion and discourse
    be decided by “trolls”, to quote Trafalgar’s bestiary;
    when you spend inordinate time and care trying to assuage congenitally cranky and aggressive contrarians, very
    self-important myopics, to make them feel good and like
    they belong, they “control the game”; for it is a conscious game and tactic for them. They get you to
    pander to them.

    Consciously or not, it’s a spoiling strategy… Galileo didn’t fall for it; Darwin didn’t fall for it; Einstein didn’t fall for it. We shouldn’t either. Learning who is really trying to understand your point of view and look at your data. And learning who really isn’t. These aren’t easy to do, but they are crucial to motion and progress. This helps you in raising the bar, the levels of dialogue,and even the possibilities for discovery of new depth and understanding.

    Link to this
  17. 17. Wildeye 6:02 am 05/12/2012

    I agree – feeding trolls only encourages them. On the other hand, concern trolls are insidious and dangerous for the unwary – posting a warning sign when one shows up keeps them from breeding uncontrollably. Unfortunately, as long as we need bridges, trolls will have a home. Cheers!

    Link to this
  18. 18. m 6:38 am 05/12/2012

    @ priddseren

    Youre an idiot.

    You have no idea about science and yet you seem to be commenting on one.

    Link to this
  19. 19. m 6:46 am 05/12/2012

    @ stargene

    Youre a fool too.

    A vital part of discussion is disagreeing.
    You dont understand what a troll is while you troll.
    Science is all about deepening the myopic.

    The art of talking without talking…you disapprove of others while holding no ground yourself. You add nothing of relevancy and try to stear conversations you know nothing about.

    Now whilst im here I will ADD something.
    Evolution is real, climate change is real, so both of these issues should be taught. human-made climate change and human-assisted evolution is also real and should be included.

    Science is about observation and meaningful methodology to that observation.

    God made it so, is not meaningful, but an idiot.

    Link to this
  20. 20. Ailblentyn 7:07 am 05/12/2012

    It would be wonderful if school children were taught about “how science is actually done”, based on (for example) actual studies in the sociology of science. Unfortunately what this drive often translates into is a propagandistic, watered-down Popperian view, seeing scientific method as a kind of algorithm — which philosophy and history of science long ago established is false and impossible.

    Link to this
  21. 21. JamesDavis 7:54 am 05/12/2012

    I’ve noticed this and I know others have noticed this and they have spoke about it often; almost 100% of the trolls are conservative, but the trolls think that the observers are not talking about them because they think that they too are an observer, when in reality, they are parrots. I’m not religious, and I am not a denier neither, and I notice the great damage we are doing to our world and the species living here. I see some people trying to do something about it and I see the trolls trying to undo what the doers are trying to correct or undo the damage the trolls are doing. I believe the five states that have not signed on to the educational upgrade would be conservative states.

    You cannot have evolution until something has been created, and I do not think creation has anything to do with religion, but I think science has everything to do with each. Science is a created; we created it so we can try and explain everything in the Universe we live in. If we waited until we have everything perfect before we discuss it, then we will never be discussing it. We need to reeducate our teachers and demand a higher standard of them so they will be better equipped to educate our children. There is a reason we have 22+ levels levels of education. You cannot cram all this into the minds of children in one or two levels and expect it to stick or have any meaning to them. Complex fields of study should be given in small doses from level one to level 22 in our educational system for it to have meaning and it needs to be continually upgraded with the new discoveries or it will loose its meaning and fall into misunderstanding or mythology. Because of the uneducated teachers we have in the system, it is impossible to teach a child a complex subject from level one to level 22 – or PhD.

    These are our children we are talking about; we in America has always wanted more for our children than we have…shouldn’t that also apply to their education? When the educational system is trying to be improved, you should not hinder it but step in and help to improve it with all diligence.

    Link to this
  22. 22. NotSoGullible 12:42 pm 05/12/2012

    @ singing flea

    As stated earlier I am a teacher not a climate scientist however I have concerns about the contents of some of the Climategate emails. I have read through an analysis of many of these emails at which obviously does not favor AGW however it does attempt to explain the emails in simple English with links to the original emails to enable the reader to interpret themselves.

    Some examples of the areas of concern include:
    October 9, 1997: email 0876437553 Focus on getting as many scientist signatures as possible regardless of field of expertise as media will only care about the number

    November 16, 1999: email 0942777075 Trick to hide the decline – not wanting to give the skeptics reason to doubt the data

    September 11, 2000: email 0968705882 Using unpublished and unreviewed material for IPCC report, changes mean few rules resulting in undermining of IPCC credibility.

    July 2, 2001: email 0994083845 Even if the warming is a natural event we should be weaned off unsustainable energy use anyway.

    December 17, 2001: email 1008619994 Pressure brought to bear on scientists attempting to publish papers with conflicting viewpoint.

    June 4, 2003: email 1054756929 Paper reviews not following fundamentals of science.

    July 3, 2003: email 1057941657 Ostracize journals that do not conform.

    July 31, 2003: email 1059664704 Lack of faith in own calculations – not for general dissemination.

    September 3, 2003: email 1062592331 Temperature variations within a century can probably be talked about but not beyond this timeframe.

    January 16, 2004: email 1074277559 Refusal to provide data and programs necessary for independant corroboration of findings and reproducibility of results.

    July 5, 2005: email 1120593115 The world cooled from 1998 but this cannot be stated publicly for fear of retribution from the scientific community.

    The above is obviously only a small selection of emails up to 2005 with more containing similar concerns up to 2009. I have not heard of any persons mentioned in these emails as having questioned their authenticity and as such these emails raise substantial doubts in my mind and the minds of others. I cannot see how the integrity of many of those people mentioned in the emails is not called into question, a major problem for those who work in this important field.

    Link to this
  23. 23. NotSoGullible 1:42 pm 05/12/2012

    @ Wildeye

    Thankyou for providing the link to the site outlining how all in the Climategate emails had been cleared. Some questions and issues however are raised such as:
    1)The link to the report on Mann does not work. In saying that there was no ‘credible evidence’ does that mean the contents of the emails were not credible or were they inadmissible due to being stolen. Reading the emails leave me in doubt provided the emails are authentic. The ‘trick’ would have been legitimate if he had noted this change of data on the graph and in the paper, however he did not. I don’t think this was acceptable.

    2) All three independent reviews criticized the university’s response to Freedom of Information requests. The report also found that data related to publicly funded research should be made available and that the emails reflected a ‘real reluctance to share information with perceived critics’. The report also found that suspicion may have been allayed by releasing all the emails (obviously this was not seen as prudent). The report also states “It is self-evident that the disclosure of the CRU e-mails has damaged the reputation of UK climate science and, as views on global warming have become polarised, any deviation from the highest scientific standards will be pounced on. As we explained in chapter 2, the practices and methods of climate science are a key issue. If the practices of CRU are found to be in line with the rest of climate science, the question would arise whether climate science methods of operation need to change.”

    3) Report “Rather we found a small group of dedicated if
    slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures
    were rather informal. We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that
    depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians. Indeed there would be mutual
    benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists.” Using best practice?

    Unfortunately I don’t have time to go through all the reports however the common theme was that a lot more should have been done to share data, programs and methods to allow others to replicate findings. Scientists who want their work validated have to share data and programs otherwise their work will never be taken seriously.

    Link to this
  24. 24. pokerplyer 2:16 pm 05/12/2012

    I find it interesting when some posters believe that supporters of the democratic party in the US are more scientific than are republicans.

    As an independent I find the suggestion laughable. There are people who identify themselves with both parties that take crazy, unsupportable positions on science related issues.

    Some republicans are religious nuts and some democrats are just as nuts in their unscientific beliefs about potential climate change.

    Both evolution and potential climate change should be taught in schools. Both topics should be taught factually acknowledging what is known, and where there are uncertainties.

    Link to this
  25. 25. pokerplyer 2:23 pm 05/12/2012

    And then you notice people like James Davis, who calls those who disagree with his conclusions as trolls but does not actually ever discuss an issue on a factual basis.

    James is a good example of a prejudiced individual- someone who believes that someone who disagrees with his conclusion must be a conservative, republican

    Link to this
  26. 26. Mark5146546 2:35 pm 05/12/2012

    Hey Singing Flea,

    >Just today it was announced that the only logical explanation for the massive die off of dolphins and sea birds on the coast of Peru and Chile is due to a warming of the sea water there. It has altered the food chain and migrating habits of the birds. <

    I agree you usually and in with everything else today, but have you seen any images of these dolphins in the news? They all have their ears busted and bleeding. It has got to be acoustic related. Sonar, either oil prospecting or from submarines, must be the culprit.

    Link to this
  27. 27. Mark5146546 2:38 pm 05/12/2012

    The general initiative of enhancing science teaching in schools is great for several reasons, BTW.

    And just because something is controversial does not make it untrue, such as cancer from smoking in the 50s.

    Link to this
  28. 28. Wildeye 3:07 pm 05/12/2012


    “… however the common theme was that a lot more should have been done to share data, programs and methods to allow others to replicate findings. Scientists who want their work validated have to share data and programs otherwise their work will never be taken seriously.”

    All the relevant science has been peer reviewed with the data available to the scientific community. The problem is that most of us aren’t climate scientists so the data alone is meaningless without expert analysis and interpretation. The emails in question were never about the actual science but how best to present that science to a public already confused by the politicization of AGW. That’s a far cry from saying that the science is faulty.

    Since you seem interested in the “bias that arise due to politics and money”, I leave you with the following. Enjoy!

    Link to this
  29. 29. Bear_the_Schnauzer 3:28 pm 05/12/2012

    I prefer the word “adaption” rather than evolution. Can finches adapt to the seeds and flowers they need as a food source? Absolutely and without violation of anyone’s religion!

    Extending the logic of evolution backwards in time states at some point in the past there was a molecule in a liquid somewhere next to an energy source that began to self-replicate. This would be the greatest scientific discovery of all time! We could create an oil molecule and have it self-replicate to create an infinite supply of oil or any other chemical we needed as a species. Think of it, install a swimming pool of these self replicating molecules on the moon attached to solar panels and in a few years there would be enough rocket fuel to go anywhere in the universe!

    So where are the atheists when you need one? Time to step up and perform what you believe in.

    Link to this
  30. 30. geojellyroll 5:09 pm 05/12/2012

    This discussion already proves that hoty button issues just create ideological warfare and do little to promote science.

    I was educated in a Catholic school in Europe…but I still had no issue seeing Christianity as baloney and becoming an atheist. Most folks of my age had a similar experience yet atheism is now the norm in northern European countries. Kids today are not stupid. Teachers are not stupid. The influence of school curriculum on belief systems is highly over rated. Marxism took a plummet as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed despite 4 generations being awash in it in school.

    ‘Light’ Christianity or Islam, etc. is no more rational than fundy Creationists It’s like being ‘a bit pregnant’. As soon as one justifies anything outside of the properties of physics then everything becones equally silly. It’s no more rational to accept one atom behaving as it shouldn’t than it is to accept the creation of the universe in seven days.

    Link to this
  31. 31. geojellyroll 5:27 pm 05/12/2012

    pokerplayer: “I find it interesting when some posters believe that supporters of the democratic party in the US are more scientific than are republicans’


    The two groups with the highest belief in mythological figures are Blacks and Hispanics…largely Democratic supporters.. Obama claims to talk to Jesus. One doesn’t hear his ‘scientific’ supporters calling him an irrational nincompoop for seeking advise from a dead-guy-on-a-stick.

    Link to this
  32. 32. Tony_Who 7:36 pm 05/12/2012

    “The standards also put new emphasis on engineering, an area that U.S. teenagers, judging by recent studies, know little about.”

    The FIRST Robotics Competition is a great way for teenagers to learn about science and engineering.

    Also, it helps them gain valuable skills that can be used in industry.

    IMO, if teenagers can master sports, video games and other high-skill activities, then they can also master the technology and science used in industry.

    What they need is access to the hardware so they can use and understand the equipment.

    Hopefully there can be more sponsorship for programs like the FIRST robot competition, so kids can get some experience with modern hardware and learn how to use it.


    Link to this
  33. 33. KeenerH 9:56 pm 05/12/2012

    Separation if state and science is just as necessary as separation of state and church.

    Science is not above corruption. All disciplines of science have a history of corruption, whether it be manipulating data, outcomes or outright hoaxes.

    Climate change is especially suspect – it not only has a political agenda, billions stand to be lost or made on it’s impossible to prove hypothesis. Even if climate is changing, we can not prove this will be a long term trend, nor can we prove it is human caused. Climate science is a very new science and there have already been documented incidences of data tampering and collusion to tamper. Most worrisome of all, is that it has the potential for mass abuses of human rights and a significant, if not complete loss of human liberties.

    Science is critical thought, method, observations, duplication, and outcomes.

    Link to this
  34. 34. KeenerH 10:07 pm 05/12/2012

    I’ve researched climate science findings since 2005. From the onset it had that Paul R. Ehrlich population doom and gloom ring to it: The Population Bomb began with this statement: The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate …[14] Ehrlich argued that the human population was too high already, and that while the level of disaster could be mitigated, humanity could not prevent severe famines, the spread of disease, social unrest, and other negative consequences of overpopulation. However, he argued that societies must take strong action to curb population growth in order to mitigate future disasters both ecological and social.”

    Sound famaliar? It should, it’s exactly what todays climate change doomsdayers are saying.

    Link to this
  35. 35. singing flea 11:08 pm 05/12/2012

    @NotSoGullible(a true oxymoron)

    Those emails you copied don’t have any authors names on them. They could have just as easily have been sent by the hackers who published them on the web in the first place. Whether that is the case or not, they could easily have been taken out of context possibly were the result of researchers trying to cover up mistakes that would have made good data look bad. Yes, even scientists make mistakes.

    As for the assumed emails that advocated keeping results from others trying to derail the data in the first place, I absolutely agree with that reasoning. People with ulterior motives, like those in the oil, auto and power industries, are only going to use data that has not yet been properly correlated to create more misinformation. They do it all the time. If I were compiling that much data for future correlations I would sure as hell keep it from the very people who would only use it to do harm to my integrity before I could even debug it myself.

    One thing is for certain, although most of those emails were allegedly created in the early years of the 21st century, it is now 2012 and most of what was in question then is no longer the case today. The only people who insist on questioning the data today is those who made up their mind ten years ago that what we are all seeing is just an illusion.

    All one has to do now is to actually look at before and after pictures of glaciers, ice packs and the destruction of habitat around all of us to know what fools the deniers have been made out to be.

    As I have said before, there is none so blind as those who refuse to look.

    Link to this
  36. 36. singing flea 11:29 pm 05/12/2012


    The number of dolphins that were found dead with damaged ears was a small minority of them from what I have researched. Still one is too many. I am currently in collaboration with a company here in Hawaii that are trying to get large scale fish farming in reef cages going here and they are extremely concerned with the problems in South American waters. The general consensus is that both warmer water and sonic soundings by geologists are making the continental shelf there very unfriendly to small schools of feed stock fish who are more susceptible to these influences than the larger fish and the sea birds. This is causing mass starvation and weakness in the stricken populations. Many of these fish die in deep waters and spawn disease much more then live fish do when eaten by hungry larger fish.

    To complicate matters, longline fishermen are bring in many more birds then usual that show signs of physical trauma, so there certainly is a lot of concern about the goings on of the oil industry down there.

    Last but not least is the huge increase in plastic found in many birds stomachs. It is empty calories. We can thank the oil industry and the poorly regulated refuse industry in South America for that too.

    It is all cause and effect and guess who the cause is?

    Link to this
  37. 37. NotSoGullible 11:43 pm 05/12/2012

    @ singing flea

    If you click on the website provided there are links to each of the emails I was referring to, complete with authors. Reading these emails in their entirity does raise concerns for me trying to look at this objectively, this is obviously not the case for you. I have not heard anyone mentioned in the emails challenging their authenticity. Looking at one or two emails it would be possible to question context, but the similarities across hundreds and hundreds of emails creates doubt. On the subject of scientists making mistakes, this is obviously necessary to make progress. Scientists produce hypotheses, make observations then adjust hypotheses when real-world observations don’t match. The problem raised in the emails is that some climate scientists appear to be adjusting the real-world data to match their hypotheses.

    On the subject of with-holding data and programs I was of the impression that scientists had published papers quoting data which others wanted access to in order to establish its veracity. Surely this is necessary as part of the scientific process. If the scientists relied on data which had not been properly tested for their papers then I would be concerned.

    If climate scientists are not able to establish a correlation between burning fossil fuels and global warming then that is something else that needs to be looked at. Climate scientists have said they do not understand why they haven’t been able to observe this in reality with the amount of time that has passed.

    Your last line is absolutely correct “There is none so blind as those who refuse to look”, I am, are you?

    Link to this
  38. 38. singing flea 11:56 pm 05/12/2012


    “Separation if state and science is just as necessary as separation of state and church.”

    What a load of garbage. Like the rest of your posts it entirely overlooks the fact that science and technology are absolutely essential to keep a growing population healthy, preserve natural resources and provide for our national defense.

    Comparing Paul R. Ehrlich’s essays of the 50′s and 60′s to the challenges of climate change is like comparing apples to oranges. A large part of the green revolution was a result of Malthusian predictions like Ehrlich made. Although the green revolution was not an end all to future starvation problems, it certainly forestalled the inevitable doomsday. I think of it like the Y2K hype of the 80′s and 90′s. Without all the hoopla, there certainly would have been major problems had it been ignored.

    The same is true with made made climate change. We can mitigate many of the problems of the worst case scenario, but sticking your head in the sand and claiming you don’t see a problem is suicidal.

    Link to this
  39. 39. singing flea 3:37 am 05/13/2012


    I have far too much more important material to read before I will find the time to rehash a misguided attempt to discredit scientists who have been far more right then wrong in the past and have been vindicated of these frivolous charges already.

    Put it to rest. There will always be more conspiracy theories for you to grovel in soon to come. Alex Jones makes millions on conspiracy theory and he doesn’t need “no stinkin’ science” either. Go bug him. I am sure your students will find him much more entertaining too.

    Link to this
  40. 40. engineer.sci 4:59 am 05/13/2012

    All this is fine and good, but the key regarding climate, and human interaction with it, is going to have to be a holistic rather than reductionist approach. Or more to the point, focused on the importance of global human integration in matching such integrated global systems.

    The matter of integration is indeed pervasive throughout nature, and such systems provided a beautiful introduction to bringing it into the classroom.

    This idea seems to ring in deep accord with the concepts of endosymbiotic theory per Lynn Margulis’s 1966 landmark paper, “The Origin of Mitosing Eukaryotic Cells” (The Journal of Theoretical Biology).

    While at this point, it is only considered established that certain cellular organelles evolved through a prior mutualist relationship formed between cell and viral invader, evidence — particularly over the last decades — of a general mutualist (one could even say altruistic in human terms) relationship seems to be present in all of nature. From the formation of bacterial macrocolonies, to the rooting of grass communities, to the protected position of weaker, slower fish in schools, to similar complex, unified behaviors — and yes, balance and homeostasis — among swarms, heards, packs, and flocks, we see it everywhere. An initial socialization (see for example “Learning from Bacteria about Social Networks,” Google Tech Talk on Youtube, appears to lead to a complex, tightly coordinated altruistic society that effectively becomes a unified higher being (and actually might evolve into one in a literal sense, as in the endosymbiotic case).

    So indeed, linking in mutual concern, responsibility, and guarantee may be the key to the next stage of human evolution where we are everybody else, and they are us. We indeed must work in the classroom — as a model of society that is forming about us — towards an evolving state of local, national, and global collaboration vs. competition.

    In the end of the matter, far more important that merely studying climate and evolution, is teaching the next generation how to evolve themselves into a collaborative entity mapping the natural evolution of the communities of the ecosystem — one that will work with it in harmony and balance, rather than against it.

    Link to this
  41. 41. NotSoGullible 6:14 am 05/13/2012

    @ singing flea

    I’m not interested in conspiracy theories, personally I would settle for a return to the Scientific Principles. I could then happily leave science to the scientists and get on with teaching.

    Link to this
  42. 42. isoger 8:06 am 05/13/2012

    I’m interested in ecology and evolution very much~

    Link to this
  43. 43. wyseguy 8:45 am 05/13/2012

    Temperatures haven’t risen in decades, but the science is settled. Sounds like a religion to me….you?

    Link to this
  44. 44. m 9:44 am 05/13/2012

    @ Bear_the_Schnauzer

    Okay, firstly Ill forgive you for being under 8 and asking an easy question to which anyone who si older than 8 can answer…except in America apparently. Okay poking over.

    You cant take logic back, when you dont understand logic. You seem to think elements prefer to stay individuals…look around the whole universe is about clumping…. There are vast spaces of emptiness between the clumps (your head etc).

    Now these elements whether introduced with a meteor/comet or just home-grown have evolved over time to a useful form.

    Now how big does a molecule have to be before it starts being alive… not very big at all and you only need 4 to make the most complex creatuire of all and DNA. Life existed before DNA… so yes very simple molecules did through not luck, through evolution.. come into being.

    I am presupposing life MUST exist as the building blocks to life are simple and so the drake equation should yeild a universe full of life.

    Link to this
  45. 45. geojellyroll 12:44 pm 05/13/2012

    Some call those who want Creationism taught ‘bumpkins’. Yet, why not demand that schools teach that irrational belief sytstems such as Chrstianity as being anti-science?

    People often push agenda is science classes. Actual ‘science’ is not always the motivator. One’s own sacred anti-sciece cows are untouched.

    Link to this
  46. 46. thestupid 7:36 pm 05/13/2012

    //The methods of science need to be taught not half baked theories or flawed ones. What is half baked, that would be climate change. Evolution, is pretty close the problem is the idea that random changes occur after an animal matures and that somehow random chance causes mutations that help an animal survive. It makes more sense that all possible genetic combinations existed when life began //

    Oh dear Lord… that is the most backwards misunderstanding of evolution and outright nonsense I have ever read. Seriously… the stupid… it burns.

    Please do not reproduce.

    Link to this
  47. 47. doctordawg 2:27 am 05/14/2012

    Every teacher in this nation should be allowed, even encouraged, to aggressively question both evolution and climate science, by participating in collaborative research, submitting their work to peer-reviewed journals for further discussion and to seek replicable outcomes, then present their findings to the brightest university minds in the world for verification and corroboration. Then, and only then, they can go back to their classrooms and teach evolution and climate science skepticism.

    Until then, STICK TO THE FACTS.

    Link to this
  48. 48. TheGDog 3:09 am 05/14/2012

    I once tried to explain mutations role in the concept of adaptation to a younger fellow about 14 yrs younger. He was a 80′s kid. He was studying the topic in a CC at the time. His mind was soo stuck on the concept that the environment the organism lived in invoked the change to occur in the organism rather than the concept of a mutation finally occurring in that organism that had beneficial properties to it that led to that new “Version” of the organism having an advantage. He had the darndest time wrapping his head around the idea that mutations happen (relatively speaking) all the time… the majority of them having either no effect, or a bad effect (in which case they die-off and aren’t carried forward) and that the mutations that produce an actual quantifiable advantage are a rare and amazing thing. Now… granted, this kid was a Wake-n-Bake skater-boy. But still… it boggled my mind how even when I broke it down in simpler terms… his logic and reasoning didn’t kick-in and catch ahold. Somehow we need to show them how logic and reasoning and the scientific method work hand-in-hand in all aspects of life (with the exception of having an argument with a woman who is your significant other, hehe!)

    Link to this
  49. 49. NotSoGullible 5:06 am 05/14/2012

    @ doctordawg
    I have contributed several posts to this blog concerning my efforts to determine the facts relating to AGW. As a teacher I am not prepared to teach material to my students without expressing any doubts or concerns I may have with that material. In comment 22 above I listed just a few of the emails from Climategate that give me cause to doubt the integrity of some senior climate scientists. Anyone who has read those emails surely has the same doubts (actually read them, not rely on a report that says someone has cleared them of any wrongdoing). I don’t for a minute believe that all climate scientists are wrong or fail to follow the scientific principles. The issue for me, and no doubt many others, is which ones to trust and consequently which material is safe to teach.

    Issues raised by climate scientists include concerns over the reliability of temperature records based on proxy data, measured global temperatures not warming to the degree predicted by models, not having a full understanding of other factors that may contribute to warming or cooling and not been able to establish correlation / causation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.

    If you have a link/s to what you consider to be reliable material (the facts as you put it) from trustworthy climate scientists I would be happy to have a look.

    Link to this
  50. 50. singing flea 8:53 am 05/14/2012


    “If you have a link/s to what you consider to be reliable material (the facts as you put it) from trustworthy climate scientists I would be happy to have a look.”

    What a load of hot air. Check out a national Geographic magazine some day. They have enough pictures that illiterate people like you don’t even have to read the articles.

    It’s no wonder that, with teachers like you, America has educational levels lower then most third world countries.

    Teachers who sit around all day and insult every major science publication in the country and then cite right wing blog sites as real science need to have their ears boxed like the religious fundamentalists did to Galileo.

    Link to this
  51. 51. m 9:47 am 05/14/2012

    Okay a simplification of evolution:
    All life is made up of billions of pieces of bacteria/viruses/dead code/”living” code. All animals can have there genetic material altered at any stage of their life, and if changes are reproduced in the next generation they inherit them too. All bodies are self-repairing.. we have a twisted helix to accomplish this, but its not perfect and imperfections in our structure occur ALL the time. Our off-spring are NEVER half of each parent, but a combination of all “previous” parents with any recent imperfections thrown in. Many alteraations will occur in dead code and some will occur and not be switched on, while other snippets will be switched on while other switched off. We have a billion different bulbs in our body and while they are there they can be off or on in more combinations than you can imagine.

    Now top that off, it is now known that living beings..can through behaviour change there own DNA and thus when they reproduce change there offspring. It is possible mental changes to can be passed on to following generations. (Epi-genetics)

    It is well known humans would not be around unless 2 bacteria combined into a symbiotic organism…This is evolution and CANNOT be interpretted as the same as genetic manipulation like you read in books.

    Okay climate change, notsogullible, please dont go on models…models are a predictive mechanism to look ahead, but they are only as good as the data fed into them.

    Sure the oceans are getting deeper, 1 inch every 10 years i think. Its real, its measureable and its climate change. Have humans assisted, sure. Will nature be able to do more climate change than humans…yes and no. The last ice age happened becuase of a meteor…humans wont allow them anymmore to hit so…

    Link to this
  52. 52. DonaldS 1:27 pm 05/14/2012

    But teaching the principles of natural selection and how they work IS teaching a kind of critical thinking. You can believe whatever religious dogma you want, but you WILL learn the principles of natural selection! Then you can figure the rest out yourself.

    Link to this
  53. 53. richsev 2:11 pm 05/14/2012

    So much hot air about climate change and an unchanging debate about creationism… predictable to someone who is scientifically minded. Enough trolling for now ;)

    Organisms change/evolve as a result of environmental stresses. Whether there is a “creator” involved is scientifically irrelevant because the concept of God is a matter of faith and not scientifically (though possibly philosophycally) provable. Faith is about “I beleive”, which may or may not based independently verifiable facts. Science is about reproducing observations and formulating a premise that best fits those facts.

    As far as climate change is concerned, it is scientifically that the planet is getting warmer and the level of the oceans is rising. Glaciers that have been around for thousands of years are disappearing. Whether humans are responsible (and I personally think the evidence is quite clear) may soon be irrelevant. We as a species will have to deal with the consequences of climate change. As far as the “science” which claims to deny climate change, you’ll find that it is almost exclusively published by economists(who are greatest practitioners of cognitive bias) and funded by the (surprise, surprise) the oil industry, who stands to lose most from changing away from oil-based energy. To those who say the cost of alternate energy would ruin the economy, I would add this.. the environment will survive the collapse of the economy better than the economy would survive the collapse of the environment.

    Link to this
  54. 54. singing flea 2:48 pm 05/14/2012

    @ M
    “…it is now known that living beings..can through behaviour change there own DNA and thus when they reproduce change there offspring.”

    This is where your logic falls off a cliff. Your RNA and DNA is combined and set or fixed at conception. It carries other possible gene combinations that cause changes when you reproduce, but there is absolutely no natural way that you can change your own genes during your own life. That is precisely why cosmetic surgery is surgery and not chemistry. It is also why DNA evidence will point to a suspect for the rest of his or her life. It doesn’t ever change.

    What can happen is some chromosome damage can result from radiation chipping off molecules in the DNA, but that is specific to that cell only, not your entire body. This is thought to be the cause of cancer cells by some geneticists which cause improper cell division.

    Link to this
  55. 55. singing flea 2:56 pm 05/14/2012

    “What can happen is some chromosome damage can result from radiation chipping off molecules in the DNA, but that is specific to that cell only, not your entire body. This is thought to be the cause of cancer cells by some geneticists which cause improper cell division.”

    I should qualify that paragraph by saying, chemical damage can also result in DNA damage in a cell.

    Link to this
  56. 56. fltassoc 4:34 pm 05/14/2012

    I was teaching most of this in middle schools in Central Texas in 1964. Why the big flap about it now?

    Link to this
  57. 57. NotSoGullible 7:02 am 05/15/2012

    @ singing flea

    “Teachers who sit around all day and insult every major science publication in the country” – not exactly sure where that came from unless you are referring to what was openly stated in the emails in that a number of senior scientists did stop conflicting views from being published in a number of journals.

    “… and then cite right wing blog sites as real science” – when I provided the link I said it was right wing. I did not refer to any comments on the site, merely used it as an easy way to download the Climategate emails. In your last comment you said you don’t have time to read the ten emails I referred to yet you have time to send comments like the above that waste your time and mine. If the contents of the ten emails don’t worry you in the slightest then why not just say so? Or are you too scared of what you might find if you actually read what these scientists said without wearing blinkers?

    “… need to have their ears boxed like the religious fundamentalists did to Galileo.” – somewhat amusing statement. The Roman Catholic church went after Galileo because he challenged Aristotle’s view that the universe revolved around Earth. Aren’t you trying to persecute anyone who challenges AGW, yet to challenge is one of the fundamental scientific principles?

    Link to this
  58. 58. Wildeye 1:11 pm 05/15/2012


    “Aren’t you trying to persecute anyone who challenges AGW, yet to challenge is one of the fundamental scientific principles?”

    The problem is that you aren’t challenging the science, you are, at best, questioning the professional integrity of the scientists who wrote the emails in question while ignoring anything exculpatory in their defense.

    There is nothing wrong with skepticism; it’s a necessary part of the scientific process. That being said, AGW remains the scientific consensus until someone comes up with an alternate theory that explains the data at least as well as the current climate model; anything short of that is just sniping at data sets rather than anything like a refutation of the theory. Not Galileo, more Don Quixote.

    Link to this
  59. 59. NotSoGullible 5:24 pm 05/15/2012

    @ Wildeye
    The issue is that most people don’t have the time or the ability to analize global climate issues, including myself. That is left to a fairly small, highly qualified group to perform on everyones behalf. For everyone to trust these scientists their professional integrity must be of the highest order lest they invite scepticism to their work. Analogy: When I take my car to mechanics to replace the brakes, I don’t know exactly what they have done when I get it back. I am relying on the integrity of the mechanic to do the job properly. If I hear that mechanic has taken shortcuts then I won’t use that person again.

    Talking about accuracy of climate models please have a look at this recent article
    Nobody expects a model that predicts global climate to be 100% accurate but this article indicates that error margins make these models useless at present. That is not to say they wont be improved to a point where we can use them in the future, just at present they are of little value in predicting future climate patterns.

    Link to this
  60. 60. Wildeye 10:03 pm 05/15/2012


    “… this article indicates that error margins make these models useless at present.”

    Nope. Again, refute the science if you doubt the science. Perhaps this will help. Enjoy!

    Link to this
  61. 61. Carlyle 4:40 pm 05/16/2012

    You will find a better portrayal of reality by reading Brothers Grimm than skeptical science.

    Link to this
  62. 62. ErnestPayne 7:17 pm 05/17/2012

    It is difficult to inculcate children with a love of learning and science when they have been force fed superstition from the moment of birth. Small wonder the rest of the world is leaving america behind.

    Link to this
  63. 63. 2008RealityCheck 8:15 pm 05/17/2012

    Climate Change – how humanity stopped the continual decline of atmospheric CO2 by recycling buried carbon deposits that were inaccessible to nature. It is well established that 540 million years ago CO2 levels were 7,000 ppm, and had dropped to 280 ppm before the industrial revolution. It also is known that had the decline continued, the CO2 levels would have dropped below 180 ppm, the point where plants start to die of starvation. Earth is in its third atmosphere, but nature has been sequestering it underground and beneath the oceans. The third atmosphere likely would have ended in 10-20 million years. Then man came along and recharged the atmosphere with more carbon. Earth’s flora and fauna thank us for that.

    Link to this
  64. 64. Cosmoknot 1:55 am 05/18/2012

    There’s too much. There’s just way too much crap getting thrown at the kids. They are expected to learn all sorts of things that they don’t actually need. If somebody isn’t good at something, they should not be forced to struggle with it while there are certainly other areas in which they are strong where the time and effort they spend learning it will be useful for them. The way our people are educated needs to really be examined. How much time and effort is wasted by students learning crap they don’t really need to know, while students who could excel at certain areas get turned off of learning because there is garbage being taught to them and they are smart enough to recognise it? In order for our people to advance in their lives and reach toward their potential, education should be much more streamlined. Kids need to be tested to see what they are good at, and then their education should be designed so they learn what they actually need to learn in the way that best suits their learning style.
    We are intelligent. Intelligence has too much variation for kids to be treated any way other than on an individual basis. One-size-fits-all education screws all. dumb kids are expected to learn more than they realistically can, while the more intelligent and gifted kids stagnate.

    Or wait a minute…. maybe that’s the plan. Keeping down the proles. Overwhelm them with things to learn.

    Link to this
  65. 65. greg b 12:50 pm 05/18/2012

    Years ago, I read articles in Sciam about Kepler and his work in astronomy, and more or less fell in love with the mag. I am sure, many of the people commenting here would think most of his laws were heresy, and utterly stupid. So much for the state of knowledge in the USA. How sad, the country was once a good place, and I was proud. Now, I am ashamed.

    Link to this
  66. 66. cls42 5:50 am 05/19/2012

    The most valuable courses of my middle and high school career were seventh grade biology and geometry. It turned out bio wasn’t about dissecting earthworms and sketching chloroplasts, but about designing experiments with an eye to various kinds of bias, and about practicing the Scientific Method. Geometry wasn’t about lines and circles but about thinking clearly enough to be sure of a conclusion and knowing when others are doing the same.

    Trouble was, I didn’t figure that out until years later. Nobody did me the favor of explaining why learning that stuff mattered. I hope there’s something in the new standards about motivation. Don’t we think kids are smart enough to get why learning to think clearly and knowing whether you know something might be valuable?

    By the way, it turned out there was a second semester of that geometry class. It was called “abstract algebra” and U of Md listed it under comsci, ee, math, and philosophy! I hated every minute but I’m sure glad I took it.

    Link to this
  67. 67. haleti 10:58 pm 05/19/2012

    Evolution and Climate Change Should Be Taught in Schools, Say States. You Americans make things so complicated. Evolution is a fact it should not be taught explicitly but as part of biology, history and economics.
    Regards Terence Hale

    Link to this

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Email this Article