Science curriculum changes: long overdue or godless instruction?

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  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    June 14, 2018 11:08 p.m.

    ''Due to the age of these standards, some required content is scientifically outdated and irrelevant and the research supporting these standards is also outdated (over 30 years old)," a State School Board document said.''
    Outdated, irrelevant? Ouch. Gasp. Been teaching Junk science for 30 years? Time to move to home schooling? If evolution were true, I'd have eyes in the back of my head. By the way has the number for 'pi' changed in these past 30 years? Have the co-sins, derivatives changed? SHouldn't the changes have had a headline or two?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2017 1:01 p.m.

    "Intelligent design" is not science; global warming is.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2017 12:28 p.m.

    @ sjgf: Science is knowledge - not a belief system.

    The idea that life is too complicated to have just happened and therefore must have had a creator is a belief system and does not belong in a science class.

    There is much more proof for life just happening than there is for an intelligent designer or other creator.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 5, 2017 4:36 p.m.

    On the other hand, the very understanding that life could not have started without help makes the 'theory' that there was intelligent design a much more plausible theory. There is little physical evidence of what form that intelligent design took, but it is certain that we as a species owe our existence to an intelligent being. That much, at least, should be taught in schools as part of the curriculum.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 5, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    I'm certainly all for teaching the most accurate information on science or any other discipline to our students.

    That said, some of the "science" being described in this article concerns me.

    The U.S. Constitution forbids the federal government from establishing a religion. And yet, that is exactly what the schools have done.

    The whole concept of life starting spontaneously in the deeps of time, then evolving to the whole variety of plant and animal life we have today, is not science, but simply a belief system. Some would call any belief system a religion. Others would say that in order to be a religion, the belief system must include the notion of worshiping a deity.

    In any case, the teaching of life starting on its own, without the help of intelligent design, is simply a belief system. It has become the national religion -- taught in our public schools, and funded by tax dollars. And while some may believe with all their being that this 'theory' is actual science, it has 0% chance of ever being proven correct by science. It is a theory without the possibility of ever being substantiated.

    On the other hand, [to be continued ...]

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2017 3:29 p.m.


    "Climate change is just a fact."

    And has been ever since the planet existed, before man existed and before recorded climate data (which is only about 130 years ago, beginning in the late 1800's which was a cool period of earths history, long after a warm period where the vikings were practicing farming in Greenland and long before millions of people moved to environmentally risky areas like south Florida or Texas, which now makes the exact same level of hurricane more damaging simply because of the amount of investment to be damaged even without any climate change)

    Climate hysteria is also a fact - as evidenced by the amount of blatant lies told to promote disaster scenarios and the efforts to vilify those who do not accept hysteria.

    Which is too bad. Questioning IS the scientific method. But many pseudo-purveyors of "science" simply want to use it as a tool to "silence"

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 4, 2017 8:55 p.m.

    Yes, evolution is a theory - in exactly the same way that gravity and general relativity are theories. (Yes, there is also a law of gravity - but the law of gravity and gravitational theory are two different things; the law describes the “what” the theory describes the “how/why”.)

    The theory of evolution is supported by evidence - lots and lots of evidence that explains the entire process. (There is no “missing link.”)

    Intelligent design has no supporting evidence. The lack of supporting evidence makes this inappropriate to discuss in science class, just as the idea of turtles all the way down is not appropriate for science class.

    Science is based on evidence and only science should be taught in science class.

  • erikpeterhansen Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted -- perfectly stated: "We were taught all the latest science (and sex ed with birth control) decades ago in our rural Utah school. No mention of "intelligent design". And no controversy because teachers were trusted not to spin, not to attack any parental, religious, or community values.

    But when anyone hijacks education to advance a socio political agenda, trust is lost and curriculum must be tightly controlled."

  • erikpeterhansen Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2017 4:48 p.m.

    Steven's thoughts are pretty limited when it comes to things beyond time... and that surprises me. He speaks assuredly about what he teaches and should remember the educational agenda he strongly influences. They need freedom to have faith in their own research beyond the books and theories he knows. Personally I believe most of what I'm taught in school except that it's all from a random accident. But that's faith. If he is wise he should remember that and speak as if he uses faith in his huge theory and is open to others. He is bound to be surprised in the end as am I.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    @Rifleman You would be hard pressed to find any professional educator that believes that the No Child Left Behind Act was a good idea - it was the greatest federal over-reach in education history and every educational organization fought against it when it was created and signed into law by George W. Bush in 2002.

    I have never heard an educator refer to it as 'progressive' - no matter what their political persuasion. I know a lot of conservative educators who long for the days before NCLB ushered in the era of standardized testing on steroids. In fact, it is an issue that every educator I know agrees on - NCLB was a terrible law!

    The thing is... I'm not sure how it has relevance to this discussion. The states have complete control of education concept standards. Utah could write a standard that says that the kids in Utah will be taught that the earth is flat, the sky is green, and reindeer really do fly...if they want.

    How about we let families and churches teach kids about God, and science educators teach kids science.

  • GrandpaScott Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 4, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    Doom Turtle, when you label my views on intelligent design as nonsensical dogma you obviously have no idea what my views are.

    Thomas Jefferson, I’ve also seen religious people dress up their creationism with what they call ‘intelligent design’ and I agree that there’s nothing scientific about it.

    Darwin’s work provides a robust explanation of how natural selection acting on random mutations generate new phenotypes. That has led to incredible advances in medicine and public health. Genetic engineers have also capitalized on these insights to revolutionize the agricultural industry. That much is obvious. What’s not so obvious is whether or not these same concepts can truly explain the generation of new body plans.

    New body plans require an immense amount of novel genetic information (DNA). Darwinian concepts have not been shown to be capable of generating that type of information. The only mechanism that has been shown to generate novel prescriptive information is an intelligent mind. Does that prove any theory of Intelligent Design? No, of course not. But it is strong enough evidence that any scientist that doesn’t at least consider its merits has an obvious agenda to protect.

  • GDForester Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 9:37 p.m.

    Climate change is just a fact. If I took the temperature of the room and it was 71 degrees and measured it the next day at 74 degrees, no one would say that observation is political. It just is what it is. It is a measurement. In a similar way, we know the planet is getting warmer, and we even know why. Not political, just a fact.
    Also, some of the board members (and some people commenting) clearly don't understand what the word theory means in science. With that said, it's also not cool to throw down on spirituality. It just doesn't belong in a science class. We don't go to science class to learn about God, just as much as we don't go to church to learn about oxidative respiration. As a science teacher, I shouldn't have to explain science all year and then teach things like how penguins walked thousands of miles from Antarctica to get on a boat, or the chemical process of turning water into wine.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 2:43 p.m.

    No Child Left Behind is a failed concept whereby students who want to learn are kept back in order to concentrate on students who have no desire to learn.

    Liberals call it progess and conservatives call it the "Deliberate Dumbing Down of America".

  • Doom Turtle SLC/SLC, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 1:04 p.m.

    Utah's children deserve to be taught proven facts and truth as are taught in other developed literate societies.
    It is a great disservice to teach them based on the dogma espoused by a subset of the US republican party, the only group that believes in nonsense like "intelligent design" and ignores the overwhelming evidence supporting human caused global warming. The government today released a report supporting ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change other than human activity.
    Yes evolutionary theory is a "theory", just like gravitational theory and a host of mathematical theory. The dictionary defines theory as "a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena."
    Lets help our kids succeed in the 21st century and not teach them to compete in the bronze age.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 12:14 p.m.


    You claim to have a PhD.

    Would the citations you provided have been acceptable in your doctoral thesis, based on the credibility, context and actual support they provided for your claims?

    I can say without question they would not suffice as support for even an undergrad paper, let alone a doctoral thesis.

    They're not all climate scientists' statements. Those that are from climate scientists have been taken out of context and do not remotely reflect the positions of the scientists that made them.

    Honestly it looks like you simply scrambled to capture snippets of statements that might possibly support your initial claims.

  • KarenLaRae2 Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 10:46 a.m.

    Why is it that those who scream about their poor little lovies being taught a "political agenda" that is solid science are the ones who want their political agenda taught even if it is not scientific? I have no problem with those who believe in intelligent design ... bhere is no medical or academic institution or career where understanding the concept of intelligent design is going to be helpful. That doesn't mean there aren't scientists who believe in Darwinism AND intelligent design ... but only one applies in their labs. Climate change is a major issue these days ... whether you believe it is valid or not, children will need to understand what the scientific community position is in order to discuss it intelligently in order to survive school, any kind of scientific career. You don't have to agree with or believe in everything you learn in school ... but you at least need to know what the prevailing issues are.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 9:03 a.m.

    Lots of posters wanting to teach facts.

    Fine. Shall we teach the latest scientific discoveries about fetal pain at 15 to 20 weeks? Or long known facts about the fetus having its own circulation system, when the nervous system develops, etc?

    Or you ok if we include emphasis on latest archeological discoveries like pre-Columbian horses in America, ancient records engraved on metal plates and stored in stone boxes, and so on? There is no agenda here, just teaching facts.

    Perhaps we should include some study of near death experiences. Or maybe persecution of early LDS needs more emphasis in history claases.

    Anyone who claims the context in which facts are taught doesn't matter is either grossly ignorant or has determined the implicit context favors his agenda.

    We were taught all the latest science (and sex ed with birth control) decades ago in our rural Utah school. No mention of "intelligent design". And no controversy because teachers were trusted not to spin, not to attack any parental, religious, or community values.

    But when anyone hijacks education to advance a socio political agenda, trust is lost and curriculum must be tightly controlled.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    GrandpaScott: "There is scientific evidence that favors both naturalistic and design hypotheses."

    What scientific evidence favors a design hypothesis. I've never seen any. I've seen religious people dress up creationism as 'intelligent design' with no scientific basis.

    Ignominious: "While I won't say there is no evidence for "evolution" I will say that there is none for evolving from one species to another. You'll notice that most defending "evolution" don't mention this difference."
    You dont understand the subject. Lots of evidence exists.
    "Homeschool your children. I assure you it's easy to do as well as the government schools. And your children are worth it."
    Please do. I want my kids to have an educational advantage.

    RG, Thanks for those "sources', most of which are not climate scientists. We know that there are some scientists that disagree with GCC. There are even a few who who disagree without being shills for by the energy extraction industries. The fact remains that there are almost no climate scientists who agree with these outliers. Its possible that 99% of climate scientists are simply wrong. But it isnt likely. There are 'scientists' who think the earth is flat.

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 6:49 a.m.

    "Faith science" is not about replicating physical observations, true science is. I want nothing to do with anything trying to tell me I will never receive results and that I must just believe it is nevertheless true. As long as science curriculum presents the physical observations, evidence and data and stays away from unprovable and unreplicable theories I'm all for it. Life cannot be maintained by Faith Science. How would farmers ever be able to produce a tree full of fruit if they merely believed a seed will magically change into a fruit tree without any effort on the part of the farmer to plant the seed, water and dung it, and other works necessary in the growth and development of the tree? Faith Science advocates infuriate me.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Nov. 3, 2017 6:37 a.m.

    @ Silo & Utah Girl Chronicles: A couple more: Wish I had room for more; this is my last allowed comment.
    •“Rather than seeing models as describing literal truth, we ought to see them as convenient fictions which try to provide something useful.” David Frame, climate modeler, Oxford University.
    •“To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” Stephen Schneider, Stanford University.
    •“It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’—and readers’—attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.” Monika Kopacz, atmospheric scientist, Harvard University.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Nov. 3, 2017 6:29 a.m.

    @Silo & Utah Girl OK here are a few: (No space for complete refs but I’ve got them)
    • “A lot of environmental messages are simply not accurate. But that’s the way we sell messages in this society. We use hype. And we use those pieces of information that sustain our position. I guess all large organizations do that.” Professor Jerry Franklin, an ecologist at the University of Washington.
    •“People come to me and say: ‘stop talking like this; you’re hurting the cause.” Dr. Giegengack of University of Pennsylvania, on his admitting of certain uncertainties in climate science.
    •From the respected journal Science: “Many of the researchers behind the dire predictions concede that the scenarios are speculative. But they say their projections play a useful role in consciousness raising.”
    •“What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”—Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator at 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 1:15 a.m.

    People like Alisa Ellis and Lisa Cummins should not be deciding on science curriculum.

    You want to teach intelligent design? Do it in a Religion course. It is not science.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 1:13 a.m.

    This is why school board appointees matter.

    Some lady who has no science background deciding science curriculum based on her religion.

    If we are complacent we will slip right back into the dark ages with this mentality. Science is for thinking critically. It's a method of approaching problem solving. If you want to teach creationism, do it in Seminary.

  • Ignominious Sandy, UT
    Nov. 3, 2017 12:19 a.m.

    While I won't say there is no evidence for "evolution" I will say that there is none for evolving from one species to another. You'll notice that most defending "evolution" don't mention this difference. A more accurate name would be the theory of adaptation. Anything beyond that is conjecture.

    "Global warming" outside of normal cycles and solar activity is junk science. This is simply an effort to control people and get funding. Despite comments to the contrary there is plenty of evidence to show this.

    Changes to what's taught is not an effort to remove religious beliefs from the classroom but rather to mandate whose get taught. In this case it's fake science dogma.

    Homeschool your children. I assure you it's easy to do as well as the government schools. And your children are worth it.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 11:35 p.m.

    The full report of the National Climate Assessment, just released, should be referenced in all science classes.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 11:24 p.m.

    If there's an option for climate like "well what about the sun" then what the scientists do is they develop instruments and look at the sun's radiation. What they found is that solar irradiance has been declining for a couple decades and we just had our weakest sunspot cycle in a century. We set record warm temperatures in 2014, 2015 and then in 2016. Attribution studies don't find any natural pattern (the sun, volcanoes, natural variations like El Nino) that accounts for this.

    What they have found though is that CO2 has increased to levels not seen in at least 800k years by increasing 35% since the industrial revolution. CO2 is the second largest contributor to the greenhouse effect (about 10% of the 33C warming we get because of the greenhouse effect). It wouldn't make sense for us to increase CO2 by 35% and not have it increase temperatures.

  • GrandpaScott Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 11:01 p.m.

    Science teachers should teach how to collect, validate and analyze data, and form and validate hypotheses. Science should avoid emotions, biases and agendas, not promote them. It should teach critical thinking skills using scientific tools to help students determine for themselves what is ‘true’. I consider it a great disservice for a science teacher to promote personal beliefs even when I hold those same beliefs, because that’s not science.

    There is scientific evidence that favors both naturalistic and design hypotheses. Darwin contributed much to our understanding, but knew nothing of the actual mechanisms of evolution which were discovered long after he died. Now that we do, we can analyze his discoveries in a new light. Whether or not that confirms his theories should be determined by the evidence, not a policy or a teachers persuasive power.

    Just because new discoveries may have religious or political implications, doesn’t mean we shouldn't learn as much as we can through robust scientific inquiry. It worries me when evidence isn’t presented fairly or when students aren't given the tools that empower them to discover the veracity of things that you and I only think we know.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 10:54 p.m.

    @ RG

    "And I have many quotes of climate scientists admitting they often stretch the truth just to get people motivated. "

    Why not share a few of those quotes with us then?

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Nov. 2, 2017 10:33 p.m.

    Allow me, as a scientist, to describe what a scientific theory is:
    A scientific theory is a set of principles and axioms that are used to interpret a particular part of nature, such as general relativity and gravity, kinetic molecular theory and chemical reactions, and evolution and the origin of different forms of life. It is well-supported by current evidence and known facts and accurately predicts a behavior at the level we are currently capable of understanding it.
    What a scientific theory is not:
    An opinion that may or may not be right but currently has no evidence to support it. We call these "conjectures."
    An observed principle that accurately models behavior in certain circumstances but makes no attempt to interpret the behavior. We call these "laws."
    A set of ideas that cannot be proven or disproven through the scientific method. We call these "philosophies."
    Personal assertions of reality that openly ignore observed facts or have been clearly disproven yet continue to be propagated out of stubbornness. We call these "pseudosciences."

    Do yourselves all a favor and get the bureaucrats out of science education before our nation completely forgets what reality looks like.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 10:21 p.m.

    How can teach intelligent design when nobody knows what it is?

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:56 p.m.

    Funny we still can't get middle school science teachers even though the article claims it has been a boon. Not.

    Most every potential science teacher I talk to says our Utah standards are a ridiculous mess. They try to make connections and call it "integrated science" when in reality it is just a far reaching mess.

    Most science teachers will tell you they would like to teach either Biology, Earth Science, or Physical Science at the middle school level. The integrated stuff is a complete joke and puts a Biologist teaching physics or a physicist teaching Biology. It makes no sense.

  • Thucydides Herriman, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:33 p.m.

    "I am not in favor of furthering an agenda, but maybe just teaching theory and letting both sides of the argument come out, whether it's intelligent design or the Darwin origin" Cummins said.

    I agree with Cummins... we should definitely be teaching intelligent design to our children. You know, just as one possible explanation. After all, there is clear and convincing evidence that Brahma created the universe after emerging from a lotus connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:25 p.m.

    It seems there are some State School Board members who are adopting a flat-earth philosophy based on religious faith not science in attempting to make state-wide education policy. The arguments being raised here aren't about a political agenda but more about a religious agenda. The State Board is re-arguing the Scopes-Monkey trial of 1925 about evolution in the school curriculum.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:25 p.m.

    Definition of a theory: An explanation for all the evidence; it has been thoroughly tested and evaluated, and has not been falsified.

    That is the status of the "theory" of evolution. Don't confuse theory with hypothesis (a proposition undergoing testing), as most people seem to do.

    And get this: at its basic level, evolution is demonstrated fact -- life forms change through time.

    Wouldn't it be remarkable to have a school board who actually knew these definitions (knew what they're talking about)!

  • bernand0 Spokane, WA
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:22 p.m.

    If I have the standards change on me again, I will go crazy. I am going through the new sEED core standards this year, in the 7th grade. They are actually pretty good. They are focused on teaching students how to apply science in a real world , not just memorizing facts and telling me what you know (Google Home can do that too). We have always taught science by evidence. Whether it is natural selection and evolution, or climate change. It is about evidence, take it or leave it. I don't teach about God, Prajapati, or Allah- I just don't have the evidence for it. Even if I have some faith in it. Whether they change the standards or not, that won't change how I teach (now 2017 sEED standards, or 2010 standards).

  • Thucydides Herriman, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    "We need to be cognizant of what our children are being taught contrary to beliefs" Cummins said.

    Stupid facts... always getting in the way of our beliefs.

  • Sensible Scientist Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:16 p.m.

    As the CJCLDS church's official position states: Leave science to the scientists, and let us magnify our callings in the realm of the church. In other words, science classes are for science. Religion classes are for religion.

    As a scientist and Christian, I've spent my entire adult life studying and fully enveloped in both. And like nearly all scientists, I can tell you this with no reservations: Creationism in any of its guises is not science in any way, shape, or form. It has no place outside of religion classes.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    "Newmeyer said the office of the State School Board issued a recommended lesson plan on the life and science of Stephen Hawking. Students were supposed to view a video on Hawking and write a report.
    "'This is a problem of adopting Next Generation Science Standards or things very close to it,' Newmeyer said."

    I just searched the Next Generation Science Standards and Hawking's name doesn't appear in them. What does this anecdote have to do with the standards?

  • Scrubjay Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 7:41 p.m.

    "Standards for students in grades three through five and for high school were adopted in 2002"

    This is pure nonsense. I teach 6th grade science and we are in the process of implementing the new SEEd standards that were approved two years ago (for grades 6-8). The state has offered training and workshops. Our District has been getting 6-8 grade science teachers together over the last eighteen months to help us prepare.

  • slcman SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    This is all reminiscent of the trouble Galileo ran into with the Catholic church in the 1600s. Bronze Age explanations for the origin of life should never be presented as science.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 5:03 p.m.

    "having read the climate gate emails, I can say that they present how not to do science"

    And yet 8 different scientific bodies investigated 'climate gate' and every single investigation found no wrongdoing. Perhaps you should share your observations of the email with them so they can reconsider their investigation results.

    "Some climate scientists have been caught saying if the real world data doesn't match the models, the data must be wrong"

    So cite even one of those climate scientists that was caught saying the data must be wrong.

    "I have many quotes of climate scientists admitting they often stretch the truth"

    So cite one of those climate scientists you claim admits to stretching the truth.

    "and why they were so adamant that it was caused by increasing CO2 levels instead of other natural phenomena like solar activity cycles"

    So you're claiming that climate scientists have not considered solar activity cycles or other natural phenomena in their research?

    For someone claiming to have a science background, you proceeded to make a number of unsubstantiated claims in support of your opinion. Where's the data that backs up those opinions?

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 4:34 p.m.

    Go ahead, make the changes. Homeschooling and religious based schools will flourish. I can hardly wait until we can get our tax money back in the form of a voucher and support the institutions that do not have an agenda that is in complete defiance for what I believe to be the truth. Progressives and liberals are on their way to ruining the education system just like they did the Boy Scouts of America. RIP

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Nov. 2, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    Looks to me as if some people confuse the scientific method, with political ideologies and religious/philosophical debates.

    A proper science class teaches science and does not dwell in the land of political debate. Science is self correcting and if the evidence of climate change is incorrect, then science will come up with new hypotheses, theorums and settled fact. Like gravity, science knows what it is, but does not always know all the implication.

    But religion does not allow for such a self correcting process. It properly belongs in the home, the church or some other avenue. We are a multicultural country with competing religions after all. Who is to say which one is the right one?

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:51 p.m.

    I am not a climate scientist but I am a PhD scientist, and having read the climate gate emails, I can say that they present how not to do science. Bullying, scheming to hide data, cherry picking data, losing data, and doing it for a "cause" (their words) instead of just to find the truth permeate those emails. Real science does not seek "consensus" and is not so heavily politicized. Some climate scientists have been caught saying if the real world data doesn't match the models, the data must be wrong (instead of the models being wrong.) And I have many quotes of climate scientists admitting they often stretch the truth just to get people motivated. Someday people will look back and wonder how so many people got bamboozled over this scare, and why they were so adamant that it was caused by increasing CO2 levels instead of other natural phenomena like solar activity cycles.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:51 p.m.

    ""The Next Generation Science Standards take a very dogmatic approach to certain key issues in science, Darwinian evolution and global warming. If you come up with a system that's so closely tied to the Next Generation Science Standards, those attitudes will come back in into the classroom and indeed they did," said Newmeyer."

    Right. Because evolution and global warming are two areas of science. They belong in the classroom.

    "Newmeyer said the office of the State School Board issued a recommended lesson plan on the life and science of Stephen Hawking. Students were supposed to view a video on Hawking and write a report.
    The question Hawking addressed was "whether there indeed needed to be a God for the Big Bang to happen or could it could have happened all on its own," Newmeyer said.
    "The answer stated by Stephen Hawking in the video was, 'No, no time in which there could have been a God because time came after the Big Bang. There was no time there could have been a God. It happened all on its own,'" he said."

    Right. So?
    Seems his problem is that science wont line up the way he wants with his religion. Sorry but science is evidence based, not magic based.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:42 p.m.

    "But others, like board member Alisa Ellis, said she is opposed to the national science standards because they are more about advancing political agenda than improving science instruction.

    "It's a political thing. Really, these national science standards they have little to do with science and a lot to do with what is politically expedient. … There's a heavy emphasis on global warming. There's a heavy emphasis as evolution as a fact and not as a theory," Ellis said."

    Now that is some amazing projection.
    Little hint Alisa, evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution by natural selection is a theory which describes the highest level of scientific understanding. Theory in science is not the same as the colloquial use.

    "I am not in favor of furthering an agenda, but maybe just teaching theory and letting both sides of the argument come out, whether it's intelligent design or the Darwin origin." -Lisa Cummins (who went to college for one whole year!)

    Furthering an agenda is exactly what you are doing with this statement. 'Intelligent design' is the definition of pseudo science. There are not 'two sides' here. There is science and religion repackaged as science to fool people.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:40 p.m.

    It's not a political agenda. It's science.
    This nation never used to be afraid of or belittle knowledge and intelligence. Now we demand it be relegated to the level of superstition.
    Students would be well served if high schools instead gave them an opportunity to explore the existence of god from a perspective of philosophy. They could consider the writings of Aquinas and Hume and Darwin. Good, thought provoking ideas.
    In the end, even if one comes to the conclusion that god exists, it speaks absolutely nothing to the nature of god. Nothing whatsoever about whether she minds that I enjoy a beer.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:27 p.m.

    From the article:

    "board member Alisa Ellis, said she is opposed to the national science standards because they are more about advancing political agenda than improving science instruction"

    Based on this one statement, Alisa Ellis has no business making ANY decisions on science curriculum in our schools, unless she's prepared to back up her opinions with facts.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:22 p.m.

    While I don't disagree that national standards are littered with political agendas, are we saying we have to modify ours to match our political agenda? In the end science instruction should match scientific findings. It should teach proven facts. It should teach the many theories that are presented to explain what we don't know or yet understand and discuss the evidence, studies, etc. that support those theories. It should provide the maximum amount of good information, and draw conclusions only where conclusive evidence exists.
    I think it's ridiculous for someone to believe the Big Bang Theory and look down on religious people who believe God created the universe. There is at least as much evidence supporting the latter as the former. However, that doesn't mean I don't want my children taught the Big Bang Theory - they should understand scientific theories. Being religious, I don't doubt that God may have created the universe with a "Big Bang." Same with evolution. I find it hard to believe a bunch of monkeys turned into humans and the rest didn't. But, perhaps that is a process God used to create man. My kids should understand the scientific theories - presented as theories.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 3:06 p.m.

    A lot of good would come if science classes clearly distinguished between facts and theories; unfortunately, even some established scientists fail to see this distinction. More good would come if students were encouraged to pursue questions, developing creative, but useful ways of investigating. How can you measure this quantity ? what unit of measure is appropriate ? I remember a chemistry class where we were given a shoe box with an arrangement of 'things' inside and were asked to formulate a hypothesis of the structure inside the box. In PSSC Physics we experimented with viewing different kinds of motion through a simple, inexpensive stroboscopic device. A lot of similar activities should be done at more elementary levels. Young children are much brighter and creative than most adults think. Speaking of creativity, especially very young children should have opportunity to learn to develop creative processes through visual art, music and writing. Eliminating art cripples science.

  • Good Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 2:52 p.m.

    I find it interesting that those who oppose teaching science do not feel that they have an agenda. By not teaching science and curriculum associated with science--evolution, climate change ect. the agenda of those who oppose science are meeting their agenda. I worry that that agenda is if you don't teach what I believe you are wrong. I guess you only have to look to the middle east to find that when you only teach what you believe things can go in a direction I am not sure we want to go. We need to teach science to Utah k-12 students in the science classrooms. If you want to debate, discuss, defend non scientific ideas it should be done but not in the science classroom.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Nov. 2, 2017 2:28 p.m.

    These changes are long overdue. There is no place for superstition in education.