News to Note, May 26, 2012

A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on May 26, 2012

Monkey see, monkey do; Brilliant doctor: doesn’t understand science? Jurassic ink; Tectonic times; and more.

1. Primates’ Evolutionary Relationship to People

Psychologists say observations of chimpanzee and orangutan behavior in zoos support the primates’ evolutionary relationship to people.

2.Creationist Doctor Questioned

Creationist doctor’s understanding of science and ethics called into question

3. Jurassic Squid's Ink

Jurassic squid’s ink is chemically identical to melanin in modern cuttlefish.

4. Smithsonian’s Account of Tectonic History Short-Sighted

Smithsonian’s account of tectonic history is significantly short-sighted.

And Don’t Miss …

  • Don’t miss the June 1 deadline for submitting your feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)! As we discussed last week , this project updating a proposed set of science teaching standards for K–12 is currently accepting public comments. While a number of the proposals could improve the teaching of critical thinking skills and the depth at which topics are taught, those aspects dealing with origins science could easily undermine those improvements. Moreover, if states choose to adopt these standards in their present form, recent gains in states that have passed academic freedom legislation for public schools could be lost. A recent analysis by a pro-evolution author quotes some relevant portions. He comments that the middle school standards are “not bad, all things considered” but hopes for even stronger evolutionary teaching in high school. As we mentioned last week, molecules-to-man evolution is treated as factual and placed alongside the teaching of observable phenomena such as natural selection, blurring the distinction between experimental (operational) and origins (historical) science at just the time when students need to learn the distinction. As you explore the PDF, be sure to practice that discernment yourself. You may use the search engine on the NGSS site to go straight to topics of particular interest, searching for keywords like evolution, ice ages, radiometric, big bang, solar system, natural selection, ancestry, Darwin. As always, we do not suggest that creationism should be taught in public schools but only that students and teachers should be free to examine topics critically. And if you’re tempted to let the activity of Memorial Day weekend get in the way of offering constructive feedback, remember… if you’re offered the opportunity to comment on these educational standards that could affect the future of millions of American children and don’t, then you must hang your head in shame if standards that could make it difficult to teach those children true discernment are adopted.

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Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch last week’s News to Note, why not take a look at it now? See you next week!

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