The debate over Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been loud and long and is far from over. The same can be said of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which some have nicknamed the “Common Core Science Standards.” (As we explain below, CCSS and NGSS are not the same thing.)
Bill Nye favors Common Core standards, expanded to include science, especially evolutionary science. And, according to Reason.com journalist Robby Soave, Nye “thinks those who disagree with him are—almost by definition—anti-science.” Nye indicates in his BigThink online video “Bill Nye: Could Common Core be the antidote for Creationist teachers” that most “opponents are just evolution deniers in disguise”:
If I were king of the forest, we would have math in the core curriculum. Science would be in the core curriculum. . . .
My perception of what people don’t like about Core curricula, is it forces them to learn standard stuff when they could be teaching their kids things that are inconsistent with what we know about science. I’m talking about people that want to teach Creationism instead of biology and that’s just bad. . . .
We all have to learn the alphabet. . . . I’m sorry, but if we’re going to have a successful society, it’s not an arbitrary arrangement of letters. You’ve gotta learn it. Sorry. In the same way, if you’re asking me, everybody’s got to learn a little bit of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and you’ve got to learn some evolution. You’ve got to learn some biology.
I mean the idea is obvious, right? You have certain minima that everybody’s gotta meet. What? Everybody’s gotta learn the alphabet; everybody’s got to learn to read. . . .
Everybody’s got to learn to read English. Everybody’s got to learn math. Everybody’s got to learn some algebra. Everybody’s got to learn some biology including evolution. What’s not to love? But I know there are people opposed to that.1
While the Common Core State Standards have been highly controversial, they technically apply only to the teaching of English language arts and mathematics, neither mandating the teaching of evolution nor even prohibiting teachers from mentioning creation science, unless modified by the individual state legislatures considering them. Therefore, we at Answers in Genesis have refrained from taking sides in that debate. This fact is ironic in light of Bill Nye’s remarks accusing Common Core opponents of being closet creationists.2
Nye’s suggestion that CCSS is largely a creationist issue is naïve.
That the Common Core State Standards are in many cases fellow travelers with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—on which we have definitely commented quite critically—has been apparent. They were designed by many of the same people. Various educational associations and state governments have developed materials to help integrate the two and implement them together. The NGSS—which are heavily weighed down with evolutionary dogma—are written with sections demonstrating how they are fully integrated with the Common Core State Standards. But CCSS and NGSS are not the same thing. Since people from all walks of life in every state have expressed very strong opinions both favoring and opposing Common Core State Standards for a variety of generally well-articulated reasons, Nye’s suggestion that CCSS is largely a creationist issue is naïve.3
Equally naïve is Nye’s view that being educated to believe in evolution is equivalent to math and literacy and learning the alphabet. In fact, Nye equates “evolution” with biology. Nye as usual fails to distinguish between observational and historical origins science.
Biology is the study of living things, and it involves application of the scientific method to make observations and conduct controlled experiments. Though we never suggest that public school teachers should be required to teach creation science, they should be encouraged to teach students critical thinking skills and have the academic freedom to explore controversial positions—like evolution—with their students. Nothing in experimental, observational biology is inconsistent with biblical creation scientists’ beliefs. In fact, as we discussed in “Can Bible-Based Predictions Lead to Scientific Discoveries?,” “Does the Creation Model Make Predictions? Absolutely!,” and “Evolution and Medicine,” a biblical worldview can lead scientists to make helpful predictions, to draw valid conclusions, and to avoid various dangerously incorrect ones.
Creation science is completely consistent with what we know about science.
Evolutionary claims go beyond that which can be observed and make claims that the laws of nature once operated differently, resulting in the evolution of life from inanimate matter through natural processes and the acquisition of the information to evolve into new and more complex organisms. To teach students to believe in evolution and to teach them, as Nye claims, that creationism is “inconsistent with what we know about science” is simply wrong. Creation science is completely consistent with what we know about science, just not with what evolutionists choose to believe about our unobservable, untestable past.
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- De-Nyeing Science
- Should Christians Be Pushing to Have Creation Taught in Government Schools?
- Academic Freedom Under Fire in Scotland
- What Is Science?
- Bill Nye’s Crusade for Your Kids
- Textbook Market Likely to Take the Reins of Education
- Deceitful or Distinguishable Terms—Historical and Observational Science
- Creationist Doctor Questioned
- Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham
- The Teacher Protection Academic Freedom Act
- Climate Change Facts: Should We Be Concerned?
- Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
- Influencing Next Generation Science Standards
- Attempts to Trace Life Back to Chemical Origins Still Maps the Willful Ignorance of the Hunters
- Vestigial Hiccups, Folding Fish-eyes, and Other Fables: Our Fishy Forebears . . . Again!
- Vestigial Organs—Evidence for Evolution?
- The Appendix: Useless Vestige or Evolutionary Innovation?
- An Evaluation of the Myth That “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”
For More Information: Get Answers
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