Proposed NM Science Standards Omit References to Evolution and Global Warming

New Mexico is on a path to adopt science standards for all public school students that would eliminate mentions of evolution, the age of the Earth, and global warming.

You wouldn’t know it, though, because the state’s Public Education Department based their own curriculum on the Next Generation Science Standards, a 2013 list adopted by 26 states. But New Mexico revised the list to take out the bits they deemed too controversial for children.

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Among those changes, the proposal would eliminate a reference to Earth’s “4.6 billion year history” and replaced it with “geologic history” in the middle-school curriculum.

It also omits a reference to a “rise in global temperatures” and replaces it with “fluctuations” in temperature.

Another omits the word “evolution” and replaces it with the phrase “biological diversity.”

They’re trying to apply both-sides-ism to science, even when experts are virtually all in consensus on these issues. By suggesting there are alternatives to these accepted theories, state officials are watering down students’ education and suggesting viewpoints that have no credibility among practicing scientists.

State officials know this. Which is why they’re not even pretending to do this for any scientific reason:

Christopher Ruszkowski, secretary-designate for the Public Education Department, said the proposal gives New Mexico an opportunity to update its science curriculum in a way that reflects the “diversity of perspectives” in New Mexico.

Science isn’t a popularity contest. Just because a lot of people hold a lot of Ken Ham-approved indefensible views isn’t a reason to present those ideas to students. If anything, it’s reason to teach them sound science, since they have such a long way to go.

By mixing bullshit into their lessons, they’re only setting those kids up for failure.

“I’m certainly not going to move a high-tech company here, because I’m not going to get a scientifically educated population,” said Kim Johnson, a physicist and former president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

And if I were a college admissions counselor, I would think twice before saying yes to students from Oklahoma since they may not have the science background needed to succeed beyond high school.

It’s just a horrible thing they’re doing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The state is holding a public hearing on the science standards at 9:00 a.m. on October 16 at the Jerry Apodaca Education Building in Santa Fe. If you have the ability to be there, go and make the case for why these students deserve better than when state officials want to give them.

(via National Center for Science Education. Image via Shutterstock)

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