Pennsylvania Legislator Wants Science Teachers to ‘Teach the Controversy’ About Evolution

Pennsylvania State Rep. Stephen Bloom thinks he has a brilliant idea to make our science classes better: He wants everyone to debate already-settled scientific concepts like evolution and global warming:

“In the real world, outside of academia, scientific theory is up for all kinds of argument,” Bloom said. “I don’t think it’s right to exclude any particular kind of argument prima facie. If a student wants to discuss a criticism, he or she should be able to.”

I love that first sentence. Bloom is saying that when you talk to people who don’t know a lot about science, they debate things that real scientists already understand. No kidding. And instead of letting the experts dictate the curriculum, Bloom wants the people who know the least about it (including himself) to tell teachers what to discuss in their classrooms.

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Public School Superintendent: ‘Prayer is Very Much a Part of School’

Last week, we learned that Cullman County Schools (Alabama) Superintendent Billy Coleman was planning his third annual “Prayer Caravan” in which he visits the schools in his district and prays for them. Because I guess that’s the only option left for raising kids’ test scores.

If he did this as a private citizen, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Yesterday, Coleman held a press conference to talk about the controversy:

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In College Town Where Students Observe the Sabbath, Same-Sex Partners of Government Employees Will Receive Benefits

Collegedale, Tennessee was founded as the home for Southern Adventist University and has a huge Seventh-day Adventist population.

The school is so religious, in fact, that it actually observes the Sabbath (as Adventists do). This is from the student handbook (PDF):

That’s why it’s a bit surprising (and amazing) that Collegedale just became the first city in Tennessee to extend benefits to same-sex partners of its government employees:

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History Curriculum Backed by Bill Gates is Criticized by Creationists for Teaching Accurate History

Bill Gates is one of the forces behind the Big History Project, a free online course spearheaded by historian David Christian that takes high school students through the history of the universe:

By sharing “the big picture” and challenging students to explore the relationship between key events over time, big history ultimately helps young people develop key critical thinking skills and the ability to better synthesize and apply complex information. These are skills vital not only to more advanced, discipline-specific work in the sciences and humanities, but also to help students understand and evaluate individual and collective impact — and potential.

I haven’t gone into the curriculum in depth, but it sounds like a great way to educate students. And the more free, quality resources that there out there, the better.

So guess who’s upset about this project?

Creationist Ken Ham.

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Are Faith-Based Dorms at Public Universities Legal?

Troy University in Alabama has a very religious student body (shocking, I tell you).

So they’re about to open a 376-bed dorm at a cost of $11,800,000 that will give preference to religious students:

The new facility gives preference to students who maintain an active spiritual lifestyle and are actively engaged in a campus faith-based organization.

Residents are required to engage at least semi-annually in a community-service or service-learning project that is tied to a church, such as food or clothing drive.

The building will also house a (Catholic) Newman Center, as well as three Catholic and three Baptist resident assistants.

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