Tuesday, June 18, 2013

PRESS RELEASE: Kentucky's new science standards document a "global warming manifesto"

LEXINGTON, KY--A spokesman for the group that was on the forefront of debate over the Kentucky Education Reform Act in the 1990s today called the state's science standards a "global warming manifesto" because of their "obsessive focus in climate issues at the expense of other more basic science." The Family Foundation charged prior to a legislative hearing on the standards today that the state's new science standards are long on indoctrination and short on actual science.

"When photosynthesis is mentioned only 19 times and climate is mentioned 72 times, we've got a problem," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with the group.

"If we had only Kentucky's science standards to judge by," said Cothran, "we would have to conclude that climate and weather issues are more important than gravity, photosynthesis, electricity, genetics, radiation, and quantum mechanics."

Cothran said that a simple word search of the document reveals the inordinate emphasis that the state's academic standards have on climate issues. "Genes are mentioned 38 times; the solar system 23 times; DNA 16 times; oxygen 16 times; mutation 11 times; chromosomes 9 times ; electrons 6 times; bacteria 4 times; and mitosis 3 times. Meanwhile the terms 'climate' and 'weather' together are mentioned over 130 times."

The group listed the terms that are completely absent from the standards. They include: 'hormone', 'kinesis', 'lymph' (or 'lymphatic'), 'neuron', 'nucleotide', 'osmosis', 'phenotype', 'Celsius', 'Farenheit', 'plasma', 'RNA', 'somatic', 'vaccine', 'microscope', 'half-life', 'protozoa', and 'enzyme'.

"The Greenhouse Effect is mentioned twice, but the theory of relativity doesn't warrant a single mention," said Cothran. "What are we to think of science standards that talk about climate change, but don't even bother to mention mammals, reptiles or birds?"

He also asked why the standards don't mention a single famous scientist. "You would think students ought to know about Euclid, Einstein, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Alva Edison, and Marie Curie. In fact, despite all the controversy over the emphasis on evolution in the standards, Charles Darwin isn't mentioned once."

"It is a testimony to the lack of scientific reasoning skills students will receive that the word 'hypothesis' appears only once in the entire document."

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29 comments:

Singring said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin Cothran said...

Charles Darwin? Who's he? I never lerned about him in no Kentucky skool.

Singring said...

PRESS RELEASE: Kentucky Family Foundation devises ingenious, simple and revolutionary method for judging science standards

Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with the Family Foundation of Kentucky, announced today that - without the help of any qualified scientific advisors - he was able to evaluate the new science standards for his state using nothing more than his home computer and word processing software.

By simply counting the number of times certain sciency words appeared in the document, Martin Cothran was able to expose the document as nothing more than a ideologically driven 'manifesto'. The anouncement came only days after Cothran had stated that 'The Family Foundation does not address scientific questions so it does not need to have [no stinkin'] scientific consultants ['round here].' (ed.: parentheses added for clarity)

Using this ingenious and time-saving strategy, the scientifically untrained Cothran was able to completely and fully evaluate the scientific content of the new science standards and its relevance to current science education.

Scientists throughout the state were taken aback at the news and many expressed frustration with having their weeks and months of hard, diligent and carefully constructed science standards exposed so easily by a mere layman.

Moreover, using his technique, Cothran was also able to show that the seminal work on evolutionary biology by Charles Darwin, 'On the Origin of Species', is not about evolution at all, because it does not contain the word.

The Family Foundations announced that future work using this method will show that the Bible is not actually about 'Christians', but about 'war', because the former appears only three times, but the latter eleven times.

'We've got a problem', Cothran admitted when asked about the Bible analysis.

Martin S. said...

A decadent and desperate ruling class, having to be told by people like Bernanke at graduating ceremonies that central government is not an interest group!, require plausibly uniting reasons to tax and spend themselves into domination. An establishment must be an establishment and absent Christianity, Gaia is sufficiently universal and undemanding. Tocqueville said that metaphysical equality is the greatest danger democracies face and he has been proven correct.

This document is an advertisement for homeschooling, no matter how hard they try that cannot rule over people with an ideology http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1815, we do not owe our rulers a living. Let them stand on their own two feet.

This push for a war against CO2 is pure folly, as enlightened as that brilliant attack on Syracuse by that other bunch of illustrious rulers. It removes the simple ability of citizens to draw from the traditions of science to build their own lives and instead binds people to central government. When the CO2 propaganda is seen through by too many to be suppressed economically it will be too late, some other conscription will be in full effect.

The world hasn't warmed for 20 years, the models have all been used to predict and have all coincidentally been shown to be in error massively in favour of central government desired warming/catastrophe.

Anyone who commits themselves to this ideology is a fashionista not leader or head of a family.

Social scientists time and again remark how cut off the ruling class is, how protected it is from realistic correction, over decades sealed off from democratic constraint.

I don't know that they are able to reform themselves. Homeschool.

KY Teacher said...

So you and your word counting software know more about science than the collected knowledge and experience of the National Academy of Science? What arrogance!

Funny how none of this was a problem with the current standards. Am I to infer that science education only started impacting families in 2013?

Martin S. said...

^the numbers for me reveal rather than obscure. I'm delighted Martin put numbers on what they've done. Something else that reveals is your definition of arrogance, or even less, your willingness to even use the word. You're female and in the employ of a central government.

Martin Cothran said...

Martin S.,

Yes: Isn't it interesting that the people who believe you can quantify everything get upset when you quantify this?

Martin Cothran said...

KYTeacher,

Funny how none of this was a problem with the current standards.

Are you saying there is no more emphasis on climate science in the news standards than there was in the old? Have you read the standards?

You would be a lot better critic of my criticism of the new standards if you actually read the standards themselves.

Martin Cothran said...

This is hysterical: The people who say we can use tree rings as a proxy for global temperatures are criticizing me for using the occurrence of certain words as a proxy for the emphasis on certain subjects.

Oh, the irony of it all.

Singring said...

'Yes: Isn't it interesting that the people who believe you can quantify everything get upset when you quantify this?'

Scientists don't believe one can 'quantify everything'.

What they do believe (at least a majority does if you believe the polls), is that objective truth can only be detected in things and processes which are quantifiable.

See, it's situations like this where that science adviser would really come in handy.

'This is hysterical: The people who say we can use tree rings as a proxy for global temperatures are criticizing me for using the occurrence of certain words as a proxy for the emphasis on certain subjects.'

I'm sure it would seem hysterical to someone who is completely ignorant of science.

The fact is that we have very strong empirical evidence indicating that tree rings are influences by local climate.

What we don't have is very strong evidence that, just because a text contains more instances of the word 'climate' than it does of the word 'gene', it is a 'global warming manifesto'.

For one thing, 'global warming' is not synonymous with 'climate' or 'weather'.

For someone who pontificates about literature and the importance of language on a regular basis, that really should be obvious, but once again your linguistic capacities seem to desert you at the most inopportune moments.

See, in science we are very careful about what we say about the world and how we say it. A science adviser could have told you that.

But apparently the Family Foundation doesn't have any interest in commenting accurately.

Quel surprise.

KY Teacher said...

Martin Cothran said:

Are you saying there is no more emphasis on climate science in the news standards than there was in the old? Have you read the standards?

You would be a lot better critic of my criticism of the new standards if you actually read the standards themselves.


What I'm saying is that I scanned your older posts back to 2006 when the current standards were adopted and I didn't see that you expressed any interest at all in the science standards. I just find it peculiar that a representative of a group called the Family Foundation has only now decided that science education standards are worthy of comment. It's as if science education became a matter of concern for the family only within the last few weeks. Most, if not all of those individual scientists you list aren't referenced by name in the current standards either, but that fatal flaw apparently was allowed to lay dormant for YEARS. Only now has their absence in the curriculum become such a terrible threat to KY families.

A curious person might wonder why there's no evidence in your archive that all of these science education flaws concerned you until now.

Martin S. said...

@Singring. No one lives their life by "objective truth ..only by what's quantifiable" it has the same anti-human flavour as "objective truth ...only by the will of Allah". I'm sorry to say that you will never be able to quantify the loyalty and trust I experience from my friend, nor the experience shared with my beloved. You will not be able to quantify the experience of red or subjective first person experience itself! the very experience of the person who you'd task to do the quantifying. If your putative science advisor shares a similar fundamentalism in his philosophical moments, he is going to be of negative value (whatever number you'd like to stand in for value). Feeling like I'm being dragged into a circle of hell again but your post invites the question: where is your epistemology quantified? Is there a link? And your post itself, without numbers why should I think you're writing anything we're supposed to take as objectively true?


Briffa's tree ring data was arbitrarily smoothed. Dodgy data dodgy conclusions in service of " ... when the rise of the seas began to slow and our planet began to heal" political demogoguery.

@KYteacher. Mmm what has happened in the "Life of Julia" these last seven years? Anyway the NSA should have the data.

I'm sure the Family Foundation would have the resources to comprehensively explain all its political emphases and division of time and money if it were "too big to fail", a Soros front group, PP, or say an organisation of unmarried salaried bureaucrats.

As a public servant drawing down on taxpayer contributions, can you KY teacher explain why failed CAGW climate models are still being used to dictate education curricula? Otherwise you invite the question why your curiousity is so strangely narrowed, down even to the point of focusing on the vagaries of the intellectual resources of a largely volunteer civic association.

KY Teacher said...

@KYteacher. Mmm what has happened in the "Life of Julia" these last seven years? Anyway the NSA should have the data.

I had to Google that in order to understand it, and now that i do I realize it is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Red herring smells fishy.

As a public servant drawing down on taxpayer contributions, can you KY teacher explain why failed CAGW climate models are still being used to dictate education curricula?

Failed? Isn't it funny that the people who most vocally question the data are the ones who have no experience in the field, and who attack normal statistical practice as somehow being an ideological slight of hand. The National Academy of Science doesn't think the models are failed.

You do realize the NAS isn't a governmental body, don't you? I'm no fan of big commie government either, but you can't blame the decisions of the NAS on the rolling government juggernaut.

Unless we reject science entirely we have to accept that sometimes it gives us answers we wouldn't have hoped for.

Martin S. said...

"Government is the only thing we all belong to" Pres. B.O. The Life of Julia campaign was a terrifyingly explicit vision of what life means to these people. Science(TM) is actually quite effortlessly folded into this vision of human life. You wondered what had changed since 2006, clearly a significant number of people have chosen dependence on a big daddy in DC and its court sophist clerisy in the universities. Why be surprised that it finds expression in school indoctrination?

An embryonic science like climate science, mathematised into an oracle, so that the entire global liberal technocratic machine can place every energetic activity in society under its control, along with every political deliberation at every level of society. Invisible gas, simplistic cardboard model of astonishingly complex system, idiotic matching of means to nebulous ends (but always expenisve) and politically delectable universalisable sentiments towards the environment where Christian moral seriousness was overthrown. Recipe for quasi-religious mania. You only have to read Singring's absurd scientism above to get a feel for the real temperature in society.

What you're not told, is that there is no auditing of the scientific research upon which this wild expenditure is proceeding. These predictions have FAILED http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/13/no-significant-warming-for-17-years-4-months/ to accurately predict global temperature rises. Yet billions upon billions of our money has been apportioned on the catastrophic claims of this 'science'. It is so obviously a hijacking of a religious psychology, properly fitted to a genuine rational religion, Christianity, but re-deployed in the interest of the totalitarian liberal state. " . . the rising of the seas began to slow, the earth began to heal"

It is astoundingly naive to pretend the NAS is apolitical - unless you think the grant money flowing through universities simply falls from the sky, or that people like Singring don't populate (when in fact they gravitate to) these liberal institutions. Without an appreciation of the political ecosystem and the rivers of money that flow through the DC-Education industrial complex, you are in a modern Plato's cave KY teacher. And society is ordered substantially away from you ever experiencing a free institution again so that you wouldn't know the difference.

Without the political will to audit the claims of government sponsored climate this and climate that the juggernaut will keep rolling on in the face of the evidence. You should be a collaborator.

Martin S. said...

Should (not) be a collaborator.

Martin S. said...

Eric Voegelin on scientism:

"A plant is a plant. You see it. You don’t see its physical-chemical processes, and nothing about the plant changes if you know that physical-chemical processes are going on inside. How these processes will result in what you experience immediately as a plant (a rose or an oak tree), you don’t know anyway. So if you know these substructures in the lower levels of the ontic hierarchy and go into the physical, chemical, molecular and atomic structures, even farther down, the greater becomes the miracle how all that thing is a plant. Nothing is explained."

If one seeks to construct an explanation of a plant—or a soul, or a text, or a bat—from the material knowledge gained through science he commits the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. “If you deform your experience by trying to explain what you experience by the things which you don’t experience by which you know only by science, you get a perverted imagination of reality—if you see a rose as a physical or atomic process.”

This “scientistic ignorance becomes a civilizational disaster because the substantial ordering of existence cannot be achieved through the acquisition of knowledge in the phenomenal sense.” The problem proceeds beyond mere ignorance (which can be remedied, though not easily) when the “belief in the self-sufficient ordering of existence through science is socially entrenched. … The spiritual desire, in the Platonic sense, must be very strong in a young man of our time in order to overcome the obstacles that social pressure puts in the way of its cultivation.” This creates social stratification through the mechanisms of prestige and various economic incentives. It also gives rise to what Voegelin calls “aggressive dilettantism” in matters outside the narrow purview of the expertise possessed by the scientist and imposed as a standard on all others. “What the scientistic dilettante cannot understand must not be proposed in discussions of a problem.”

KY Teacher said...

So we shouldn't trust the NAS because they have a political ideology? Then why should we trust you? You also have a political ideology.

At least the NAS is populated by actual scientists.

KY Teacher said...

“What the scientistic dilettante cannot understand must not be proposed in discussions of a problem.”

Making up fancy terms like 'scientistic dilettante' doesn't do a very effective job of hiding the act of attempting to insert religious instruction into science. Or maybe it's actually a new episode of Star Wars where the Force flows through everything yet eludes quantification?

Science only works if it has rules, and one of those rules is that you just don't get to throw up your hands and say "Great Mystery of the Universe" when confronted by a particularly difficult problem. Naturalistic determinism has been shown to be a functional and practically productive underpinning of science virtually since the industrial revolution and has been responsible for most of our technological progress as a society. Voegelin advocates for a sort of voodoo rule where science is diluted by mysticism.

Religion (or spiritualism, if you will) plays a crucial and increasingly needed role in our society. It doesn't need to find itself extra chores in science. Science is chugging along just fine.

Martin Cothran said...

KyTeacher,

I didn't talk about the old ones because no one was making a big deal about them like they are making now with the common core standards.

What are you arguing that since I did not comment on previous science standards, therefore my view of the current standards is false?

I hope they don't mistake that kind of reasoning for logic in your profession.

Martin Cothran said...

Singring,

What are you arguing? Are you saying that my figures are wrong or are you saying that the number of words used having to do with a certain topic is not an indication of the level of emphasis on that topic?

If then number of words having to do with a certain topic is not an indication of the level of emphasis on that topic in a document, then maybe you could tell us what is?

KY Teacher said...

I didn't talk about the old ones because no one was making a big deal about them like they are making now with the common core standards.

What are you arguing that since I did not comment on previous science standards, therefore my view of the current standards is false?


Saying you are commenting now because THEY are making a big deal now seems like a deflection because you seem to be part of the THEY.

I am not arguing that your view is false simply because you didn't comment before. I think your view is false because I trust the National Academies over the views of a handful of non-scientists.

I'm just commenting that I find the timing odd that suddenly in 2013 you have been compelled to be a defender of the entire breadth of science when your archival history shows you to have previously only been interested in matters relating to evolution. Why the sudden interest in science writ large?

Martin Cothran said...

KyTeacher,

I think your view is false because I trust the National Academies over the views of a handful of non-scientists.

Are you assuming that educational policy issues--whether they have to do with science education or not--are scientific issues?

KY Teacher said...

I am flatly stating that decisions about which scientific ideas have sufficient validity to merit inclusion in science standards is a scientific decision. So is prioritizing the relative merit of foundational scientific ideas.

Your original article attacks the NGSS because of the amount of climate science they contain and because other ideas aren't explicit. The implied assertion is that they are invalid because they don't pass your particular test. I assert that the scientists who advised the development of the NGSS have a greater understanding of the validity of scientific ideas than the detractors lobbing bombs from the sidelines.

Martin S. said...

@KY Teacher. They can keep their political ideologies to themselves if they put their hand up to speak in the name of the traditions of scientific enquiry. If they want to do politics let them declare themselves and run for political office.

No one has to listen to me at all, as soon as presume to put an imprimatur on documents affecting the lives of others I have to get it right. I'd certainly have a duty to critically analyse my metaphysical commitments!

"For this reason there is an exceedingly subtle and
insidious danger in positivism. If you cannot avoid
metaphysics, what kind of metaphysics are you likely
to cherish when you sturdily suppose yourself to be
free from the abomination ? Of course it goes without
saying that in this case your metaphysics will be
held uncritically because it is unconscious ; moreover,
it will be passed on to others far more readily than
your other notions inasmuch as it will be propagated
by insinuation rather than by direct argument." E.A Burtt 'The Metaphysics of Modern Physical Science"

Voodoo? spiritualism? Oh dear, though it escapes you at the moment and you're not wholly to blame given the context described by Voegelin, but you are a classic example of why parents must homeschool. You may have scanned Martin Cothran's earlier posts but you have most blockheadedly failed to understand them. I'm guessing he has gone out of his way to explain what scientism is, and how it undermines the very foundations of the natural philosophical project. I mean even a non-believer here finds himself having to strive against this idiocy. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113299/leon-wieseltier-commencement-speech-brandeis-university-2013#

Or http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2012/06/what-is-scientism.html

Or Edward Feser's series here on the real deliverances of natural philosophy (science properly understood): http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/mind-and-cosmos-roundup.html#more


You've been turned into a menace to your students and you should be fiercely angry at the preening fools who have presided over your education thus far.

Martin Cothran said...

Ky Teacher,

I am flatly stating that decisions about which scientific ideas have sufficient validity to merit inclusion in science standards is a scientific decision. So is prioritizing the relative merit of foundational scientific ideas.

Can you tell me what uniquely scientific procedure was used to determine what standards ought to be used or what relative priority they should receive? These are, of course, normative questions.

Can you tell me how purely scientific reasoning can lead to normative conclusions?

Martin Cothran said...

Ky Teacher,

It also strikes me as very ironic that you would argue that criticism of the actual reasoning scientists might use to recommend certain educational policies or educational priorities is out of bounds.

You seem to be saying that if a group of scientists make a recommendation it is ipso facto true completely apart from the reasoning that might commend it. The reasoning (which, since it is a policy decision and not an actual scientific decision) is true merely by virtue of the fact that they made it.

This is the most blatant appeal to authority you could possibly make. I was not aware that appeal to authority was a form of scientific reasoning. In fact, I had always been taught that scientific reasoning was hostile to appeals to authority.

KY Teacher said...

blah, blah, blah.

The preceding three comments meter out at 75% noise, 15% deflection of my questions and 10% insults/name calling. I am therefore ruled the winner.

Enjoy your bitter smugness. The two of you will be very happy together.

Martin Cothran said...

Ky Teacher,

What did I say that had to do with anything other than your argument? I have no idea who you are; I'm sure you're a fine person. But I addressed only what you said.

You can just take your marbles and go home, but if you're going to accuse me of ad hominem attacks on your way out without any justification, then you at least owe it to me or whoever else you've accused of a breach of decorum to indicate what the offending remarks were.

If you don't then you are the one guilty of a breach of decorum.

Valentina said...

This is cool!