Archive for May 31st, 2012

May 31, 2012

Teach the Controversy

young earth creationism

Teach the Controversy‘ is the name of a campaign by the Discovery Institute (a conservative Christian think tank based in Seattle) to promote a variant of traditional creationism, intelligent design, while attempting to discredit evolution in US public high school science courses.

The central claim is that fairness and equal time requires educating students with a ‘critical analysis of evolution’ where ‘the full range of scientific views,’ evolution’s ‘unresolved issues,’ and the ‘scientific weaknesses of evolutionary theory’ will be presented and evaluated alongside intelligent design concepts like irreducible complexity. The overall goal of the movement is to ‘defeat [the] materialist world view’ represented by the theory of evolution and replace it with ‘a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.’

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May 31, 2012

Lies My Teacher Told Me

james loewen

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong’ is a 1995 book by sociologist James Loewen. It critically examines twelve American history textbooks and concludes that textbook authors propagate factually false, Eurocentric, and mythologized views of history. In addition to critiquing the dominant historical themes presented in textbooks, Loewen presents a number of his own historical themes that he says are ignored by traditional history textbooks. A revised and updated edition was released in 2008.

Loewen criticizes modern American history textbooks for containing inaccurate depictions of historical figures such as Christopher Columbus. He further criticizes the texts for a tendency to avoid controversy and for their ‘bland’ and simplistic style. He proposes that when American history textbooks elevate American historical figures to the status of heroes, they unintentionally give students the impression that these figures are part of an unattainable past. In other words, the history-as-myth method teaches students that America’s greatest days have already passed. Loewen asserts that the muting of past clashes and tragedies makes history boring to students, especially groups excluded from the positive histories.