|“Utah SEEd” October 2015 Draft – Standards That Are Concerns|
|grades 6 – 8|
|For those filling out the State online Survey and are looking information about the introductory material before each grade's performance standards it can be found ((here)). Details on the performance standards themselves are directly below.|
|As we have seen from "October Utah NGSS Side By Side" the Utah SEEd standards are still fundamentally the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). See ((“Utah October 2015 Draft Science Standards NGSS”)) and ((“NGSS Issues in Utah”)) why this is still a concern. Hence adoption of this draft of the science standards will be the adoption of the national science standard, of materialistic values, which our USOE officials promised they would not adopt. Yes, they have been cleaned up a bit from the NGSS but as Districts and teachers start to adopt text book sample lesson plans etc that are NGSS compatible, (compatible because that is what they will be told) the entire lot of materialistic, Global Warming hysteria, etc will be welcomed into our Utah classrooms.|
|Environmental Related Potential Concerns (Green Background)|
|Darwinian Evolution Related Potential Concerns (Salmon Background)|
|Potential both Environmental and Darwinian Evolution Related Potential Concerns (Blue Background)|
|Utah #||NGSS||Why Item Is a Potential Issue|
|Strand 6.1: Structure and Motion within the Solar System|
|Strand 6.2: Energy Affects Matter|
|Strand 6.3: Earth's Weather Patterns and Climate|
Standard 6.3.4 is the only newly formulated performance standard that is found in this draft of the 6, 7, & 8th grade collection of standards.
"Construct an explanation supported by evidence for how the natural greenhouse effect maintains Earth’s energy balance and a relatively constant temperature.I think that this standard does convey important and useful information. We like it. I would offer a sincere caution regarding this standard: In implementation, this standard may be simply an opportunity to rehearse the mantra of the imagined horrors of the impending global warming doom. For some science that discusses the evidence that speaks contrary to the Global Warming hysteria1 click here.
|Strand 6.4: Stability and Change in Ecosystems|
This “strand” of standards, under the heading of “Stability and Change in Ecosystems,” goes into great depths on topics that are environmentally related. Based on the proportion of standards in this draft of the science standards that are environmentally related, it is clear that the intent is that the lion's share of the points discussed and time spent in our 6th grade science classes will be consumed in environmental issues. This is a fundamental change in focus from what is currently being taught.
We disagree that such a shift in focus is beneficial to students. Yes, conservation and being a good steward of the planet are important, but why do we need to fundamentally change the character of our science classes which will unavoidably mean that many other items will not be taught that we currently are teaching in our science classes. The most obvious reason why such a fundamental shift in focus over to these environmental issues is not just general conservation and good stewardship but because there are some who desire to use our Utah 6th grade science class as a tool for indoctrination on public policy concerning what many parents would consider radical environmental issues on the young impressionable minds of our students, which is widely pushed from a number of government offices. In performance standard 6.4.5, you can see how the public policy issue is being introduced.
Keep science class a science class and not a place to manipulate young minds on public policy.
|Utah #||NGSS||Why Item Is a Potential Issue|
|Strand 7.1: Forces interact with matter|
|Strand 7.2: Changes to Earth over time|
The complete “Geologic Column” does not exist anywhere on Earth.
BUILT BY CORRELATION, L. Don Leet (Harvard) & Sheldon Judson
(Princeton), "Because we cannot find sedimentary rocks
representing all of earth time neatly in one convenient area, we must
piece together the rock sequence from locality to locality. This
process of tying one rock sequence in one place to another in some
other place is known as correlation, from the Latin for 'together'
Putman & Bassett, "A rock that had an early form of an organism was clearly older than rocks containing later forms. Furthermore, all rocks that had the early form, no matter how far apart those rocks were geographically, would have to be the same age … fossil successions made it possible to say that the Cambrian rocks are older than the Ordovician rocks. In this way our geologic time table came into being....Without the theory of evolution and the interdisciplinary science of paleontology, it could not exist." Geology p.544
Our Students should also know this about the “Geologic Column” which also shows the circular reasoning between the evolutionary paradigm and the Geologic Column.
|Strand 7.3: Structure and Function of Life|
|7.4 Strand: Reproduction and Inheritance|
This set of performance standards is not intrinsically an issue, except in the framework of the materialistic “Molecules to Organisms” paradigm which has become ingrained in our schools. “Molecules to Organisms” is simply a shorthand of expressing the Darwinian paradigm, or in other words, the idea that the complex arose from simple through undirected processes of simply matter and energy. Science has NOT demonstrated a “Molecules to Organisms” scenario such as is cast by the “Utah SEEd” / NGSS standards. For example:
Genetic mutation and inheritance has been demonstrated. In particular environments these mutations, on vary rare occasions, result in a beneficial mutation. The emergence of a different protein from minor variations of other existing proteins may explain some of the diversity we see in life. However, it has been found that the normally assumed mutation / natural selection mechanism is an insufficient explanation for a significant portion of the proteins and the genes that code for those proteins. As you can see from the standard's text, this is where they are headed and intend to further promote in later grade levels. An article available in Trends in Genetics 2009 report 2 that “10-20% of genes lack recognizable homologs in other species.” In other words, 10 – 20% of genes in species don't have evidence of ancestry.
This sudden appearance of genetic material “de novo,” or out of nothing, lacks credibility in the light of several other studies. In the journal Nature in 2012 it was reported 4 that the ENCODE Project revealed that by their analysis, 80 percent of the human genome has a “biochemical function.” The lead researcher also expressed his thoughts that this percentage of functionality could move to a statistical 100 percent. This level of functionality in a genome removes most all of the opportunity for non coding regions of the cell to be the incubators for the “de novo” or out of nothing sudden emergence of proteins.Further, Douglas Axe reported his studies in 2004 in the journal Science Direct 5, of the challenges of random mutations being responsible for the origins of functional protein folding. According to Axe's experiments, “the overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 1 x 1077.” For a comparison of that number, there are believed to be 1080 sub atomic particles in the entire Universe. Hence, relying on random processes to beget “de novo” proteins is out of the realm of statistical possibility regardless of the billions of years that one could imagine.
Darwin said that:
We am not saying that we should not teach evolution in our schools. What I am saying is that we should teach the evidence for and also the evidence against the theory.
|7.5 Strand: Changes in Species Over Time|
This section has a few improvements but only minor modifications in character from its counter part section in the April draft. Not withstanding the changes, there still exist a lack of objectivity and it still includes the widely disproved segment on embryology.
Performance standard 7.5.3, is written a little more tentative, which is good as living things don't come with a pedigree from the AKC that traces genealogy all the way back to its alleged parents that have now become part of a rock for verification of their assumption. However, the standard still does not consider or encourage exploration of evidence that speaks to the contrary. 7.5.3 could be written as this:
Other performance standards in this section could similarly be adapted.
As evidence in support of evolutionary theory is continually promoted and is not in need of another champion, I present here data widely available that speaks in contradiction to the theory.
The fossil record does not show the gradual branching tree that is usually shown in our science classes. When considering actual fossil data, the animal phyla or the basic body plans of life, 23 are living today (and are in the fossil record). The Cambrian is the first real “blossoming of animal life.” In just the Cambrian environment, according to main stream science reports, there existed 23 phyla. Furthermore, there was not significant variation from that number at any time in the fossil record since that first vast explosion of life in the Cambrian, according to reports. An excellent and broad collection of main stream scientific literature which challenges to the predicted pattern of evolutionary theory is available in the end notes of chapter 2 of the book Darwin's Doubt by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer.
When the Cambrian fossils in southern China, near the town of Chengjiang, were discovered, there was discussions that the number of basic body plans (the phyla) must be over 100. This uncomfortable number was whittled down by expanding the definition of some phyla and regrouping to avoid an even more embarrassing comparison than what we have today. Even with the regrouping, the numbers show that the fossil record does not support the gradual branching pattern of Darwin’s Tree of Life.
Chinese Paleontologist J. Y. Chen, has had a notable role in excavating the relatively new discovery of the Chengjiang. He has also published numerous scientific papers about the fossil find. In his evaluation of the fossil evidence that was found he said:
The assumed evidence for the gradual evolution of fish from vastly different simple forms of life is essentially missing. The same is true for many of the other complex and varied creatures known to exist in the Cambrian.
Standard 7.5.4 itself remains fundamentally the same.
7.5.4 Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns in the embryological development across multiple species to identify similarities and differences not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
This is essentially Haeckel's “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” argument that has been discredited for many years. It does not belong in our curriculum. For just one example, Erich Blechschmidt commented in his 1977 book The Beginnings of Human Life.
|Utah #||NGSS||Why Item Is a Potential Issue|
|Strand 8.1: Matter and energy interact in the physical world|
It seems odd to have an 8th grade performance stand focused just on synthetic materials. This appears to be directed more as a social issue than science concept or even engineering issue. For example, in the NGSS wording which almost certainly is the way it will be implemented in the classroom:
Use of our student's science time should be for science not social engineering
|Strand 8.2: Energy is stored and transferred in physical systems|
|Strand 8.3: Life systems store and transfer matter and energy|
|Strand 8.4: Interactions with natural systems and resources|
This is more evidence of the demonstrated propensity for the writers of these standards to digress into social issues and not stick with science. These standards are not suitable for eighth grade.
8.4.4 This performance standard invites the NGSS implementation which is:
Each grade level of the SEEd draft has an introduction page. This section will focus on the commonality between all of the introduction pages.
Even though the word “science” comes from the Latin word “to know,” learning a concept in science is no certificate of mastery of an absolute Truth. There have been countless times in which “science” has taken a wrong turn and it does not look like the current or future outlook for science will be significantly different. Though the introduction page mentions that in science there are “infinite possibilities for further refinement” the tenor of the introduction is one more akin to that of scientisim. I would like to see a clearer statement more on the lines of these statements from UC Berkely:
“Science is always a work in progress, and its conclusions are always tentative.
In science, the tentativeness of ideas such as the nature of atoms, cells, stars or the history of the Earth refers to the willingness of scientists to modify their ideas as new evidence appears.”
The scientific method includes the principle that there must be some experiment or test that could be conducted that would greatly challenge or fundamentally disprove a theory or show its error. This concept is still not found in the standards proposed. If there is no way in which a theory could be shown to be false then the theory is merely a mantra, a belief system, a dogma, a philosophy, in which data can only support but never detract to show the theory to be false. Theories that lack a mechanism for foundational falsifiability are not scientific theories; they are simply philosophy. If we expect our students to actually engage in science, they must understand these foundational pieces of science: falsification and the tentativeness of scientific theories.
The Next Generation Science Standards or NGSS, which essentially are being considered for adoption through this draft by the state of Utah, does not encourage critical questions. Yes, there has been some very minor improvement in the Utah draft, however it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that what very few improvements of value that have been made will be, in practice, drowned out by the NGSS compliant material that will be sought for importation into Utah in the form of textbooks, sample lesson plans, and other support material. This is especially true in the consideration of data on highly controversial issues like man-caused Global Warming, covered in 8th grade, and the Darwinian Evolutionary paradigm, which is common ancestry of all life and purely materialistic origins for the observed existence of complex structures, systems, and organisms, which is primarily covered in grade 7.
Getting back to the science vs. philosophy issue. “Molecules to Organisms” is the big picture of the Darwinian paradigm in which the complexity and diversity of life and all we see around us arose through an undirected processes. This is the foundational premise of the NGSS. It is simply a materialistic philosophy, falsely cast as observationally derived truth intended to be ingrained into our innocent and impressionable youth. While the words “Molecules to Organisms” is not specifically found in the current “Utah SEEd” draft of the NGSS standard, a search on the NGSS website http://www.NextGenScience.org, will reveal 30 hits, (3 pages) of search results. By contrast, consider that a similar search of the NGSS discussions of “current,” as in electric current, occur only three times in the whole K-12. In spite of the controversial status of “Molecules to Organisms,” consider which concept, evolution or electric circuits and current, has had a greater positive influence on our technology, our standard of living, and our ability to explore and investigate the natural phenomenon around us. We cannot adopt the foundations of NGSS and then expect that our Utah K-12 educational system will be any different in character, in look and feel, than what is found in the NGSS as a whole.
It is important to note that scientific theories are tentative, and that data could possibly be revealed that falsifies a theory. This is not an anti-science position, but rather it is the heart and soul of science.
The Disciplinary Core Ideas, as they are written in this draft, are about as nondescript as one can get. They really convey no practical information.
At the bottom of the 6th grade introduction is a paragraph that is specific to the 6th grade. There are no specific comments on this section.
At the bottom of the 7th grade introduction is a paragraph that is specific to the 7th grade. The sentence:
Evidence for the evolutionary histories of life on Earth is provided in [the] Earth itself through the fossil record and organism development.Should be removed and replaced with:
Also, evolutionary theory will be explored.
At the bottom of the 8th grade introduction is a paragraph that is specific to the 8th grade. The sentences:
Additionally, substances that provide a benefit to organisms, including humans, are unevenly distributed on Earth due to geologic and atmospheric systems. Some resources form quickly allowing them to be renewable while other resources are nonrenewable. Evidences reveal that Earth systems change and affect ecosystems and organisms in both positive and negative ways.Should be replaced with:
Just as climates vary, so do other resources due to geologic and atmospheric systems. Some resources form quickly allowing them to be renewable while other resources are nonrenewable. Evidences reveal that Earth systems change and affect ecosystems and organisms, at times introducing an entirely different ecosystem and its set of often unique organisms.
9#Available on Google Books