Re: [asa] The fight in Texas over evolution training in schools

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Wed Mar 25 2009 - 20:20:32 EDT

Well said, Rich. You said "Until they get published in a peer-reviewed journal in the area of question they have not earned the right to be listened to and definitely not the right to be included in a science class at the high school level." I agree that getting published in a peer-reviewed journal is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Peer review only means that less than a handful of peers thought the paper contained some data or concepts that the broader community working in that field should consider. It doesn't mean they agreed with it or thought it was right--just worthy of note or of a response. To warrant inclusion in a high school class room means independent corroboration and acceptance by more than just a few other experts. On the other hand, I would also suggest that there are areas of frontiers in science where there is no consensus established and much of the data are not understood. These are valuable lessons in how scientific research is done and these could be included in some way in a high school classroom. What must be clear is what fields are in the frontier stage, which ones in a controversial stage, and which ones have consensus. In the right context, innovative ideas have a vital role in science education. Even here, those innovative ideas are the ones being contested in the literature.

Randy

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Received on Wed Mar 25 20:20:56 2009

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