ICYMI: June 30 – July 6 on the Skepchick Network
I know, I know. I got this post up late. I’m sorry. I know you were lost without me. But I got back from SkepchickCON at 2:00 in the morning, and I was so very tired. But fear not! I’m here now, awake and refreshed and ready to provide you with the Skepchick sister sight nourishment you need.
The Pseudoscience of Victim Blaming 3: Legitimate Rape
Bad science and pseudoscience are often used to justify sexism.
Speak Your Mind: Summer Fun Things
What do you look forward to on your summer vacation?
The Science of Dialects
Olivia explains just what the heck dialects are.
Rockets, Shams, and Placebo Adventures
You want puppets? Well we’ve got plenty!
FACE OFF: Skull-A-Day v. Street Anatomy Gallery Show at the IMSS
Who knew skull art could be so incredible?!
More Adventures in Terrible Data Sonification
A University of Minnesota undergrad wants you to take his data sonification and make beautiful music with it.
A Tribute to Science (på svenska)
Homelessclubkid answers some arguments for homeopathy.
Label Yourself (en español)
Do you use labels to describe your position in an argument?
Naturally Dumb (en español)
Guest post about how the ad industry has taken advantage of the green movement and people’s interest in healthy eating.
Esceptica Was Born Under a Lucky Star (en español)
Esceptica turned two this week, so we had our astral chart made. Obviously.
SSA-West 2013: The Ride Over
Yessenia’s trip to SSA-West was…eventful.
AI: Common Misunderstandings
What are some common misunderstandings you run into?
No, I Will Not Forgive You
Apologies are a good start, but in and of themselves don’t necessitate forgiveness.
It’s Just a Breast
Why is graphic violence OK, while mild nudity is not?
New Mississippi Law Allows for Religious Content in Class Assignments
Students can unilaterally substitute science for religion without repercussion. Oof.
In Honor of American Independence Day, a Post About How Creepy the Pledge of Allegiance is. Happy Birthday, America!
No matter how you slice it, the Pledge of Allegiance is weird.
Featured image credit: Ben Francis
I have to quote RC, on that stupid law they just passed in Mississippi,
But that’s not the only aspect of this new law. There’s also a section in the bill that deals exclusively with religious expression in class assignments, and as a science educator this is the section that I find particularly galling. It states that, among other things, students can express their beliefs in various assignments and be “free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions.” The sentence right after that then says that assignments need to be “judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance,” and to me those two statements stand in stark contradiction to one another.
It’s one thing for students to express a religious viewpoint in an assignment that specifically asks for a personal opinion. It is another matter entirely for students to put religious content into assignments that don’t call for an opinion, and for that content to then be exempt from penalization.
Student assignments that contain religious content can’t always both be judged using academic standards and not be penalized for said religious content, especially in the area of science. If a student submits an assignment that involves the human family tree and invokes a religious argument against evolution, then the assignment should fail if it is judged by ordinary academic standards. If a student’s assignment in a geology class states that the Earth’s age is on the order of thousands of years rather than billions, then it should not receive a passing grade. And yet the wording of this new law appears to protect such gross scientific errors. It says specifically that, “[s]tudents may not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of their work.”
Way to destroy the American Educational system Mississippi. Freedom of religion does not include freedom to say something is false in a science or history class, and not have your grade effected.
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